PRESS RELEASE: The Minerva Collective launches

Today, we’re pleased to announce the launch of the Minerva Collective, a Data Republic not-for-profit affiliate dedicated to using data to deliver social good.

Established as an independent not-for-profit and spearheaded by Data Republic’s former People, Culture and Productivity Lead, Whitney Komor, the Minerva Collective will connect social impact organisations with access to data and analysts to help them solve social problems.

Read the full press release below

From the very beginning here at Data Republic it has been our guiding belief that better use of data can change the world for the better, not just for corporates but for society as a whole.

Many commercial organisations hold data that would be enormously helpful to not-for-profits and charities. However, until now there hasn’t been a network in place to coordinate the secure donation of anonymised corporate data, along with analytical skills, for social good. Through the Minerva Collective we hope to support social impact organisations by facilitating the access to and application of data insights – ensuring that not-for-profits are not left behind in the race for data-driven productivity.

Importantly, the Minerva Collective will aim to reduce barriers for companies looking to donate data to social causes by providing participating companies with access to Data Republic’s secure data exchange technology. This means that participating companies can be secure in the knowledge that their customers’ privacy and proprietary information is protected by best-in-class technology while they donate de-identified data and time to worthy social projects.

Interested in supporting a Minerva Collective social good project? 

Visit the Minerva Collective site and register your interest.

Check out our coverage in The Australian  

Nov 1, 2016


The Minerva Collective, an independent not-for-profit aimed at connecting social impact organisations with access to data and analysts to help them solve social problems, has launched in Australia today with support from Data Republic.

Initially a project conceived by Data Republic to offer the use of its secure data exchange technology to not-for-profits (NFPs) on a pro-bono basis, the launch of Minerva offers a new way for corporates, and their employees, to support social impact organisations through joint data initiatives.

On the establishment of Minerva, Paul McCarney, co-founder and CEO of Data Republic said: “Data is the currency for growth in today’s society, we don’t want to see not-for-profits left behind. Many government and commercial organisations hold data that would be enormously helpful to not-for-profits. However, until now there hasn’t been a network in place to coordinate the secure donation of anonymised corporate data, along with analytical skills, for social good.

“We’re backing Minerva to facilitate, and incentivise, the supply of the right data and skilled people for powerful social impact projects, in a way that protects data security and privacy compliance.

“It’s not every day that you see a start-up establishing a charity but from the beginning it’s been our guiding belief that better use of data can change the world, not just for corporates but for society as a whole,” McCarney said.

Head of The Minerva Collective, Whitney Komor said the aim was to lead the data for social good movement in Australia.

“The ambition is to drive a global ecosystem where not-for-profits, analysts and organisations willing to donate data can connect and use data to drive social good. From deepening understanding of why a social problem exists to targeting early intervention solutions to those in need, our data projects will help NFPs to innovate in their pursuit of change.”

With support from key industry players, Rob Koczkar, CEO of Social Ventures Australia said that data and access to data talent can be the missing link to improving efficiency and the sustainable impact of social services.

“Especially given the sector’s move towards managing to outcomes, we are very excited about The Minerva Collective’s capacity to enable social purpose organisations to utilise previously inaccessible data and provide specialist experts to help analyse that information. Access to better data will improve the ability of social purpose organisations to increase their impact, better communicate with staff, funders and community and make more considered strategic decisions.”

The shift towards data-driven impact investment is also supported by the Coalition Government’s Try, Test, Learn Fund, an approach aimed at overhauling the welfare system.

The Department of Social Services has highlighted in the Try, Test and Learn Fund report that the use of open data platforms and analysts will enable them to track trends and patterns of people at risk of welfare dependency and the effectiveness of these policy interventions.

As in the commercial sector, the shift towards data-driven service delivery is no simple task for social impact organisations as they are often constrained by the data that they have access to and their own in-house analytical capacity.

Komor went on to say that this is where The Minerva Collective can help:

“We’ve spoken with many company leaders and data professionals in Australia and it’s clear that people fundamentally want the opportunity to use their data expertise to make a difference in the world.

“The Minerva Collective will support NFPs to develop data-driven social impact projects by matching them to both; skilled data professionals willing to donate their time and organizations prepared to securely donate relevant, anonymised data.

Based in Sydney and spearheaded by Whitney Komor, together with Michael Allwright and Anthony Tockar of the Sydney chapter of University of Chicago’s renowned Data For Social Good group, The Minerva Collective is currently developing a pipeline of projects with innovative not-for-profits to match to the right data and analysts.

One of the first charities to get on board is ReachOut, Australia’s leading online mental health service. 

Of the opportunity, Jono Nicholas, CEO of ReachOut, says: “Suicide is the leading cause of death for males and females between the ages of 15 and 44 in Australia. We’re working with The Minerva Collective to develop a method to use data to optimise direction of our self-help tools to those experiencing a tough time so we can reach more young Australians, earlier in their symptom development, and ultimately, save lives.”

Not-for-profits and data analysts interested in getting involved are directed to register interest on The Minerva Collective website.

— ENDS —

 For more information or to arrange an interview with Whitney Komor, Head of The Minerva Collective or Paul McCarney, CEO of Data Republic, please contact:

Alicia Eu

Cannings Corporate Communications

*02 8284 9901 / 0412 552 004

Lauren Stutchbury

Cannings Corporate Communications

02 8284 99912 / 0423 941 656

About Data Republic

Founded in 2014, Data Republic  provides the secure technology and world-first legal framework for organizations to securely access and exchange data in way which manages organizational risk and puts consumer expectations first. Exchanges are conducted on The Open Data Marketplace, a central governance platform and secure marketplace for Data Republic’s Contributors and users to discover, request and effectively govern data exchange projects with authorized parties. No customer personal information (PII) is available on the platform and all exchanges are strictly governed on legal and ethical bases and subject to Data Republic’s Legal Participation Agreement.