Dr Feng Gao is Co-founder and Managing Director of Open Data China, the first social enterprise in China addressing the issue of transparent and open data flow. Under his leadership, Open Data China continuously provides guidance to the government and data sources on how to develop projects using transparent data and has established communities to allow for more discussions on this topic. In 2015, Open Data China co-initiated the Shanghai Open Data Challenge (SODA) programme, aiming to drive the release and innovation of data through competitions. Feng together with his team launched the SODA model in Shanghai, Chongqing, Shenyang and other cities in China, which resulted in the release of more than 60 data resources from more than 30 government agencies and enterprises and generated more than 1,000 products and prototypes and entrepreneurial teams with a total value of more than 100 million yuan. Feng has published multiple critical articles and opinions in ParisTech Review, Financial Times China Edition, and delivered speeches at events such as the International Open Data Conference. In 2016, he was selected by the U.S. Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Programme (IVLP); in 2019, he was named a Yale World Fellow, and won China’s first “30 New Generation Digital Economy Talents” award.
Feng notes that his UK education opened his eyes to a new world and has taught him to not simply comply to what seems to be the norm. Feng continues to welcome challenges by devoting himself to being a pioneer in open data and to continuously advocating for innovation in technology.