The Minerva Collective Manifesto

We believe the data exists that can provide social impact organisations with the insights they need to solve our world's problems. Data can help organisations to better understand why problems develop, who needs support and what solutions work. We also believe people not only have the skills to analyse this data but also fundamentally want the chance to use their skills for social good. 

When brought together, we believe people & data can change the world. 

The problem is that social impact organisations often don’t have access to the people and data they need, as:

  • NFPs generally don’t have the resources to employ people with the required analytics skills, and;
  • While there is a lot that can be done to help NFPs to better utilise their own data, we believe the greatest impact will come from using datasets held by other organisations to form a broader, richer view of a social issue and the people needing support. 

The challenge we exist to solve is driving the supply of the right people and data to help NFP’s change the world.  

Here's what we are doing about it: 

Developing Minerva Projects:

THE CHALLENGE:  It’s really hard to identify a meaningful problem facing NFP’s that can be feasibly solved with accessible data and then be packaged into a defined project or product that satisfies our Minerva Project Criteria*.  NFP’s don’t have the data expertise to drive this themselves and organisations aren’t actively seeking opportunities to donate their data.

OUR TASK: Our core responsibility is to (1) identify Minerva Projects that fuse NFP’s problems with available data and (2) guide the planning & development to deliver maximum social impact. 

Enabling Secure Data Donation:

THE CHALLENGE: The core challenge of a Minerva Project is securing access to the required organisations’ data. It is currently very difficult for organisations’ to provide access to their data in a way that manages their consumer privacy, governance and data security risks. As it takes significant investment in time, legal agreements and infrastructure for organisations to manage these risks, most organisations are currently unable to justify the investment to donate their data for a pro-bono project. 

OUR TASK: We are uniquely positioned to unblock these barriers by providing willing organisations with use of Data Republic’s secure data exchange platform that makes it easier and safer to share data than ever before. We are seed-funded by Data Republic and as part of this funding, we have ongoing use of the Data Republic legal and technical infrastructure to manage secure data exchanges for Minerva Projects. 


THE CHALLENGE: Even if we identify a Minerva Project and enable secure data donation, we rely on people wanting to donate their time and employees advocating for donation of their organisations' data. While there is a growing movement to use skills and assets for social good, there are constraints that make it hard to achieve the potential impact: 

  • People are generally limited by the time they can volunteer outside of their work, constraining the scope of projects they can feasibly contribute to.
  • Donating data to a Minerva Project is a time & resources investment for an organisation. To overcome the commercial cost, organisations need to see the value they get in return.

OUR TASK: Make it measurably worth it for organisations to donate their employees time & the company's data to Minerva Projects in exchange for generating social value for the organisation. Companies are increasingly keen to drive social value, not only to help the community but also to boost their employee engagement, return holistic shareholder value, generate positive publicity and even improve government relations. 

We provide the Minerva Program to enable people & organisations to contribute to defined Minerva Projects that deliver significant social impact to causes they care about and then measure the ROI of their donation. 


THE CHALLENGE: We can not, and should not, do this alone. We have the responsibility to our supporters to create as significant social impact as possible. To do this we need to recruit talented support and avoid re-inventing the wheel. 

OUR TASK: Our goal is to wherever possible partner with existing groups seeking to use data for good so we can focus on applying our unique opportunity to amplify impact by enabling use of other organisations’ data. We must also develop a highly engaged community of talented people to drive our projects from ideation to implementation. 

* Minerva Project Criteria

A Minerva Project must satisfy the following criteria:

 (1)  Supports social impact organisations in their pursuit of either:

  • Reducing human disadvantage or suffering;
  • Reducing environmental destruction; or
  • Advancing global human rights.

(2)  Aims to help NFP’s improve either:

  • Early intervention for preventative services to reduce extent of a social issue;
  • Efficiency in targeting services to people who most need them; or
  • Effectiveness of services in reducing extent of a social issue.

A Minerva Project will not:

  • Be designed to increase targeting for fundraising purposes.
  • Be for the primary benefit of a commercial organisation. 

Paul McCarney, CEO Data Republic

Whitney Komor, The Minerva Collective

Michael Allwright, The Minerva Collective

Anthony Tockar, The Minerva Collective