Open borders and open data are the way to the future

Open borders and open data are the way to the future

This week I spotted two trends in two different countries that will have great impact on our lives.

The first one is about American immigration law. For a few years I have been observing an increase in the number of returnees to Turkey among Turkish people who immigrated to the U.S. An article by Michael Moritz, Chairman of Sequia Capital at LinkedIn, entitled “Immigration Reform: Stop Ejecting the Brightest Minds from America” proved to me that my observations were shared.

He writes, “Let’s hope Congress does not flinch as it begins the debate about immigration reform because the future is passing through security – in the wrong direction. It leaves the United States on every departing airplane carrying a foreign born student who has graduated from an American university with an advanced degree in the sciences, technology, engineering and math. The majority of these people want to stay in the United States but because of existing immigration laws, they have no choice but to leave.” Moritz says that it is impossible to satisfy Silicon Valley’s appetite for engineers and scientists with people born in America. In the massive global IQ competition, the United States is shooting itself in the foot.

When I talk to Turkish people who chose to come back I get very similar responses. They say that the cost of staying in the U.S. has exceeded its benefits. They say that they are alienated. This might be a bad move by the U.S. but it surely will affect Turkey positively in the coming years as these people bring unique knowledge with them that will help Turkey get ahead in global competition.

The second trend is from the U.K. The British government is working hard on the next step of e-governance, namely open data business models. A report written by Deloitte Tit says his research suggests the key link in the value chain for open data is the consumer (or the citizen). On balance, consumer-driven sectors of the economy will benefit most from open government data that has direct relevance to the choices individuals make as part of their day-to-day lives. The report suggests that there are eight new business models:

1. Freemium Product/Service (mobile apps related to public transportation in urban areas)

2. Premium Product/Service (

3. Open Source (OpenCorporates and OpenPolis)

4. Infrastructural Razor & Blades (Public Data Sets on Amazon Web Service)

5. Demand-Oriented Platform (DataMarket and Infochimps)

6. Supply-Oriented Platform (Socrata and Microsoft Open Government Data Initiative)

7. Free, as Branded Advertising (IBM City Forward, IBM Many Eyes or Google Public Data Explorer)

8. White-Label Development (this business model has not been consolidated yet, but some embryonic attempts seem to be particularly promising)

I would really consider diving into the open data industry and tapping one of the mentioned business models as the Turkish government has a tendency to make open data available.