On Siloes and Open Source

John Bruce on information sharing, moving away from gatekeeping, and forging alliances with small companies for a fresh perspective.

What’s in a collaboration? Where do we draw the line between protecting proprietary innovation and gatekeeping knowledge? Is info sharing the way out?

We’ve reached a moment when forming partnerships across sectors is pertinent to not only staying ahead of the curve but leading it, too. As the 14th Annual Lovie Awards celebrates Europe’s most groundbreaking collaborations, we’ve asked our Lovie Jurors to share their take on what makes a good team.

Hear from John Bruce, co-founder and CEO of Inrupt, on how breaking down siloes will lead to a better and collectively owned Internet.


“Small partners are very often the key to innovation. Large incumbents are generally bound by the inertia of existing ways of operating. ”

John Bruce, Co-Founder and CEO, Inrupt
  • What do you perceive as the value in cross-sector collaborations? Are they primarily for hype, or can they be pivotal?

    Cross-sector collaboration is pivotal in the area of data utility. We’re currently burdened by data that’s constrained within silos, bound to the organisation that provides a relatively narrow service to individuals. Collaboration across organisations allows for the combinatorial effect of disparate elements of data being combined for the good of both the individual and those organisations that want to provide services. This liberates the data to be used in innovative and productive ways for ten general good. We’re seeing multiple global efforts, particularly across Europe, to set standards against which organisations can productively collaborate.

  • Can a collaboration with a smaller partner unexpectedly transform your team's approach?

    Small partners are very often the key to innovation. Large incumbents are generally bound by the inertia of existing ways of operating. They naturally resist ’new and novel, for ’tried and tested’. Some of the most societal-changing inventions have been born out of small companies.

  • What upcoming collaboration opportunities in your field are you especially enthusiastic about?

    The potential for making data interoperable, particularly when part-curated by those whose data it actually is (the individual), it’ll be foundational in creating a truly digital world. Many collaborations, coalitions, and consortiums are grappling with the implications of and opportunities provided by data interoperability. What’s most exciting in my field is the consequence of a personal data wallet with trustworthy AI that works on behalf of the individual.


The 14th Annual Lovie Awards is Open for Entries!

It’s set to be our biggest season yet—with new categories spanning AI, Best Partnership or Collaboration, Best Influencer or Creator Partnership, and a brand-new inaugural honour, Collaboration of the Year!

Enter your work before our Early Entry Deadline on Friday, 26 April!