Former Founding CEO of the Open Data Institute (ODI)

Gavin Starks

What I do

Gavin was the Open Data Institute’s founding CEO, working with Sir Nigel Shadbolt and Sir Tim Berners-Lee. Under his leadership, the ODI unlocked over $100M of direct economic impact, incubated over 50 companies, launched franchises across 20 countries, trained 6,000 people, recruited a world-class board and team, and grew its turnover to $7M/y in under three years.


Gavin explores the impact of the web on business, society and culture. He has co-created over a dozen data-driven organisations to bring multidisciplinary leadership to the digital age.

His previous ventures include co-chairing the development of the Open Banking Standard in 2015 — at the request of HM Treasury — thus laying the foundations for regulation and catalysing international innovation. He served on the Data, Science and Evidence advisory board of the Ministry of Justice and the Smart London Board reporting to the Mayor’s office.

He has been creating businesses for over 20 years, leading projects with organisations such as ArupCap Gemini and the World Bank, and addressing a range of issues from data infrastructure and policy to climate change and the circular economy. He has been recognised as one of the most influential people in data: winning awards for his innovation and expertise, and providing Parliamentary Select Committee evidence. He is a regular international speaker on the topic of the web of data and its impact on society.