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Kevin Webb

Alternative governance models for cloud computing infrastructure

Introducing Kevin

Kevin has spent the last decade working on digital infrastructure in support of sustainable and just urban policy. Most recently he co-founded the Open Transport Partnership, a nonprofit helping local governments build digital tools to manage their transportation systems. Previously he worked on open source and open data projects at the nonprofits OpenPlans, and Sunlight Foundation, and the transport technology consultancy Conveyal, and as an entrepreneur in residence at Sidewalk Labs.

In recent years his work on transport policy has shifted away from supporting local governments with data analysis tools, towards arguing for the rights of citizens in the face of growing public/private digital surveillance infrastructure that is actively undermining decarbonization efforts and reinforcing structural injustices in cities.

Kevin Webb, Green Web Foundation fellow 2023
Kevin Webb, Green Web Foundation fellow 2023

Fellowship Project 

Discussion of “cloud computing” often focuses on the operational or technical prowess of infrastructure providers. This “us against them” framing disempowers choice and misunderstands the core innovation of major cloud providers: a model for financing IT capital expenditure. For my fellowship I plan to research alternative business and governance models for computing infrastructure that enab optimization for goals like reducing energy intensity, or increasing control and legibility of data management practices, alongside reducing costs.

Kevin’s Fellowship Notebook

These are the posts Kevin has written whilst exploring and reflecting honestly on the intersection of digital rights and climate justice. More about the fellowship.