I am a freelancer on topics around technology, digital, data and artificial intelligence. I tend to do a mix of technically-savvy policy and policy-savvy technology delivery. I think about systems, ask questions, have opinions, and get useful stuff done.

I am motivated by reducing the harm caused by technology and trying to make it benefit everyone.

If you want to work with me then there are several ways to get in touch. Try emailing on peterkwells@gmail.com, twitter or even linkedin.

I spent 20 years working with telecoms businesses and regulators in most European countries before accidentally moving into policy. In 2014 I worked in a voluntary role to organise an independent review of digital government for the UK Labour Party. From 2015-2019 I worked in the policy team at the Open Data Institute (ODI).

Having worked with businesses, governments and civil society in policy and delivery roles I have a grasp of the complexity of how technology impacts society, a knack of making that complexity accessible, and the ability to navigate that complexity to try to create change.

Sample public projects

In progress

A discovery project for a service that supports people to participate in genomics healthcare and research for ProjectsbyIF.

Recommendations for how a government can run a data sharing pilot, and how to select between data trusts, data commons and data marketplaces as an approach.

A campaign for a UK open address file, and related geospatial things.

Committee member of the Royal Statistical Society’s Data Ethics & Governance section.

Advisory member of the Digital Catapult’s MI Garage Ethics Committee.


Working with ProjectsbyIF to increase trust in software through design thinking

  • research, prototyping, product strategy recommendations and new web presences to increase adoption of sigstore, SLSA and Security Scorecards.
  • these are open source projects hosted within the Open Source Security Foundation and are designed to improve software supply chain security.
  • sigstore – which helps sign, verify and protect software – is particularly cool and rapidly being integrated into multinational businesses, programming ecosystems, and developer tools like github.

Research on the user experience of PETs, privacy-enhancing technologies.

Supporting the Centre for Public Data on geospatial data.

Research on the UK agriculture ecosystem and sustainable food supply for Agrimetrics and Oxford Insights.

Recommendations on approaches to algorithmic accountability for a philanthropic funder.

co-chair of the UK Open Government Network working group developing commitments on algorithmic transparency and data ethics for the next National Action Plan. Sadly, the UK Government backslid on its commitments.

The Hidden Middle for FutureDotNow: the case for businesses to invest in the essential digital skills of their workforce.

Reboot Britain for the Alliance for Full Employment: research and policy recommendations for closing the UK’s digital divide.

Exit through the App Store for the Ada Lovelace Institute: a rapid evidence review on using technology to transition from the first COVID-19 lockdown.

A book chapter on the UK’s initial approach to digital contact tracing.

Older work for the Open Data Institute:

Making Digital Work for Everyone: an independent review of digital government for the UK Labour Party.