On the morning of Sunday November 4th, 2018, I arrived from London at the Gaborone International Conference Centre in Botswana. I was there to participate in activities associated with International Data Week 2018, including the 12th Research Data Alliance (RDA) Plenary. This was my ninth time attending an RDA Plenary, my second time participating in International Data Week, but my first time in Africa. My journey here was generously supported by a grant from the RDA Europe 4.0 Experts Programme.
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I was immensely pleased to be able to attend this event due to an Expert Researcher Grant from RDA Europe. As always, there were a number of sessions I was looking forward to contributing to, and many people I wanted to see. But this was also the first time that both I and International Data Week had come to Africa, and I knew this would make it a very special meeting.
Thanks to the RDA Europe Early Career Program, I was able to attend the 12th RDA Plenary in Gaborone, Botswana as part of the International Data Week 2018. A common topic emerging throughout the International Data Week was the conflict between the potential benefits of sharing health data and privacy concerns.
This November I traveled more than ten thousand kilometers south to travel to the 12th RDA Plenary in Gaborone, Botswana. It took me three flights and twenty six hours (waiting at airpots included) to reach it from my home country, Slovenia. With what purpose did I travel so far, what I was doing there and what did I take from the conference?