Host a Data Café

Want to improve the public’s understanding of the value and roles of data? Use the Data Café!

What is the Data Café?

The Data Café serves coffee for the price of personal data (name, email, phone number, etc.). This simple offering serves as a hook to encourage reflection and dialogue around the topic of data in our society. The Data Café also includes a brochure, magazine and website with tips on how to understand, protect and use data.

Why should I implement a Data Café?

With a Data Café, you can have a conversation about data with a wide variety of people in a wide variety of places — in museums, at conferences, festivals, universities, or even in cafés. With this low-threshold offer you can:

  • Raise interest and awareness for the topic of data

  • Ask visitors questions and discuss the topic of data in order for them to learn more about how to use and understand data

  • Communicate specific messages and tips about data

How can I implement a Data Café?

Decide which of the three offers suits you and send your request to

Book us
from CHF 1500

We implement a Data Café at your location. You only need to tell us the location and duration - we take care of the rest. Special rates apply for non-profit organizations.

Do It Yourself
free of charge

Set up a Data Café yourself free of charge. We provide instructions and materials

from CHF 5000

We adapt the concept to your needs and offer a license to implement the Data Café in the long term.

How do I go about implementing a Data Café myself?

The design of the Data Café adapts to the circumstances of the different locations. For the implementation of a Data Café you need:

  • Coffee or similar (cake, beer or ice cream are also possible): For this you can either organize a coffee machine including accessories (power supply, cups, sugar, etc.) or connect to an existing café (i.e. offer vouchers).

  • A person, who will run the Data Café: The person should enjoy reaching out to people, have an interest in data, and be familiar with the materials in advance.

  • A suitable place and a stand: The Data Café should stand out as much as possible and have enough space for a side table and a banner. On the table you will lay out the most important materials.

  • A suitable time frame for the implementation: This depends on your offer. In case of coffee, for example, it is recommended to plan the stand in the morning or afternoon.

  • Some materials, that we will provide as a print template via request: 5-10 menus with the terms and conditions on the back (these will not be provided), 50 receipts, 50 brochures and 1 banner.

How many people can I reach with the Data Café?

The busier the location, the more people can be reached. One person can offer a coffee to a maximum of 100 people per hour and have a conversation about the value of data with a maximum of 15 people per hour. It is exciting to document the total number of people that received the offer and how many of them accepted it.

How does a conversation with a typical visitor go?

This video gives you a good impression of how conversations with interested people in the Data Café go. The dialogue depends on the location, how people react to you and how much trust they have in you. People are much more suspicious on the street than in a more familiar institution like a museum. A typical conversation goes like this:

  • 1

    Spark interest: It is not enough to stand behind the coffee machine or next to the «Free* Coffee» banner. The key is to approach people and actively offer them a "free" coffee.

  • 2

    Present the offer: Once there is interest in a coffee, explain that a few personal details are needed. To be precise: first name, last name, gender, date of birth and canton of residence.

  • 3

    Clarify the terms and conditions: From experience, people now want to know where their data will end up and why we are actually standing here. This is what the back of the menu is intended for. There you will find the terms and conditions of the Data Café. Please ask the visitors of the Data Café to read through them.

  • 4

    Collect data: Falls die Person nach dem Gespräch das Angebot weiterhin annehmen möchte, muss sie ein Formular ausfüllen. Um das Formular zu öffnen kann der QR Code auf dem Menü gescannt oder die Webseite geöffnet werden. Nach erfolgreicher Eingabe erhält sie ein Bestätigungsmail. Wird diese Mail vorgezeigt, erhält die Person eine Quittung und einen Kaffee.

  • 5

    Pointing out materials: Egal ob die Person das Angebot annimmt oder nicht, solltest du die Materialien (Broschüre, Magazin, Webseite) empfehlen.

  • 6

    Convey the message: This offer serves as a basis for a conversation about data. Listen, ask questions, and remember the message the Data Café wants to convey: Data has value and plays an important role in our society. It is high time that we dedicate ourselves to the topic of data and help shape and discuss data-driven digitalization. Opportunities and risks must be considered in equal measure.

    If the person reacts very shocked to the "immoral" offer, we recommend telling them that it is an awareness campaign. After that, it can be exciting to follow up with the person by asking if they are aware that their use of «free» apps (e.g. social media, news, or similar) are also paid for with their personal data.

    If the person accepts the offer without batting an eye, we recommend critically questioning their decision. For example, by asking «Don't you want to know what we are going to do with your data?».

Other typical questions we heard frequently at the Data Café:

  • What data do you want? A coffee will cost you your full name, email, birthday and canton of residence.

  • Can I also pay with money? No, here you can only pay with personal data, as is common online.

  • What happens with my data? Good question! How often do you ask yourself this question when you use a free app or enter your data online? You can find our T&Cs on the back of the menu.

  • Why are you offering coffee for the price of data? With this action, we want to raise awareness about the value and role of data. Digitally, we enter into this barter transaction every day to use «free» apps like Whatsapp or Facebook. Our aim is to make this otherwise “invisible” decision more tangible.

  • What do you recommend when dealing with data? On our website you will find various tips on how to understand, protect and use data. Basically, we want to show that it is important to be more aware of the use of our data. We should always ask ourselves, «To whom do we want to disclose our data and for what purpose?»

How is the data collected and used?

We offer you an online form that you can use. When a person fills out the form, he/she will receive a “payment” confirmation, which you can check. The rest of the data will not be used and you will not have access to it.

Where can I find the appropriate materials?

Send us an email and we will provide you with all the materials such as menu, receipt, handout, banner, checklist, video trailer and photos in German or French. If you require materials in English, we will have to develop them for you.

How can I be kept up to date about the Data Café?

Sign up for our newsletter.


Who is behind the campaign?

The non-profit association developed and implemented the Data Café as an awareness campaign. For it is clear that a sustainable, value-conscious and more participatory digitalization requires a society that is both interested in and has an understanding of various digital topics.

If you have any questions or suggestions, write to us at