Finding Fractals in Our Data


Sander van der Waal


Main Stage / Hall A


12:15 - 13:30 Friday






Our world continues to become increasingly digitised and there is no sign of this slowing down. But when everything gets expressed in bits and bytes, things that are very distinct  in real-life converge in the digital realm. At the same time, this trend is all-encompassing, so that everyone is included in this, whether they want it or not. When businesses develop models to make money from this, the sovereignty of people risks being disregarded. Stepping back from the immediate concerns of data value, this session will discuss fundamental issues underlying the digitisation trend from a societal, business, technical, and legal  viewpoints.

We will explore how the digital sovereignty of the individual can be preserved in an environment where both public and private institutions aim to extract value from personal data, while preserving and the capacity for public and private institutions to innovate and thrive. We will look at MyData from a designer’s lens and explore how we can learn to love MyData.  Finally, we will look at how digitisation leads to a decrease in choice for individuals. Is there still sovereignty and self-control for our creativity, our data, our daily life, our minds and emotions, our very own body?

Maybe, in the same way as fractals in mathematics can convey difficult concepts in intuitively comprehensible form and beauty, we will be able to rise back up from this complexity and see a new way forward.

Presentations in this session:

  • Understanding & Extracting The Value of Personal Data: Steps Toward Enabling the Personal Information Economy by Michael Becker
  • I <3 MyData by Paula Bello
  • Why I still use my Gmail account? by Alexandros Nousias

Presenters and host: