Transcript of S18E04 – ESKO REINIKAINEN

Antti:              (music playing)


Antti:              Hi, I’m Antti ‘Jogi’ Poikola, the Program Leader of MyData 2018 Conference. This is MyData Minute. Welcome.


Antti:              History in the making. I just landed back to Finland after intense days in Lyon, France. I feel exhausted, but very, very excited. MyData has become a truly international movement, and what’s more, it is maturing from an informal network to a real organization.


Antti:              In Lyon, 30 people from eight countries and three continents worked hard to clarify the aims and means for the future MyData organization. At times, the discussions were extremely hard and messy, and the room was full of questions with only very few answers.


Antti:              There is big momentum right now, GDP irregulation, and new technology are possibilities. Work really needs better solution for personal data and digital identity. At this time, a not-for-profit minor organization could become a big changemaker in the society. Are we, as a community, ready to take the lead and set it up?


Antti:              In the end of the two-day workshop, the group was faced with the moment of decision. Shall we push forward and make the MyData organization now? Or do we need more time? We decided to go for it. People signed up to teams that will be developing membership strategy, business plan, and rules for the association over the coming Summer.


Antti:              The founding meeting of the new organization will be held in Helsinke during the MyData 2018 Conference in the end of August. One more reason to join the Conference: it will be historical.


Molly Schwarz:      So, hi, welcome back to the MyData Podcast. My name is Molly Schwarz, and I work at the Metropolitan New York Library Council in New York City. And I’m also an active member of the MyData team. We run a New York City hub here.


Molly Schwarz:      And today, we are here talking to Esko Reinikainen. So Esko, could you go ahead and introduce yourself, and just give a little overview of what your involvement in MyData has been?


Esko:               Okay, hi Molly. Thanks for having me. So I run a little company in Wales called The Satori Lab. And we’re a little band of recovering bureaucrats. And essentially what our purpose is is to learn how to deliver excellent public services in what we call The Connected Age, this kind of new world we’re in that’s enabled by internet technology as a digital [inaudible 00:02:40], and to share what we learn.


Esko:               So primarily we get hired by public sector organizations to help them make sense of how they should adapt to this new world. And part of that is we do a variety of things like service design, child methodologies. But part of that mix is data literacy, digital literacy, basically so public services can kind of get their heads around what are the new competencies that you need, what are the new opportunities that this Connected Age offers, or what people should just know what is not okay not to do anymore.


Esko:               And so data’s a component in that. And also, we host a node of The Open Data Institute in Wales, which is [inaudible 00:03:33] movements together, communities to have discussions, and do stuff around getting better with data. But primarily it’s public sector stuff.


Esko:               As far as MyData, I’m kind of a passenger in the community. From my name, I think listeners will gather that I’m a Finnish person. And in 2009, I was invited to the Openness Symposium at Aalto University. I’ve always been intrigued by the idea of openness, and when I found out people are actually studying this in some depth, I went along and had a listen, and kind of caught the openness bug.


Esko:               And essentially, the people I met then at the time are kind of the same people who’ve gone on to form The Open Knowledge Foundation in Finland at [inaudible 00:04:24], wrote the white paper and ceded the MyData community. So really why I’m involved in MyData is because I’m just a fan and a passenger of the people who are doing these things. But having been around the agenda for a couple of years now, I think I have my own views of how important MyData is and what I might usefully be involved with in the whole agenda.


Molly Schwarz:      Something that’s big within the MyData movement is it’s trying to give people the knowledge and the tools that they need, just any ordinary, everyday person, to have more control over how their personal data is being used. So if you’re on social networking sites, if you’re using some kind of e-service provided by the government, there’s lots of elements of your personal data that are flowing around out there. And as has become really evident in the recent news, there are lots of ways that that data’s being used that we might not feel like we explicitly consented to.


Molly Schwarz:      So something that you mentioned that you do in your work is this concept of data literacy, teaching people about data, how it works. What do you think are some of the most important things that come up again and again in your data literacy teachings that you think that people should know, and especially as it pertains to personal data?


Esko:               Yeah, I think … So sometimes when we, it’s worth a little bit of framing on this, how we see the world and how we describe it. And I referenced earlier that we talk about being in this Connected Age, some people call it The Fourth Industrial Revolution or a Network Society. There are different labels, but it’s the world that we live in that is now kind of governed and enabled by internet technologies.


Esko:               And there have been different ages before, so sometimes we say that we’ve just come out of The Information Age into The Connected Age. And before that there was The Industrial Age. And the thing in common with these kind of transitions between ages is that some fundamental new technology arrives, and then it creates new circumstances that everybody has to kind of catch up with and adapt to.


Esko:               So for The Industrial Age, it was the steam engine. Right? And when you put steam engines in factories, we didn’t know at that time how to, on a social level, kind of integrate soft, squishy humans with big, dangerous machines. So if you were around at the birth of The Industrial Revolution, you might’ve had a pretty bad [inaudible 00:06:57] life, because you went to a factory at five years old and then you were dead of it by 35. Because we hadn’t really figured out how to kind of adapt our ways of doing work and things like that with the realities that the new technologies created.


Esko:               So given that framing, I think there’s a similar thing going on. The ODI likes to say that data’s a new infrastructure. It’s just this kind of layer that affects everything. And you can either understand it, and leverage its potential, and be okay with it, and benefit from it; or it’s this kind of new thing that’s arrived, like they didn’t talk about these things when you were going through high school, or what have you. So we’re all on a “can I catch up” adaptation curve. And some people are very skilled and adept at using and leveraging the power of data. Whereas the vast majority of people really aren’t. It’s kind of like this dark magic that they don’t understand.


Esko:               And so why I think … That’s both on an individual level. So you see people’s behavior saying, you know, “I’ll sign up to Facebook because all my friends are there, and that’s where the birthday party invites go.” And when they do that, they get this flash screen, terms and conditions, hundreds of pages. And the pattern is just like that’s the complex, dark mumbo-jumbo. I don’t really know what I’m doing. I’m just going to click “Accept.”


Esko:               And then they enter into this world where the data that they produce is going to be used in all kinds of ways that they don’t understand. And then they get surprised when something really nasty, like maybe my opinion was manipulated on a particular democratic question, and then I find it really inconvenient to kind of reconcile myself to the fact that this dark mumbo-jumbo that was very convenient to ignore actually is shaping the world around me now.


Esko:               That’s the same with organizations. So our particular view is public services are full of people sitting on spreadsheets. And they don’t really know how to do anything sophisticated with that. And then private companies who’ve invested a lot into the data game, they’re kind of selling this magic to the public sector. So you don’t need to worry about that stuff. Right? Just give us all your data and we’ll do cheaper, faster, better public services for you. And I think we’re at a kind of really dangerous point now where it’s not really okay not to know stuff anymore around data.


Molly Schwarz:      Yeah, so we all need to kind of try to get our hands on this magic.


Molly Schwarz:      So you spoke a little bit also about how you’re interested in the concept of openness around data.


Esko:               You know, one of the effects of this Connected Age that we’re in is that the old kind of dichotomies that we used to use to make sense of the world are no longer relevant, really. So in domestic politics, you might say, “Here are some positions to the left or to the right of the political spectrum. Choose which one is comfortable and associate yourself with it.” Or on the global scale, it’d be like, “Here’s Western liberal democracies, and there’s the Communist world.” You don’t have that much of a choice, it’s where you were kind of born and located, but these are the two competing ideologies. Figure out which one you’re more affiliated to.


Esko:               And I think kind of in a political context, with the transition to The Connected Age, those dichotomies don’t exist anymore. And so, for example, I think it’s much more useful on a global level to reframe the spectrum in terms of openness and closed. Do we have societies that want to be open, and want to be transparent with information, and engage in open conversations with all that that means? Or do we want more authoritarian, kind of strongman, closed systems?


Esko:               And I think one of the reasons why we’re in this pretty acute inflection point right now is that I think, by and large, what you would’ve considered Western liberal democracies are societies that appeal to the idea of openness. But we’ve got actors and institutions who are manipulating the … or not manipulating, but basically exploiting the big, open surface of the open ideas, and using nefarious, closed mechanisms and systems in order to play within the open systems.


Esko:               And taking it back down to institutional level, that also kind of plays out. So we see this tension between, particularly, public services. They’re also organizations that have worked according to Industrial Era mental models and software, if you want. So they’re command and control hierarchical organizations. They’re machine model organizations.


Esko:               And then the conflicting tension is like, well, what’s a more open, decentralized, network version of that that might be more appropriate in this society? So suppose I propose a personal data hackathon. Really, my primary motivation at this point is probably to let people know that there is an easily accessible mechanism that they can participate in that will help them start to regain agency over what’s going on with their personal data. But I think that’s the fundamental challenge of our time. Right now, most people are totally disengaged. They’re like, “This stuff’s too complicated.”


Molly Schwarz:      I’m interested in your concept of kind of categorizing parts of societies as more open or more closed. And I want to dig into that a little bit. So you mentioned that you’re from Finland, but you live now in Wales. So you’ve had experience in a couple of different societies, and how they do things around data. What are some things that you’ve noticed, either in these places or around the world, that you think countries are doing particularly well and should model? Or that countries are doing really poorly and should kind of shy away from?


Esko:               Yeah, so I’ll actually explain, I’m one of these Euro Fins. So I was actually born in France and then grew up in Belgium, that’s where I learned English. And then I lived in England for a long time. And then I really spent a year in university and doing my military service living in Finland. So most of my experience is UK-based. But I’m European, I travel around Europe a bit.


Esko:               There’s some interesting differences, and I think they’re due to … It’s kind of like the collision of the idea of how you might ride this idea of openness in conjunction with the social constructs of history and reality of the society you’re in.


Esko:               The social constructs in history, in reality of the society you’re in. For example, in the UK, WiFi is pretty good, right? I can pretty much walk anywhere and I won’t have to take too many steps to leech on to some WiFi system or something. I’ve got this perpetually connected feeling. When I go to Germany, WiFi is like a complete headache. One of the things in history that explains that is that Germans are a lot more careful about just stopping at … Being connected is a good idea, just make connections available to … Well, we’ve seen in the history and with the story of the Stasi that not all things about an impeded flow of information and ability to connect necessarily are a good thing. The environment you go in there is a lot more [inaudible 00:14:56]. People from the West or America or Britain who go to Germany, they’re like, “What the hell is going on here?” They’re like, “What’s wrong with these people?” But they don’t bear in mind that there are some deep social scars.


Esko:               I think Finland is interesting because … Finish society has a collectivist nature, which you, I think have experienced. The MyData conference is organized using [inaudible 00:15:27], these collective action events. That collectivism which in one way, it’s born out of the environment, like when you live in such a harsh climate not doing stuff together ends up in people dying. A long history of social collectivism I think engenders ideas of frequent communication. Like jungle telephones in Finland are incredibly good. When I go to my hometown, I’ve done something naughty after a few beers on one side of the river, the story is on the other side of the river before I’ve arrived there, yeah? That’s just this habit of people sharing information very quickly. As a result, in the modern days, how does the country approach the idea of connectivity? Well, it is in our cultural habit to communicate frequently often a lot of with lots of different one-to-one reactions and communal things, that we should have a good infrastructure for that.


Molly Schwarz:      To shift gears a little more back into personal data news, what is happening right now in the personal data landscape? Is there anybody’s work who you particularly admire, who you think we should be watching, and what are they doing?


Esko:               Yeah. I don’t know if history will record that. We’re talking the week after which Cambridge Analytica’s offices were raided by the Information Commissioner’s office, so we’re in the rodeo phase of what the hell is going on with these companies who have been leveraging personal data to what it appears to be fairly nefarious purposes? My hunch is this is yet to come out that they may have had very significant influence on big democratic decisions like Brexit or Trump, all right. It’s bloody crazy times, and to point to one or another. But I think from the MyData community, there’s people who have been working on this for quite a long time. What come as a surprise to people [inaudible 00:17:42] if I namecheck Paul-Olivier Dehaye, he’s been doing the hard work to go up against people like Facebook and say, “Give me my data. Give me my data. Give me data,” and using various legal instruments, that he’s unafraid to navigate those legal minefields in order to get this outcome.


Esko:               He’s got a little company now, PersonalData.IO, whose purpose is to … They’ve done the hard work to figure out how to do this stuff so that little people who don’t have the legal knowledge or the technical knowledge or the patience to go through these minefields also get a shot. I’ve been following his work for a good while now. Yesterday he was sat, giving evidence to the British parliament next to Christopher Wiley on these really fast emerging, fast moving situations. I think this is one of the points where people are struggling to … People who aren’t familiar with the concept of MyData and the things that can be done with MyData in a technical sense, in a political sense, a lot of people are coming to this story from zero a couple of weeks ago when [inaudible 00:18:55] first broke the big stories. A lot of people are trying to make sense of well, what’s my angle on this, what does it really mean for me? I think it’s too soon yet to figure out how it’s all going to pan out.


Molly Schwarz:      I want to get back a little bit to the work of Paul-Olivier Dehaye. That’s how you pronounce it? Who runs PersonalData.IO. You mentioned that he’s been doing work for a while using legal mechanisms and sometimes technical mechanisms to request his data back from big companies, I think, normally I assume, so the Facebooks, and the Googles, and these kind of players. I understand that with GDPR in the implementation phase, so they use general data protection regulations. When people will be able to make good on these rights that they’ve been given and to request their data back from companies, how do you think that this is going to go?


Esko:               Maybe it’s an opportunity to namecheck another MyData community guy. But, Mark Lizar is Smartopian on Twitter, he showed up at the MyData hub and basically quite excited that in some sense, everything changes on May 25th when we’ve got GDPR behind our back. There’s a little bit of activism going on to try to mobilize people. Here’s a goal that’s been articulated. Over beer, Paul, at last MyData conference, he suggested this idea that I found completely fascinating. That was most people, even if they had access to their data, they wouldn’t really know what to do with it. Yeah. If Google gave me everything they’ve got on me, I get a file which has, I don’t know, IP addresses and map traces. Actually, something just did it in The Guardian, published it in The Guardian, the results of their data. But most normal person in the street wouldn’t really know what to do with it or necessarily what it means unless it’s interpreted in some way.


Esko:               Maybe there are some tools that need to be [inaudible 00:21:06], like download your Facebook data, stick it into this personal viewer, and it will tell you stuff that’s interesting about it. But we don’t have that kind of stuff yet because we’ve never really had a lot of people initially who do have the technical competence to interpret these things. The picture that was painted was, well, if we can build tools or processes or steps, recipes that makes it easier for people to get their data out of the big organizations, then what we’ve got is the group of people who are all in possession of their personal data, and it’s a fun idea to gather them together and do personal data hackathons. The question behind that as I understand it or as I’m excited by it is these big companies are collecting this stuff from us because they figured out a way to gain value from it, to become the biggest advertising company in the world, for example.


Esko:               What could we as citizens, individuals, small collectives of people do if we choose to, at a community level, aggregate all of our data and figure stuff out? I think it’s like an exploratory process. It’s not like I’ve got a goal that I think we can do if we bring all of this. But shall we explore now that we’ve got big legal instrument that helps us to do that, and tools and process chains that people like Paul have been building, and one-click downloads from these organizations? Lots of people are preparing to, on the day that the GDPR legislation gives them a fairly robust legal basis, to at the same time on mass, in chorus, make very substantial demands for return of personal data from very large companies.


Esko:               I think like the obvious ones, in the MyData community, the [inaudible 00:23:02] often references GAFA, so the Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple ones. They’re the usual suspects. But what are all the other companies that will make … Do you know Coca Cola holds on you, or Kaiser Permanente? You might not have your health insurance with them, like we don’t have to worry about those things in Europe. I don’t know who your health insurance provider is, but I wouldn’t be surprised if one of the big ones does have data on you. Like one of the cool things that Paul did once is he figured that … Or I think he’s still doing on behalf of other people, like in the UK, the citizens who are registered to vote feature on a thing called the electoral roll, right? Local councils holds the electoral rolls, the local government has that.


Esko:               You can opt out of having your electoral roll information shared. Most people don’t. I have because I know about it and I don’t want it shared, so I’ve opted out. Many other people don’t. If you haven’t opted out, then what will have happened is your council will have sold that data to other companies who purchase it. You’ve got the rights to ask your council, “Who have you given my electoral data roll register to? What companies?” And they’ll come back with a list of … “These three companies purchased the roll and have your data.” Now you know that these three companies have personal data on you. You’ve got a target basically to say, “Give me everything else you’ve got.” Likelihood is if they’re buying your electoral roll data, they’re also buying stuff from credit reference agencies and things like that.


Molly Schwarz:      Do you know if it will be the kind of thing like Facebook has where it’s just like click a button, download your data, or will it be more involved than that?


Esko:               I think it depends on the company. The GAFAs are genuinely, definitely, going to get targeted by this stuff, and then they’ve got a choice to make, “Do we drag our heels and take the really long legal process over all of this with the knowledge that the potential sanctions are enormous amounts of money?” It’s like percent of your global turnover. Or get the interest of the European Union regulators and get into such a sticky situation that it’s going to become very difficult to carry out your business model currently within the whole 500 million European customers, what have you. I think those kind of organizations, they’re getting ready. You’re going to see stuff like one-click downloads. What’s yet to be tested is whether what you get from the one-click download is really everything that they’ve got on you. But that’s probably going to have to be tested in a court somewhere. Maybe over time, we get better one-click downloads.


Esko:               Then, I think on the other range of the spectrum, you’ve got people who are totally unprepared. I’ve had some really worrying conversations with … We get approached by public sector institutions as a ODI network, who want to get better about publishing open data and things like that. I always finish the conversation by going like, “Are you ready for GDPR?” Not very long ago, one of this institution who is a public sector institution, who has a responsibility for publishing government data, and no, it’s not the big one that everybody is thinking of, it’s just an agency who among their other responsibilities have that, had never heard of GDPR. Yeah.


Molly Schwarz:      What?


Esko:               Yeah. We’re talking like December. This was in December. I was like, “Okay. Here’s a few things you need to read immediately and get your skates on because you are in big legal jeopardy if you don’t know about this stuff.” On one hand, you’ve got the big obvious targets who are getting ready and we will see whether they’re willing to say, “Okay. Here’s everything,” or, “Our legal interpretation is we only have to give you this much,” to the completely clueless on the other end, who are going to get … The intent of the law is not to go after … Ignorance is no defense. But the intent of the law is not to go after people who administratively didn’t quite get it right, although there will be some casualties of that sort. Then there’s all kinds of stuff in the middle, which is companies that make a deliberation that not playing ball and obscuring is more beneficial to their goals than rolling over a complaint. For example.


Esko:               Goals that ruling of record play. Like, for example, Cambridge Analytica. Do you think they have any interest in serving some missing personal information requests, like, “What data do you hold on me and what media did you target at me directly to manipulate my vulnerabilities on this particular question?” You know, “Did you track what my behavior was after, what my conversion was and have you put that into some other winning strategy database?”


Esko:               Are they going to answer something like that? I think they’re going to go down in flames before they do.


Molly Schwarz:      But no, I think these are really big questions that you’re raising throughout some of the things that you’re saying, which, some of the most important thing about data is the sense that you can make of it. What does it mean?


Molly Schwarz:      And I think that’s what remains to be determined when we get our rights to request data back. So I’m really intrigued about this idea of asking Cambridge Analytica as being one of the first ones to request your data back from.


Molly Schwarz:      But, once we get the data, what does that tell us, and are we more interested in knowing what data a company holds about us or are we more interested in knowing how they use it and what they do with it? That’s getting into even areas of people wanting more transparency behind algorithms and things like that. It just gets extremely complex.


Molly Schwarz:      And then on the other side, once you do download it, how do you make sense of it? You were mentioning that it would be useful to have tools so that once we have all this data we can make some meaning out of it.


Molly Schwarz:      And one thing I do want to bring up, I am going to do a quick search. There are a lot of neat projects out there, but, the MIT Media Lab made something called Immersion, it’s, that’s the URL, and basically you can hook up your email account and it will create some kind of a graph to show you who you’re contacting the most, when, and kind of group them into bubbles.


Molly Schwarz:      And I’d be really excited to see more tools like this come available so that people can kind of plug and play, connecting so some of their data sources.


Esko:               Yeah. So, you just said two things that really spark me there. First question is “Facebook, what data do you have on me? Give it to me.” And then the second more intriguing one is, “What did you do to me with that data?”


Esko:               Because I think under GDPI they don’t have to tell you anything like that, just here’s the data there you go. But more interesting is, what did you do to me. “What did your algorithms flag me as being vulnerable or susceptible to?” And then “How was my data used against me or on my behalf?”


Esko:               The other one is, the Immersion thing at MIT, the project was by the Micro Media. It’s Cesar Hidalgo’s group at MIT Media Lab. And Cesar is a hero of mine. He’s kind of like the guy who first got me interested in network mathematics and network graphs and stuff, which leads now to our current work of mining the social network data within organizations to help them understand better how they could work it [inaudible 00:31:24]. He’s an amazing polymath. You should just search him and watch anything that comes up with him on YouTube. He’s really engaging, super smart polymath with a pedigree that goes back up the network math scientist to the beginning.


Esko:               So he’s [inaudible 00:31:38] the Immersion group project, and when he was going around presenting it, they were using the term Data Nudity. “Why don’t you give us access to your MetaData, we’ll build a network graph that you can then interrogate that shows who you’re really talking to more often, and then, why don’t you reveal it as Data Nudity, that exercise.” And there was even, I haven’t looked at that, but, a possibility to do that on an organization wide basis. I don’t know if they’re productizing the thing, but, if you got all of the email logs of a particular organization you could start seeing who’s really talking to who.


Esko:               This is the work that we’re doing now with the … I guess I didn’t mention in the prembel, but, our particular focus is on culture within organizations. We’re all bureaucrats who woke up one day and said “I can’t do public good anymore because this institution is kind of crushing me.” And that’s a cultural problem as well as structural and processing all the things.


Esko:               So our focus, out tag line, is we’re culture hackers and one of the things we’re doing now to understand … so, there’s a American guy called Dave Gray, he’s written a couple of cool books like Gamestorming and Connected Company and Liminal Thinking. He runs XPLANE, which is a visual design consultancy that works with big companies.


Esko:               In one of his books he’s got a really cool diagram which shows a pyramid, which is a normal hierarchy goal organization thing. Imagine a hierarchy org chart. Then there’s another version of it with all these curly arrows between people, which kind of looks like a chaotic mess. But the tag is In every formal hierarchy is resisted by an informal resistance.


Esko:               And what we’re trying to do is use social network analysis and network visualizations to run mine what’s going on within organizations so that we can offer up a representation of what this informal resistance really is like.


Esko:               As a simple example, the leadership makes a strategy and wants the whole organization to execute it so they cascade the information down the hierarchy. Anybody whose worked in one of these knows that it doesn’t work. The question for network analysis is “If you wanted everybody in this organism to get a message, who are the three people you would have to tell in order for it order for it to propagate through the system?”


Esko:               We could start doing that now, but, that starts entering into the personal data category and world because in order to get the data I need to make those kind of analysis, I have to ask some different varieties of questions, such as “Who are the three people you go to for technical support on a work problem in this organization?” The answers to that will give me one set of edges or links. We’ve done it with a client and we found that the question was “Who do you have to ask for permission in order to make a decision?” And there, just by calculating in degree two people who basically were permission gateways for the whole organization.


Esko:               So knowing that kind of stuff is more useful than your organizational chart. But then when the question is “Who do you trust the most in this organization?” You see where we start entering some of the ethical dimension that my data community has been discussing, because if I abstract the data in a visualization and I switch the name labels onto one person and I say, “This is the most trustworthy person in your organization” then that’s kind of like, okay and good, but then if I switch on the name labels to show who’s pointing at who and you don’t see the people, like the CEO doesn’t see the people they were expecting to trust them articulating that. Potentially very problematic territory.


Esko:               Anyway, Cesar is the guy who kind of got me into this stuff, and I really like the open knowledge guys, the old alto guys from the Regional Open Research Forum. Whatever they’ll do, I’m going to go and have look at it with the presumption of supporting it. It’s the same with Cesar. Macro Connections Group, that’s it. Anything his team does is awesome. My default until I find an objection with it. So everybody should read everything he’s wrote.


Molly Schwarz:      That’s funny because you, just at the end there, proved you point that all of us, when we’re navigating a very complex world with lots of different streams of information coming in, we rely so much on our human instinct of trust to lead us right. And a lot of times there are people who, through the environmental clues that we’ve picked up and through experience, we have come to trust that they will tell us the truth or they will do good work. So people like Cesar Hidalgo, you have experience and you trust that that work is good.


Molly Schwarz:      This kind of think plays out all the time and it’s extremely important. And that sounds like a fascinating project.


Molly Schwarz:      You mentioned that your startup, the Satori Lab helps organizations navigate change. I anticipate that with GDPR coming out, that there will be a lot of changes happening. We’ve seen a lot of shifts in our political landscape, so can you tell our MyData Podcast audience where they can contact you and where they can find out more information about your group?


Esko:               Yes, when they carry it, that’s the question as in the contents of GDPR specific things, and I should specify that we don’t provide GDPR specific consultancy at all. There’s a lot of better people at it than us that we could point people to, but, on that level we’re more interested I helping people get over the fear of just, like, data’s impossible and I can’t do anything with it and [inaudible 00:37:48] on that point.


Esko:               But, the company’s called The Satori Lab, and our website is On twitter we can be found at @thesatorilab. We also have a really cool mailing list, which I’m supposed to be writing right now. Basically it’s a collection of ten links that we find interesting. It’s often data or MyData specific stuff and it comes in there, but the feedback we’ve gotten is like, people have different relationships with mailing lists, but they really like that one, so if you find our website, you’ll find a way to sign up to that and get some sets.


Molly Schwarz:      Yeah, good mailing lists are golden.


Molly Schwarz:      Is there anything that you’re particularly looking forward to hearing about at the MyData Conference?


Esko:               If you’re in the planning slack team and stuff you can see that there was a particular direction of travel in the thinking, and then in the last few weeks or months all kinds of MyData related stories and signals and things are pulling up. As we speak, which is kind of challenging in the timing for the preparation of the conference, but, I think actually it’s exceptionally good timing if the community and the programing can adapt to the new reality that’s being created now, I think what we’re going to hear is, whereas, in the past maybe the MyData community and event was for a fairly self selecting and niche audience of people, I think we’re going to find that it’s going to be a platform where people who previously have been disinterested are going to come along and say “Okay, let’s make sense of stuff now.”


Esko:               I hope we’re going to hear from some of these new personalities that have emerged. I’m pretty sure some of the community members are involved in that. We’ll be hearing from them again.


Esko:               But getting into really practicals like what can we as a community now start doing to offer tangible things for people who now all of a sudden care about this stuff.


Esko:               And, of course, the Salva event, my greatest pleasure is to introduce international visitors to the joys of cultural wonderfulness that is the finished Salva. Some of the best conversations, as you will know from your time in [inaudible 00:40:17], that’s where the magic really happens.


Molly Schwarz:      Truly. That’s entirely true.


Molly Schwarz:      Well, thanks so much for taking the time to talk, Esko.


Esko:               Thanks so much for having me. It’s been a great hour.


Molly Schwarz:      Yes, indeed. And I will see you in person in August.


Esko:               Got it. Thanks, Molly.


Molly Schwarz:      Thank you.


Speaker 1:          Thank you for listening to the MyData Podcast. The MyData Conference takes place in Helsinki Finland August 29th through 31st 2018. Find out more on this year’s conference website at


Speaker 1:          This show and alternative versions of this podcast are available on the MyData Global Network website at


Speaker 1:          You can contact us via email at or Twitter @mydataorg.


Speaker 1:          We thank the metropolitan New York Library Council for letting us record in their studio at 599 11th Avenue in New York City.


Speaker 1:          Music is by David Cutter Music and [inaudible 00:41:20].


Speaker 1:          This podcast is copyright MyData 2018.


Speaker 1:          The MyData podcast was produced by me, [inaudible 00:41:26]. The house was Maury Short. Video and audio are available for redistribution under Creative Comments Attribution, non commercial license version 4.0 international.


Speaker 1:          See you next time.