The origins of MyData can be traced back to the Open Knowledge Festival held in Finland in 2012. There, a small group of people gathered in a breakout session to discuss what ought to be done with the kind of data that cannot be made publicly available and entirely open, namely personal data.
Over the years, more and more people who had similar ideas about personal data converged and found each other around the globe. Finally, in 2016, a conference entitled MyData brought together thinkers and doers who shared a vision of a human-centric paradigm for personal data and the community became aware of itself.
The MyData movement, which has since gathered momentum and grown into an international community of hundreds of people and organisations, shares many of its most fundamental values with the open movement from which it has spun off. Openness and transparency in collection, processing, and use of personal data; ethical and socially beneficial use of data; cross-sectoral collaboration; and democratic values are all legacies of the open roots of MyData and hard-wired into the movement itself.
The MyData movement was sustained originally through annual conferences held in Helsinki and attended by data professionals in their hundreds. These were made possible by the support of the Finnish chapter of Open Knowledge, who acted as their main organiser. As the years passed and the movement matured, in the autumn of 2018, the movement formalised into its own organisation, MyData Global. Headquartered in Finland, the organisation’s international staff of six, led by general manager Teemu Ropponen, now facilitate the growing community with local hubs in over 20 locations on six continents, a fourth Helsinki-based conference in September 2019, and the continued efforts of the movement to bring about positive change in the way personal data is used globally.
The MyData 2019 Conference will attract some 800-1000 people from around the world. It is an associated event of Finland’s EU Presidency organised in Wanha Satama in central Helsinki. The conference provides three days of interactive sessions, networking opportunities and inspiration that will contribute to rebuilding trust for a human-centred data economy. Over 100 speakers will be presenting in the following tracks: Making Identity Work, Ecosystems and Operators, Governance, Cities, Empowerment through Agency, Crossing the Chasm, MyAI, Health, Design and more! The Next Generation Internet Forum is organised at the opening day of MyData 2019.
Join MyData 2019 conference with a special discount code!
If you want to learn more about MyData, join the MyData 2019 conference on 25-27 September 2019. As we love making friends, we would like to offer you a discount code of 10% for business and discounted ticket. Use MyDataFriend and claim your ticket now via mydata2019.org/tickets. The normal price tickets are valid until 1 September.
Viivi Lähteenoja is the Deputy General Manager of MyData Global and the Programme lead for the MyData 2019 conference. She is a classics graduate from Cambridge University with a Master’s degree in theoretical philosophy from the University of Helsinki, and is interested in MyData, philosophy, digital humanities, and the idea and practice of openness in different domains of society.