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Team

More than just a job; united by a vision

  • Thorsten Dittmar

    CEO & Founder

    Seasoned technologist and successful entrepreneur, one of the first hackers of Germany, investor and mentor for 30+ years.

    Who am I?

    I started my computer science career in the early 80s when I had a 4 color Mohawk haircut and most of the computers were the size of a garage. I got in touch with PARC (Palo Alto Research Center, formerly Xerox PARC) and fell in love with Smalltalk - the first object-oriented programming language and the base of all graphical user interfaces.

    The first company I founded was a one man consulting firm which quickly grew into a profitable business with offices in several countries. I had always been blessed with a good instinct about what technologies will be useful, and hired smart minds to work on those projects, like Kent Beck, one of the initiators of the agile project management methodology. Through projects in this company, I supported pioneers of the tech industry, that were working, amongst other things, on the first wiki, unit testing and software design patterns.

    After my first exit, I moved to the “dark side" of the startup world and became an investor in 100+ early stage businesses. In parallel, I was working as an executive consultant in digital transformation with C-level executives at various European Fortune 500 companies and was acting as interim CTO for several growth stage startups, before founding polypoly in early 2019.

    Why am I here?

    We need to rethink the current data economy to ensure economic growth and political stability. Therefore, we need a fair system for all stakeholders that enables businesses to build new sustainable and highly scalable business models without infringing the data privacy of a citizen. We need to empower citizens to have sovereignty over the data they produce and participate in the economic value they create. Also governments worldwide must have the executive power to enforce GDPR and similar legislation and promote the ethical use of data.

  • Sascha Gartenbach

    CEO & Founder via AG
    Who am I?

    I have spent the last 20 years in hyper growth technology companies and built their markets and teams in Europe. During this time I have gained a lot of experience (and am still learning every day) about the value of personal information and the powerful possibilities of digital technology on human behaviour, irrespective of culture or country.

    Why am I here?

    Our mission is to create a safe place for people, society and business in the Information age. I am passionate and confident that we are building the leading privacy eco-system that is creating tangible value by removing barriers to the interchange of vital information while maintaining privacy.

  • Alex Tselikov
    KI labs GmbH
    Who am I?

    Data Science/Engineering Team Lead with Ph.D. in data analysis. Vast experience in processing data at scale and building machine learning models.

    Why am I here?

    The idea of a decentralised and federated AI excites me so much.

    Aliaksei Syrel
    feenk GmbH
    Who am I?

    Data Science/Engineering Team Lead with Ph.D. in data analysis. Vast experience in processing data at scale and building machine learning models.

    Why am I here?

    It is time to end an era where we are scared to open cryptic and scary files with our own data. Data online is our internet face, so let's make that face to be as beautiful and expressive as our own.

    Andrei Chis
    feenk GmbH
    Who am I?

    I am a software engineer and researcher, interested in improving the way we build, comprehend and evolve software.

    Why am I here?

    To discover the data that is collected about us online, understand how it is being used, and explore ways to give people control over this data wherever it may be.

    Anton Ivanov
    KI labs GmbH
    Who am I?

    Data Scientist with Ph.D in theoretical Physics

    Why am I here?

    I am interested in the applicability of privacy preserving federated learning.

    Arne Petersen
    Who am I?

    Architect, Designer, Entrepreneur

    Why am I here?

    “Our greatest fear should not be of failure, but of succeeding at something that doesn't really matter.” Dwight L. Moody

    Artur Andretta
    PORT ZERO GmbH
    Who am I?

    As data protection officer I advise on data protection issues and check compliance with the DSGVO and the BDSG.

    Why am I here?

    polypoly is a collection of great people working on a solution for the fair, transparent and socially useful use of data. I want to help shape the future and participate in it when data protection and economic interests are sustainably reconciled.

    Boris Börsch
    Who am I?

    Entrepreneurial thinking and pragmatic acting lawyer, co-founder of various projects such as carsharing platform, legal tech solutions etc., initiator of the youth coaching project "my way" and Ashoka supporter.

    Why am I here?

    Because the topic of data sovereignty has interested and occupied me for a long time. I am also enthusiastic about applying, using and enforcing existing law and technology in such a way that ethical and human values dominate.

    Carmen Burmeister
    INNOQ Deutschland GmbH
    Who am I?

    Software developer and consultant at INNOQ, with a preference for mobile apps and a weakness for zebras and bicycles.

    Why am I here?

    It's unacceptable that leaving personal data and losing control is a necessary evil if you want to move around in the digital world. A solution is needed!

    Christian Buggedei
    Who am I?

    Ornamental Hermit, Product Manager and specialist for Human-Geek relations. Working in IT for over 20 years now I help people to get the out of using their technology.

    Why am I here?

    We have no concept of what our data is worth, nor any intuitive understanding what long term effect corporate surveillance has on us. The team at PolyPoly wants to change that, and I'm excited to be a part of this!

    Daniel Morales
    KI labs GmbH
    Who am I?

    Data Engineer passionate about Machine Learning, Distributed Systems and Algorithms

    Why am I here?

    To reverse the web access paradigm in which users take control of where to store, with whom to share, and how applications can use their data.

    Daniela Schubert
    Who am I?

    Product manager with a communication and social media background. Passionate about projects, good food and Darjeeling. I like when life is colourful, varied and diverse.

    Why am I here?

    Every new technology has an opportunity. But how do we deal with digitalisation? What actually happens to our data and how can we protect them? We at polypoly want to create transparency and clarification and I am happy to contribute my part to this.

    David Miller
    Who am I?

    I am a dedicated designer and product thinker with a passion for everything related to technology and communication... I make music too.

    Why am I here?

    Users should claim back their rights to personal data and get transparency of what it is used it for.

    David Richter
    Who am I?

    I am a doctoral student of the Software Technology Group, TU Darmstadt.

    Why am I here?

    I work on programming languages and decentralized reactive systems.

    Dorett Bothmann
    Who am I?

    Cultural pedagogue, who loves to communicate and do PR, and especially likes to explain how Germans work. As a hobby botanist, I even communicate with my plants.

    Why am I here?

    It's time to leave the digital comfort zone and start a peaceful revolution. We are the Internet!

    Elio Qoshi
    Who am I?

    Designer, advocate of user-friendly and accessible product experiences. I have contributed to Free Software and Open Source initiatives for many years now. My focus is designing digital experiences for grass-root initiatives which can compete with the big competitors.

    Why am I here?

    Retaining control over your personal data should be easier. I am happy to do my part so that anyone can have control over their data without having a computer-science degree.

    Florian Richter
    Who am I?

    Entrepreneur and consultant in the field of media / communication and technology

    Why am I here?

    The Internet is a great invention - but it has developed into a destructive force that needs to be tamed.

    Franziska Lohl
    Who am I?

    Business designer by heart, marketeer by training. Mentor and coach for 50 early stage tech startups as well as creative mind for Fortune 500 companies. Luxury backpacker who is crazy about outdoor cinema and chickpeas.

    Why am I here?

    Growing up in the GDR dictatorship, I can no longer stand back when elections are manipulated and our democratic discourse in Europe is undermined.

    George Ganea
    feenk GmbH
    Who am I?

    Software tools craftsman and world traveller. While I like all programming languages equally, I think Smalltalk is a litte more equal than the others.

    Why am I here?

    Using my experience in writing tools that help developers understand, navigate and control software systems in order to build apps that help people understand, navigate and control their own digital footprint.

    Ian Hannigan
    Who am I?

    Entrepreneur and Consultant in the field of Design and Technology

    Why am I here?

    To enable polypoly making information visible, understandable and controllable by everyday people.

    Ioana Verebi
    feenk GmbH
    Who am I?

    Software engineer, passionate about all things software. I am an advocate of encouraging women to pursue STEM careers and I devote my free time to provide mentorship to them.

    Why am I here?

    Algorithms built on top of our data target our social and political information. We need to build ways to understand and control the information that we share.

    Jacek Bilski
    INNOQ Deutschland GmbH
    Who am I?

    Senior Consultant at INNOQ, Software Enginner at heart.

    Why am I here?

    Currently we're being treated like products. Nobody is telling us that, let alone ask for our permission. If polypoly can be an initiative that will change that and make me once again the owner of all my data, I want to be part of it.

    Jennifer Dühnfort
    Who am I?

    Content Creator, organizational talent and passionate gamer - that makes me the perfect trouble shooter.

    Why am I here?

    I want to support those who see opportunities in digitisation and use them instead of exploiting them. Data handling should remain fair and, above all, politically correct.

    Jessica Lerch
    Who am I?

    From chemistry and biochemistry coming lateral entrant with a weakness for details.

    Why am I here?

    To support the masterminds from the background and keep them off the paperwork so they can concentrate on making the current data economy a little bit more straightforward.

    Joseph Yiasemides
    PORT ZERO GmbH
    Who am I?

    Technologist eager to investigate, model, and visualise our personal data.

    Why am I here?

    I want to find the best way to give people insight into their personal data.

    Juraj Kubelka
    feenk GmbH
    Who am I?

    A software developer and researcher. A team member who researches and applies new development practices, focusing on consciousness and happiness as a key innovation and progress factors.

    Why am I here?

    To challenge the prevalent data and information monopoly practices and to stand for a new mindset.

    Laird Brown (AKA, Oxblood Ruffin)
    Who am I?

    I have gone from inventing hacktivism with the Cult of the Dead Cow (cDc), to building start-ups in North America, the EU and India. Along the way I've been fortunate to work with values-driven partners. I could not ask for more.

    Why am I here?

    polypoly is on the vanguard of data sovereignty and technical innovation. And it's part of a movement restoring the internet to the way it was always meant to be: decentralized, transparent, and secure.

    Lars Eilebrecht
    Who am I?

    IT Security consultant and Open Source evangelist with more than 20 years of experience. Working as Chief Information Security Officer at polypoly.

    Why am I here?

    To redefine digital privacy and data protection and thus to change the world!

    Lars Hupel
    INNOQ Deutschland GmbH
    Who am I?

    Consultant at INNOQ, previously working with formal methods in academia

    Why am I here?

    We need a lot of good ideas to break up data monopolies. I find the technical aspects very intriguing.

    Lena Wessling-Teicke
    via AG
    Who am I?

    Economist with passion for digitalisation, innovation & most of all numbers. Spent the past 7 years in building growth-focused companies, utilizing opportunities derived from data.

    Why am I here?

    I am convinced that data is fuel for growth & long-term success in today's market/data economy. I also believe markets are only sustainable if trade is fair & transparent for ALL stakeholders. Making this combination become reality with a holistic approach is what motivates and drives me.

    Louis Buys
    Delta Ltd.
    Who am I?

    Experienced venture builder, excited by new products and ideas. Background in engineering, cryptography and computer science but these days a jack of all trades, master of none. Happy to help where I can.

    Why am I here?

    I am fascinated by the way the internet shapes society and the lives and roles of humans. And more recently, and perhaps importantly, how it should not.

    Mahmoud Pourmand
    KI labs GmbH
    Who am I?

    Product Manager with some background in tech, who want build real life usage for data science.

    Why am I here?

    It is very exciting to challenge back the data privacy and data security with a decentralized concept, and not only from legal and technical perspectives, but also from design, user experience and social aspects to make a meaningful product.

    Matthew De Caussin
    Who am I?

    Leader. Pragmatic idealist. Catalyst. Always finding the others, the dreamers, the builders, the partners ready to make the impossible possible.

    Why am I here?

    A more beautiful world is possible. I want to work alongside those audacious enough to dream that world into being, to build it with their bare hands.

    Melanie Bongert
    Who am I?

    Designer with a big appetite for new things; globetrotter

    Why am I here?

    Because the idea immediately inspired me. We can not save the world, but we can change the digital world by making it more transparent and fair. »Paths are created by walking them.« [Kafka]

    Michael Prinzinger
    PORT ZERO GmbH
    Who am I?

    Managing director of Port Zero, dreamer and realist

    Why am I here?

    I believe in agency over one's own life and that there is a direct relation to your own happiness in life. Having agency over your own data and gaining an overview of data about you out there for me is a clear step in the this direction.

    Moritz Stumpf
    via AG
    Who am I?

    8 years experienced IT professional, innovation expert, tech strategist, network builder, community lover and lateral thinker, passionate about disruptive technologies, innovation, digital processes, transformational change and related implications for business models, economy & society.

    Why am I here?

    For a healthy, humane and trustful future, I believe we need data ecosystems that are easy & convient to use while respecting the privacy of each stakeholder, tools that enable a balance in the trade with data and applications that make it as easy as possible for you to handle your data.

    Nicolas Bourquin
    Who am I?

    Curious designer, entrepreneur and consultant in the creative field

    Why am I here?

    To create impactful, meaningful and trustful visual stories and data experiences thorough products and communication.

    Nils Löber
    PORT ZERO GmbH
    Who am I?

    IT Security Architect fluent in corpspeak, nerd-ese and plain English. Online since 1993.

    Why am I here?

    Because the Internet is turning from a utopia into a dystopia. It's not too late to change course!

    Paul Meeusen
    via AG
    Who am I?

    Born and raised in Belgium, I am always intrigued to meet new people and discover new ideas. Since 20 years I live in Switzerland, where I have lead finance, insurance and risk management teams. Since travelling around the world as a youngster, I have always cherished my circle of international friends. Whilst technology is a great help to keep remain connected, many citizens cannot equally participate. I would like to help changing this.

    Why am I here?

    I believe in meritocracy: good performance and commitment eventually gets rewarded, however not always when data and information do not flow efficiently. Such a fairer information trade is what I would like to help build. As the internet will further integrate into our daily life and connect to "our things" we should democratize not monopolize it.

    Prof. Axel Kufus
    Who am I?

    Professor of Design, Developer of Models

    Why am I here?

    Design can find from Top-Down to Bottom-Up.

    Prof. Dr.-Ing. Mira Mezini
    Who am I?

    Innovator of programming technologies, mentor of smart nerds, university manager focusing on innovation.

    Why am I here?

    Business models that rely on data monopolies and abuse must come to an end. I believe in a European data economy alternative that protects privacy in a fair and transparent way.

    Ragnar Mogk
    Who am I?

    Doctoral student in the Software Technology Group at the Technical University of Darmstadt.

    Why am I here?

    My dissertation deals with programming languages for distributed reactive systems.

    Riswan Lathif
    KI labs GmbH
    Who am I?

    Software Engineer and Open Source enthusiast with a special interest in distributed ledger technologies. Portrait artist and amateur guitarist.

    Why am I here?

    I wish to own and control my personal data and I am here to make it possible with an amazing team.

    Robin Thiedmann
    Who am I?

    PR-Guy and political consultant with a disposition for abstract, theoretical thinking and a favour for scientific papers.

    Why am I here?

    Inspired by Henry Ford: "If the people would understand the data economy, there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning."

    Sabine Devins
    Who am I?

    Multimedia storyteller, journalist, and builder of bridges connecting people with data.

    Why am I here?

    I’m tired of Mark Zuckerberg profiting off my Instagram addiction and I can either quit Instagram or work here to change the existing power structure behind the dataconomy.

    Sabine Seymour
    Who am I?

    Entrepreneur, professor, and athlete working at the intersection of sensors, data, and the body to democratize healthcare.

    Why am I here?

    Empower citizens to have total data sovereignty and gain financial value with their data by ending current data monopolies.

    Stephen Tattum
    Who am I?

    I come from the Scottish Highlands where I studied Philosophy before moving to Berlin. I am happily married with two young children. In my spare time I like to build open source 3D printers.

    Why am I here?

    I want to help make our database the best it can be so people can take back control of their data and stop it from being extracted, exploited and abused by big tech firms. I believe Data Rights are critical to a functioning democratic society.

    Sven Ehmann
    Who am I?

    Entrepreneur and consultant in the field of innovation, storytelling and data experiences

    Why am I here?

    “You promised me Mars colonies. Instead I got facebook.” (Buzz Aldrin)

    Tom Stec
    Who am I?

    DevOps Engineer and digital rights advocate

    Why am I here?

    To build software which respects our intuitive human understanding of privacy and trust.

    Tudor Girba
    Who am I?

    Software environmentalist, (co-)author of a couple of software engineering methods and tools that reshape the development experience.

    Why am I here?

    Our future is being reinvented as we speak around data and software. To be sustainable and fair, our world must be understandable by every one of us, and we should all have equal participation rights. Humans should never be products.

    Volker Eichhorn
    Who am I?

    Technologist, developer and analyst from Hamburg. I bring some years of experience working in data intensive projects for various industries.

    Why am I here?

    I want to help people getting a better grasp on their data and data shadow. I am dissatisfied with the status quo between corporate information silos and surveillance capitalism. At polypoly I feel like I am part of a solution instead of adding to the problem.