Illustration and headline Jon Lund
polypoly polyVerse

Jon, please tell us a bit about yourself

I am responsible for the Danish polypoly subsidiary. It is my job to gather members for the European polypoly cooperative, to reach out to Danes and Danish organisations as well as businesses and help us all to find ways on how to improve the way we handle – and utilize – data.

I am a veteran in the digital field – my first web agency was founded in 1995. I also ran the industry organisation for digital media, headed up the online communications department of the largest Danish bank and did a lot of digital consulting. So I know from experience what is possible regarding tracking in advertising.

Three years ago I realised that our – and my – desire to make great apps and websites, had resulted in a system with severe drawbacks. Nowadays we all to often find ourselves glued to the screens of our devices, constantly checking for likes and comments, because that’s what makes most money to the advertisement-fueled internet. We also find ourselves isolated in echo chambers where algorithms favor trolling, sensationalism and polarisation. Heck, even Instagram themselves acknowledges that one out of three teenagers feel worse about themselves because of their own app.

It doesn’t need to be this way. There’s one thing we can all do to change this state of affairs. We can take back control of our own data and slow down this centralised data economy misery. That’s what polypoly is about.

If we succeed, not only will all the users of the internet be better off. Also most companies – also the small ones – will find themselves enriched. As will states and societies. A world in which the users control their own data, is also a world in which true partnerships can be made between organisations and users, partnerships from which both parties win.

How did you hear about polypoly?

From a friend who is very active in the data ethics community. She told me about Thorsten Dittmar and suggested I talk to him. And about 1.5 years later, here I am, running the Danish polypoly subsidiary (laughing).

Why did you agree to run a polypoly subsidiary in Denmark?

We have to change the way data is handled. I have seen many different approaches to do so and polypoly is the most convincing of all, with the largest potential for citizens around the world. We have a super technical solution, a clever organisational structure – polyPod is owned by the members of the coop – and a great concept which allows both users, companies and states to profit. 

How do the Danish people like the idea of polypoly?

They like the idea of polypoly a lot. Coops are very strong here in Denmark and have a long history. In fact, the Danish agriculture was build on coops. And the largest Danish supermarket chain – Coop – is a cooperative and has 1.8 million members. That is about 1/3 of the Danish population.

How do you introduce polypoly to others?

polypoly is a new European data cooperative, which is here to help all of us to take back control of our own data and to change how dataconomy works today.

What do you like most about polypoly?

I like the idea of having an app with which I can make my own data valuable and useful!

What do you think will be the biggest challenge for us in the near future?

The biggest challenge right now is to get the world to find out how great the polypoly solution is. Spreading the word and engage citizens in the movement.

Also getting companies and organisations onboard doesn’t come all by itself. The polypoly solution turns the whole ecosystem upside down, and needs explaining. However: There is so much data value to be unlocked for companies, by getting users in control the polypoly way. I’m confident this challenge can be overcome.

If you would like to join polypoly and its European mission for only 5 € per share, please click here.