Elena Poughia
Managing Director

Originally from Greece (the country with 6,000 islands)
Calling herself a Berliner for just over a year
Her motto “When there is will, there is a way” as she believes life is about hustling with a purpose (ideologist at heart) but really, in it for the ride.

What brought you to Dataconomy in the first place?

Chance brought me to Dataconomy – I was interested in data science because I was working a lot as an art curator with artists who critically examined the issue of “big data” related to data privacy, data security, the morals behind using big data and the importance of it from an anthropological, philosophical and sociological perspective. I was looking for a job whilst applying for PhD funding to go to New School to do research on “IoT & art practice.” I then started freelancing for Dataconomy and realised that a hands on approach is more for me. I really liked the team, the vibe, the purpose and the mission and so here I am. :)

What do you do at Dataconomy?

I do a lot of things but I learn even more – I started with events working on our meetups, seeing the community grow from zero to 25K and expanding into 19 international cities. Then a small team of 5 people put on our first Data Natives conference last year and I had to learn to do things I’ve never done before, again. We brought together 60+ speakers from around the world in front of 500 people and we did all this just a year after our existence – it involved blood, sweat and tears from all of us, but it was really worth it and I m really proud of the accomplishment. Now, after working for Dataconomy for a year and a half, I feel lucky to be managing it and learning even more. Let’s say, excel spreadsheets are my best friend now (ha!).

How do you use data driven technologies in your day to day life?

I don’t use or fully utilize technology as much as I’d want to. I am fascinated by cyborgs (read Donna Harraway cover through cover) and I’m waiting for the day humans will “hang out” with robots and everything will be working with sensors. For the time being, I am pushing myself to learn python by the end of 2016 (New Year’s Resolutions) and to read and learn about new advancements in tech as much as possible.

Dataconomy puts on several events on a yearly basis with the philosophy of being a “Data Native” – what does this mean to you?

I like that it’s our philosophy and I see it as the future – we grew up entrenched in technology, it’s in everybody’s cultural identity from the way we communicate, we meet, we document, we learn it all happens online and its all stored in the cloud. We have these devices now to assist us, to improve our lives, to make us better people, as long as we use it for good. I am weary about the human behind the machine and I hope the philosophy of being a “Data Native” could highlight the good and not the bad of what being that entails.

What topics do you like to read on Dataconomy?

I’m fascinated by bitcoin and blockchain technology at the moment and very curious about the future of health tech. I like scoping out what is out there and interviews with very interesting people who have done great things: like Kirk Borne, number 1 big data influencer for 2016, or fascinating startups who are disrupting the current status quo.

Dataconomy is based in Berlin, what is your favourite thing about living in such a booming tech town?

The vibe: people are very creative, innovative, open to meet and talk but yet, they have a life. They will work till late at the startup office and then will go and party it out at Berghain. This city combines my two favorite things in the world: art and tech :).

Touch base with her on LinkedIn or by email at elena@dataconomy.com.

image credit: Sebastian Thewes

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