I’m Yoav, and this is my personal website.
I am a digital rights activist, advisor, and writer.
I am a generalist, the type of person who has a good understanding of many different subject areas but is not an expert in any of them. I studied philosophy in university and loved every moment of it. In 2016 I started a blog about Thought Experiments, which provides me with the opportunity to “parachute” myself into many different disciplines where with some effort I can gain a high level understanding, and explain the different arguments, but without the need to invest a lifetime of studies, which is required for an understanding of the subtle details.
Technology and I have a love-hate relationship. For the past 27 years I have taken an active role in the Internet revolution. I remember the early Internet as a place of infinite possibilities, where geeks have dethroned the old gatekeepers, where net neutrality meant equal access and equal opportunities, and where newly anointed kings were set on democratizing the world’s information.
I have been learning and applying innovation my entire professional career. I have founded, advised, and invested in startup companies. I have helped create tech accelerators, both within big organizations as well as independent ones. I enjoyed riding the wave of disruption, and rejoiced as business-model demolition was taking entire industries by a storm. I celebrated as software was eating the world.
In 2017 I started questioning this narrative. Was this whole Internet project doing more good or more harm in terms of our quality of life? I didn’t like the answers that came up, maybe because of the fact that by then I had two young children and I could see the world through their eyes. That software was eating the world seemed to be more of an admission of guilt than something to be proud of. About a year later I founded a nonprofit organization called Conscious Digital, where we create people centered digital initiatives promoting and advancing Digital Human Rights.
Our flagship initiative is called YourDigitalRights.org, a free and open source service which helps people regain control of their online privacy by automating the process of sending data deletion requests to organizations, and then provides guidance on how to ensure that requests are resolved favorably.
We also run DataBrokersWatch.org where we track and map the data broker ecosystem.
In 2018 I left London together with my family, and settled in the countryside of southern Tuscany, on the down slopes of an extinct volcano, where we now live. Why did we move? We were craving a simpler life with less pollution and an abundance of nature. We were tired of the never ceasing consumerism of the big city. We were seeking deeper connections and a community. And for me personally, the move was a way of allowing me and my children to step away from the Digital, and substitute it with nature, and more meaningful social interactions. A way of putting physical distance between myself and “the problem”.
In 2021 my wife and I, together with some friends, founded an alternative school called Shades of Green, which is loosely based on Forest School, Democratic School and Unschooling principles (as well as many other influences).
As you can probably imagine I haven’t completely stepped out of the digital. I am still searching for a better balance between my offline and online lives. In light of that please feel free to connect with me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on twitter @yobo.