The mystery of life begins with the intricate web of interactions, integrating the millions of molecules within each organism. The enigma of the society starts with the convoluted structure of the social network.
Oxford Internet Institute
Sociology of the Internet
University of Oxford
London School of Economics
Vyacheslav 'Slava' Polonski studies complex social networks, human dynamics and technology adoption. His research at the Oxford Internet Institute is located at the intersection of behavioural science, sociology, big data and social network analysis. As the Founder & CEO of Avantgarde Analytics, he applies this knowledge to advise senior political leaders on algorithmic election campaigns and AI-powered governance.
Vyacheslav has previously studied at Harvard University, University of Oxford and the London School of Economics and Political Science. He is currently working towards a DPhil/PhD in Computational Social Science at the Oxford Internet Institute. Earlier this year, his doctoral research received the inaugural Kellogg College Community Engagement and Academic Merit Award. In 2013, he was awarded the Master of Science (MSc) degree with Distinction in the Social Sciences of the Internet from Oxford University. He also obtained the Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree with Distinction in Managerial Economics and Strategy from LSE in 2012.
Vyacheslav was funded by the German National Academic Foundation which is Germany’s largest and most prestigious funding body. He has also been a recipient of the Stelios Scholarship at LSE, Heinrich-Böll-Scholarship, ESRC Scholarship and the Vice-Chancellor's Scholarship at Oxford University. In 2011, the British Council named Vyacheslav one of the UK’s most distinguished International Students of the Year, and in 2012, he won the Future Business Leader of the Year award at the national Student of the Year competition by TARGETjobs. In 2016, Real Leaders Magazine featured him as one of 100 Visionary Leaders Under 30 alongside the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Malala Yousafzai.
Combining a strong background in social theory and sociology with an interest in real-life business problems, Vyacheslav co-taught the graduate course Social Dynamics of the Internet at the Oxford Internet Institute. He was accredited as Associate Fellow (AFHEA) of the Higher Education Academy. Vyacheslav has also contributed to multiple academic research projects that were funded by Google and the European Union, and presented his research at prestigious conferences around the world, e.g. in Canada, China, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Portugal, Switzerland, the UK and USA.
Prior to his academic career, Vyacheslav was a management consultant with Roland Berger Strategy Consultants, and worked on digital strategy projects with Mars Inc. and Bertelsmann. In addition to that, he was selected for the 2012 cohort of Entrepreneur First with his co-founder Alex Loizou, who has been recently featured on the European Forbes 30 Under 30 List in Technology. Vyacheslav was the first employee of Hello Fresh in the UK. After opening the London office of Rocket Internet, he contributed to dramatically scaling Hello Fresh's operations and diversifying its product offerings while maintaining its culture of innovation.
Vyacheslav is actively involved in the World Economic Forum and its New Champions communities. He was named a Global Shaper by the Forum and elected to serve as Curator of the Oxford Hub. Under his leadership, the Hub hosted events with several world leaders, most recently with Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman of Alphabet/Google. In 2015 and 2017, he was a speaker at the WEF Annual Meeting of the New Champions in China. In 2016, he was invited to the WEF Britain in the World meeting with PM David Cameron and 10 cabinet ministers to discuss the future role of the UK in Europe. In 2017, he became a Vision 2030 Champion at the WEF Annual Meeting of the Global Future Councils. Recognising his work in network science, he was selected as an Advisor for the WEF Interaction Excellence Initiative and the premier WEF Expert Network on Behavioural Change, Science and Technology.
His research and commentary are regularly highlighted in the media, including in The Independent, The New York Times, Bloomberg, BBC, Newsweek, Tagesspiegel, Forbes, Fortune, Euronews, Berlingske, Voice of America and TechCrunch.