Mara Balestrini is a Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) expert and technology strategist. Track record of successful independent technology interventions for bottom-up citizen engagement as well as co-leading an innovation research and strategy firm. Computer Science PhD candidate at University College London.
Mara is a partner and Director of Research at Ideas for change where she consults on innovation, citizen engagement, and participatory technology interventions for cities. She holds a BA in Audiovisual Communications, a postgraduate diploma in Media Arts and an MSc in Cognitive Systems and Interactive Media (Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, Spain).
Mara is a PhD candidate at the Intel Collaborative Research Institute for Sustainable Connected Cities (ICRI-Cities) at University College London (UCL). Her thesis focuses on the factors associated with the design and deployment of novel technology interventions for sustained community engagement in cities, and it is supervised by HCI experts Yvonne Rogers and Paul Marshall. She is also a member of the UCL Engineering Exchange, advisor at the Open Faculty, contributor to the Sharing Cities Network, and co-organiser of the Ouishare Collaborative Economy Research Network.
Previously she worked as a video journalist, university lecturer, a research assistant at the Group of Interactive Technologies (Universitat Pompeu Fabra), and advisor at Centre of Contemporary Culture of Barcelona.