Dr. Mara Balestrini is a Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) researcher and a digital transformation strategist. Mara’s work sits at the intersection of urban technology, AI, and co-creation. She is former CEO of Ideas for Change innovation agency and was cabinet advisor to the Secretary of State for Digitalization and AI at the Government of Spain.
She is a member of the advisory board of NGI Forward, a 3-year project under the Next Generation Internet (NGI) initiative of the European Commission and co-founder of SalusCoop, the first Spanish cooperative for citizens’ health data. Her work has been awarded by ACM CHI, ACM CSCW, Ars Electronica among others, and presented by international media such as the BBC, The Guardian, The Financial Times and El País.
Mara earned a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the Intel Collaborative Research Institute on Sustainable Connected Cities (ICRI-Cities) at University College London (UCL). She also holds an MSc in Cognitive Systems and Interactive Media from Universitat Pompeu Fabra. She is now senior faculty at the Institute of Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC) and adjunct faculty at IE University.
Mara Balestrini currently teaches about Global Cities and Smart Real Estate in the Global Master in Real Estate Development program at the IE School of Architecture and Design.
• Member of Advisory Board of NGI Forward. NGI initiative of the European Commission, Present
• Co-Founder of SalusCoop, Present
• Previous experience: CEO of Ideas for Change
• Cabinet Advisor to the Secretary of State for digitalization and AI, Gobierno de España
• Adjunct Professor. IE University, Global Master in Real Estate Development, Global Cities and Smart Real Estate, 2021
• Senior Faculty at the Institute of Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC)
• MSc in Cognitive Systems and Interactive Media, Universitat Pompeu Fabra. Barcelona
• Ph.D. in Computer Science, Intel Collaborative Research Institute on Sustainable Connected Cities (ICRI-Cities) at University College London (UCL)