Mara Balestrini is a Human Computer Interaction (HCI) researcher and a technology strategist. She is the CEO of Ideas for Change, a think tank and consultancy firm advising cities, businesses and institutions on impact innovation. She is also a Senior Research Fellow at the Fab Lab Barcelona where she coordinates Making Sense, a European project that seeks to empower citizens through personal digital manufacturing applied to the design of environmental sensors; and co-founder of SalusCoop, the first Spanish cooperative for citizens’ health data. Mara co-directs the Master in Design for Emergent Futures (MDEF) at the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC).
Mara earned a PhD in Computer Science from the Intel Collaborative Research Institute on Sustainable Connected Cities (ICRI-Cities) at University College London (UCL). She also holds a BA in Audiovisual Communications and a MSc in Cognitive Systems and Interactive Media. She is Senior Faculty at the IAAC and a visiting lecturer at the the Royal College of Art (RCA).