Mara Balestrini

Mara Balestrini
PhD Student
[email address hidden]
UCLIC, University College London
66 - 72 Gower Street
London, WC1E 6EA
United Kingdom

Mara Balestrini is a "cultural technologist". She believes that ubiquitous technologies can empower citizens to create in a collaborative way and transform society. Most recently, she has led efforts in collaboration with KWMC and Bristol City Council to develop "The Bristol approach", a commons-based framework for participatory sensing. Supervised by Yvonne Rogers and Paul Marshall, her research focuses on the design and deployment of novel urban informatics interventions for citizen empowerment #community #engagement #cities #making #openness #commons #participatorysensing #urbanIxD

Brief biography

Mara is a partner and Director of Research at Ideas for Change , a think tank and consultancy firm advising cities, businesses and institutions on innovation, open and collaborative strategies, citizen participation, and exponential growth (see our latest framework @pentagrowth).

Mara holds a BA in Audiovisual Communications, a postgraduate diploma in Media Arts and a MSc in Cognitive Systems and Interactive Media. She is a PhD candidate at the Intel Collaborative Research Institute on Sustainable Connected Cities (ICRI-Cities) at University College London (UCL). 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. She teaches the course "Cities for citizens" in the Master in City Technology at the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC) and is project lead for Making Sense, a European project that seeks to empower citizens through personal digital manufacturing applied to the design of environmental sensors.

She has worked as a video journalist, has been a university lecturer and and research assistant at the Group of Interactive Technologies (GTI), at Universitat Pompeu Fabra (Barcelona).

Research Publications

Mara Balestrini, Yvonne Rogers, C Hassan, J Creus, M King, Paul Marshall A City in Common: A Framework to Orchestrate Large-scale Citizen Engagement around Urban Issues 2017 Conference paper (text)
Mara Balestrini, Paul Marshall, Yvonne Rogers, Jon Bird Jokebox: Coordinating Shared Encounters in Public Spaces 2016 Conference paper (text)
Mara Balestrini, Yvonne Rogers, Paul Marshall Civically Engaged HCI: Tensions Between Novelty and Social Impact 2015 Conference paper (text)
N Pantidi, M Perry, J Ferreira, Paul Marshall, Mara Balestrini, J McCarthy Connected Sustainability: Connecting sustainability-driven, grab-roots communities through technology 2015 ACM International Conference Proceeding Series, Conference paper (text)
Mara Balestrini, T Diez, Paul Marshall, A Gluhak, Yvonne Rogers IoT Community Technologies: Leaving Users to Their Own Devices or Orchestration of Engagement? 2015 EAI Endorsed Transactions on Internet of Things, Journal article
Mara Balestrini, Paul Marshall, T Diez Beyond boundaries: the home as city infrastructure for smart citizens 2014 UbiComp '14 Adjunct Proceedings of the 2014 ACM International Joint Conference on Pervasive and Ubiquitous Computing: Adjunct Publication, Conference paper (text)
Mara Balestrini, Jon Bird, Paul Marshall, A Zaro, Yvonne Rogers Understanding sustained community engagement: A case study in heritage preservation in rural Argentina 2014 Conference paper (text)