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
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).
|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||CHI 2017, Conference paper (text), Denver, USA|
|Mara Balestrini, Paul Marshall, Yvonne Rogers, Jon Bird||Jokebox: Coordinating Shared Encounters in Public Spaces||2016||CSCW '16, Conference paper (text), San Francisco|
|Mara Balestrini, Yvonne Rogers, Paul Marshall||Civically Engaged HCI: Tensions Between Novelty and Social Impact||2015||British HCI Conference, Conference paper (text), Lincoln, ENGLAND|
|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, 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, Yvonne Rogers, A Zaro||Understanding sustained community engagement: A case study in heritage preservation in rural Argentina||2014||CHI '14 Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, 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?||EAI Endorsed Transactions on Internet of Things, Journal article|