Maria is a senior Gender & Innovation researcher and project manager working at the intersections between social and technological innovation to make innovation policies and processes more sustainable and inclusive through diversity sensitive co-design and implementation. Her research profile is bridging socio political and learning studies and she holds a PhD in Cognitive and learning sciences; Maria has been senior researcher and project manager at ECWT (European Centre for Women and Technology) during 2014 and 2015 and she has previously cooperated with universities and research centres in Italy as well as international consultancies and agencies in Italy and abroad. She is currently consultant for Università Ca’ Foscari in Venice to launch and design new EU level initiatives on gender equality and innovation.

Maria has strong focus on how learning processes can facilitate dealing with complexity both at the organizational and inter-organizational level in digital societies, and she is also an experienced learning/training designer and trainer.

Her expertise in gender mainstreaming has recently led her to design the Toolkit on Gender and Social Innovation in Cities within the FP7th SeiSMiC Project, and the Gender Scorecard for business incubators and accelerators within the WeHubs Project where she has coordinated research activities and surveys on women web entrepreneurship in Europe.

She has been coordinating and designing EU projects since the year 2002 (Equal I and II Phase multistakeholders partnerships as well as Interreg III and IV C, FP7, H2020), and has contributed as Board Member to several women’s and/or gender oriented EU level NGOs, and collaborated with women’s organizations globally. Maria has substantial experience working with city administrations in service design at the city and metropolitan city level in the Venice area, as well as in cultural events and conferences management.

Furthermore, she has always been passionate of entrepreneurship with a social value and previous to her involvement in SmartVenice, she has been a co-founder in a cooperative enterprise specialized in intercultural events management and service design, before becoming co-founder and CEO of a recently started up company in the sustainable tourism/culture sectors.

Maria cooperates with the European Innovation Partnership on Smart Cities and Communities being the Leader of the Action Cluster Citizen Focus since May 2015.