Victoria Palacin (@vpalacin) is a doctor of science in technology. She specializes on digital participation for sustainable development. A Peruvian living in Finland, Victoria is a post-doctoral scholar at University of Helsinki. Her current research focuses on understanding the unconscious ideologies that guide the design of digital democracy tools.
During 2015-2020, Victoria has been a doctoral researcher at LUT University in Finland. In her doctoral thesis she explored the link between online participation patterns and human motives in digital citizen science platforms (more about her thesis here). Victoria was a visiting research fellow during 2019-2020 at the MIT Center for Civic Media, where she worked on developing data experiences and examining the participatory affordances of hackatons.
Before her doctorate, Victoria completed a master’s degree in the pioneer Erasmus Mundus programme focused on sustainability and computation (Pervasive Computing for Sustainable Development). During this programme Victoria developed a deep interest in computational methods to study online participation as a way to build livable, sustainable and participatory futures, these interests were later pursued during her doctoral studies.
During all these years her work has always been trans-disciplinary including areas from art, design, science, and engineering. The projects Victoria has been part of during her young academic career have always sought to spread joy, democratize knowledge and, to create equitable futures. Some of her favorite explorations include Ñawy Harkay (low cost accessibility glasses to allow handicapped people to operate computers using their eye gaze movements, Imagine Cup 2011 World Finalist), Ways to die (a satirical app that uses climate change data from NASA to predict the way you will exit this planet due to climate change effects, NASA Space Apps 2014 Finland finalist), Data Moves (explorations on the embodiment of data through human expression for storytelling to overcome data literacy issues), Sensei (participatory interventions to image and create environmental community technologies in Lappeenranta, Finland) and H3: Hacking the Hackathons (an ongoing project to design a zine with guidelines and tips to design radically inclusive hackathons).
Victoria has been an active volunteer in multiple organizations that promote education and equality for the last 10 years. She has been the president for the Latin-American Chapter of the Erasmus Mundus Association during 2016-2018. Also, has been recognized as Peru’s outstanding IEEE volunteer in 2011 for her work promoting research undergraduate programmes. Also she has been a national student representative and Vice-President of the Peruvian Association of Computing and Innovation (APECIT). Currently, she is a board member of the Helsinki Shapers (part of the Global Shapers Community and funded by the World Economic Forum). She is part of a community of young people committed to bringing positive change to cities, in order to tackle local and global challenges of our time.
When not doing research, teaching or volunteering, Victoria goes sailing and hiking with her dog. Also, you may find her at modern art museums enjoying art works that make her smile, play and think about the experiences of other people.