Cristina Riesen is a social entrepreneur with focus on transformative learning and innovation.
She was included in the Top 100 Swiss Personalities and named Digital Shaper by the leading Swiss economic magazine Bilanz for two consecutive years.
Cristina's professional journey started as Radio Moderator, while studying philology at the university. Fascinated by languages and the science of communications, she entered the field of public relations, and worked on projects with world class interior design and architecture companies such as Vitra and the Vitra Design Museum.
In 2010, sensing that the (back then) emerging social media platforms would have a tectonic effect on communications, she enrolled in the Executive Master of Science in Communications Management at Università della Svizzera Italiana/ University of California, Los Angeles. During her studies she worked on pioneering projects focusing on social media communications for public authorities and international companies. After graduating, she joined Silicon Valley based tech company Evernote in its early stages, inspired by Phil Libin's vision to "build the world's second brain". She held the role of General Manager for Europe, Middle East and Africa during the company's hypergrowth phase reaching 150 million users worldwide.
Animated by a desire to contribute to positive societal change through education innovation, Cristina founded in 2016 the nonprofit educreators (born as We Are Play Lab). Built as a future-oriented organic structure, educreators has been on a mission to support transformative learning in primary and secondary schools, together with its strategic partners (Swiss foundations, universities, cantons and schools). In parallel with building educreators, she managed the launch of Switzerland's first hub for edtech entrepreneurs, the Swiss Edtech Collider at EPFL Lausanne, and afterwards joined the Strategic Development team at ETH Zurich, contributing to launching strategic foresight at the intersection of science, technology and education.
As a transformative learning and innovation expert she is collaborating with forward-looking public and private organisations in various roles and mentored more than 100 early-stage startups to date. Independant mandates have included projects with the European Commission, the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia, Kickstart Accelerator, Inosuisse Venturelab Early Stage Startups Training, Seedspace, Unleash, Taskbase, FHNW and many more.
Cristina was a Board Member of the European Innovation Council, Europe's flagship innovation programme to identify, develop and scale up breakthrough technologies and game changing innovations, for a 2-year mandate between 2021 and 2023.
An inspiring public speaker, Cristina participates regularly in international conferences and events related to transformative learning and innovation.
A lifelong learner by design, Cristina holds a lic.phil. university degree with teacher certification from Transilvania University. She is an Executive Master of Science in Communications Management EMScom graduate, a certified Reputation Institute professional, a certified foresight and futures design professional of the Institute for the Future IFTF, a Hasso Plattner Institut design thinking professional and an IMD Mastering Board Governance alumna.
Cristina speaks seven languages and loves design and arts.
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