2021 STARTS Prize Jury

All nominations are judged by a jury to decide on the two prize-winning projects and up to ten honorary mentions.

PortraitAlexandra Deschamps-Sonsino (UK) is an Internet of things author, consultant, public speaker and entrepreneur with a background in industrial and interaction design. She wrote ‘Smarter Homes: how technology will change your home life’ and ‘Creating a Culture of Innovation’ (Apress, 2018-2020), was the first UK distributor of the Arduino and is the founder of the Good Night Lamp which is in the permanent collection of the London Design Museum. She was named 1st in a list of 100 Internet of Things Influencers (Postscapes, 2016), 2nd in Top 100 Internet of Things Thought Leaders (Onalytica, 2014).
PortraitNicola Triscott PhD is a curator, researcher and writer, specializing in the intersections between art, science, technology and society. Since 2019, Nicola has been Director/CEO of FACT (Centre for Film, Art & Creative Technology) in Liverpool, UK, where she curated the exhibition And Say the Animal Responded? in 2020. Previously, she was the founding Artistic Director/CEO of Arts Catalyst (from 1994 to 2019) and Principal Research Fellow at University of Westminster (2017-19). Over 25 years, Nicola built Arts Catalyst into one of the UK’s most distinctive and respected art and research organisations, distinguished by ambitious artists’ commissions, including notable projects by Tomás Saraceno, Otolith Group, Ashok Sukumaran, Marko Peljhan, Ariel Guzik, and Critical Art Ensemble. Nicola lectures and publishes internationally.
PortraitAlexander Mankowsky (DE), born 1957 in Berlin, studied Social Science, Philosophy and Psychology at the ‘Freie Universität Berlin’. In 1989 he started working in the research institute of Daimler in Berlin. The multidisciplinary approach in the institute integrated a wide array of disciplines, from social sciences to artificial intelligence. His current working topics are Futures Studies, focussed on the ever changing culture of mobility, the interdependency of social and technological innovation and other aspects of envisioning paths into the future.
PortraitFrancesca Bria (IT) is the President of the Italian National Innovation Fund, and Honorary Professor in the Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose at UCL in London. She is a Senior Adviser to the United Nation (UN-Habitat) on digital cities and digital rights. Francesca Bria is leading the DECODE project on data sovereignty in Europe, and is a member of the European Commission high level expert group Economic and Societal Impact of Research and Innovation (ESIR). Francesca has a PhD in Innovation and Entrepreneurship from Imperial College, London and MSc on Digital Economy from University of London, Birbeck. She has been teaching in several universities in the UK and Italy and she has advised Governments, public and private organizations on technology and innovation policy, and its socio-economic and environmental impact.
PortraitFumi Yamazaki, Senior Marketing Manager, APAC, Niantic Japan. Fumi joined Niantic in February 2018, working on marketing for Ingress, Pokémon GO and Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, and Niantic Developer Platform in the APAC market. In 2010 she joined Google as Developer Relations country lead for Japan, then joined Google Social Impact team working on Google Crisis Response helping the community hit by natural disasters, and Civic Innovation working with the citizens to make the society a better place using technology, then moved to Google Advanced Technology and Projects team working on Project Soli creating radar-based gesture sensors and Project Jacquard developing interactive textile using conductive yarn, as program manager and developer relations manager. Prior to joining Google, she worked on corporate sales at Nippon Telegraph and Telephone corporation (NTT), Internet marketing research at Interscope, marketing, event management, new business development and investment at Digital Garage, DG Incubation and Technorati Japan.