Facilitators and mentors

Angelo Vermeulen, PhD

Delft University of Technology (NL) SEAD (Space Ecologies Art and Design)

Angelo is an artist, biologist and space systems researcher who co-founded Space Ecologies Art and Design, an international transdisciplinary network of artists, scientists, engineers and activists who reimagine and reshape the future through critical inquiry and hands-on experimentation. He is a researcher at the Delft University of Technology, where he is developing bio-inspired concepts for interstellar exploration. He advises several European space companies and, together with the LDE Center for Sustainability, connects space technology and horticulture to foster innovation in global food production. Vermeulen has been (guest) faculty at universities across Europe, the US, and Southeast Asia. A Senior TED Fellow, Angelo’s TED Talk about his space-related work has garnered over a million views. He is currently preparing a series of art/science experiments on board the International Space Station.

Al Francis Librero, MSc

University of the Philippines Open University University of Lancaster (UK) International Council for Educational Media

Since 2007, Al has been working as an assistant professor for the Faculty of Information and Communication Studies (FICS) in the University of the Philippines Open University (UPOU). He has also worked as the university’s Director of its ICT Development Office. From 2007 to 2013, he chaired the Diploma in Computer Science program. He was reassigned to the Bachelor of Arts in Multimedia Studies program immediately after and held the assignment until August 2018. He is a generalist deeply interested in bridging ecology, information and communication technology, agriculture and community building. He has earned degrees in in Agriculture, Computer Science and Environmental Science at UP Los Baños. He is currently taking his PhD in Lancaster University in the United Kingdom. While nearly impossible to do, when he gets work out of the way, he moonlights as a multimedia practitioner, with interests in writing, photography, music and audio, and gaming.

J. Aleta R. Villanueva

University of the Philippines Open University The Builders' School (PH) University of Southern Queensland (AUS)

Aleta loves working with all kinds of minds in face to face, blended and virtual learning communities. At UPOU, she was program chair of Associate in Arts and MA Social Studies Education and faculty-in-charge of teacher education courses. She is co-founder of The Builders’ School. Past engagements include teaching at IB World schools, community development work with NGO's and People's Organizations, fulltime teacher volunteer work under UP Oblation Corps, and supervision of volunteer programs. Aleta has published qualitative research on virtual communities, open schooling, teaching presence, inquiry learning, dual language and curriculum integration. Post-PhD, she is interested in research and creative projects, namely: co-development of Social Studies OER's, setting up sustained academic and learning support workshops for research students while threading in student volunteerism at UPOU. She is open to collaborate on creative drama and dance workshops for children, classroom-based research, design-based methodology, historical and auto- and ethnographic studies. Aleta holds a BA in Elementary Education (Major in Special Education) and an MA in Community Development from University of the Philippines, Diliman, and is a PhD Candidate at the University of Southern Queensland in Australia.

Ann Peeters

Erasmus University College Brussels (BE) SEAD (Space Ecologies Art and Design)

Ann combines teaching, research, science outreach and artistic collaborations. She spearheads the educational chapter of the international collective SEADS (Space Ecologies Arts and Design) and works for the Erasmus University College in Brussels in section Art & Technology and in the Research Department. She has a background in Performance Arts and has earned her spurs in the social sector, focusing on playful and engaging language learning techniques and storytelling, as well as digital inclusion and social innovation. From 2016 until autumn 2018, she coordinated the Fablab and Medialab Brussels. Her enthusiasm inspires other makers to explore new technologies and take on societal challenges, preferably through a co-creation approach. Her not-so-hidden agenda involves more girls in tech.

Birdie Salva

Curiosity Design Research (PH)

Birdie Salva is the general manager and co-founder of Curiosity, a design research consultancy that provides local insight through ethnographic approaches to help organizations design new products and services. In the past 7 years, Birdie has been involved in over 100 research projects for companies like Ayala Healthcare Corporation, Globe Telecom, Sun Life Financial, Meralco, The Fred Hollows Foundation, and the National Anti-Poverty Commission. Prior to starting Curiosity, Birdie was a user researcher at the industrial design start-up Inovent, and a brand manager in L'Oreal Philippines. He also taught as a lecturer on the elective "Managing Business Innovations" in the Ateneo de Manila University.

Diego Maranan, PhD

University of the Philippines Open University Curiosity Design Strategy (PH) Space Ecologies Art and Design (BE) CogNovo Foundation

Diego is a transdisciplinary artist and researcher who investigates how technology can help us reimagine our relationship with the environment, with other people, and with ourselves. His work is eclectic, ranging from exploring how digital technologies are changing the way we move as well as perceive human movement, to co-creating socially-engaged art installations that build symbiotic relationships between plants, computers and people. Diego holds a BSc in Computing Science and Contemporary Dance as well as an MA in Interactive Arts and Technology from Simon Fraser University in Canada, and was a Marie Skłodowska-Curie PhD fellow in the CogNovo training program for Cognitive Innovation at the University of Plymouth. Diego is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Information and Communication Studies at the UP Open University.

Joane V. Serrano, PhD

University of the Philippines Open University

Joane is an Associate Professor of the Faculty of Management and Development Studies, University of the Philippines Open University (UPOU). She obtained her Bachelor of Science in Development Communication from the University of the Philippines Los Baños. She also earned her Master of Management Major in Development Management and Doctor of Philosophy Major in Development Communication from the same niversity. Dr. Serrano serves as the current Director of the UPOU Information Office. She also serves as the Editor of the Journal of Management and Development Studies and a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Nature studies. Her experiences in teaching, research, and public service have equipped her with competence that make her an accomplished educator in various areas such as Open and Distance eLearning, Environmental Advocacy, Development Communication, and Educational Technology and other related fields. As part of her commitment to lifelong learning and sustainability research, Dr. Serrano continues to find ways of discovering innovations that improve education and research practices in the Philippines.

Joyce Manalo

University of the Philippines Open University

Joyce is an interdisciplinary information studies researcher and academic. Her training in development communication provided her communication and social science research skills along with the understanding of world development goals. Her Masters in Information Technology focused on systems development and user experience. Her field of interest is situated at the intersection of media, technology, and social science. Recent work involves studies in UI/UX research and open distance e-learning, among others. She is currently an Assistant Professor teaching multimedia courses under the Faculty of Information and Communication Studies at the UP Open University.

Klara Łucznik, PhD

University of Plymouth (UK) CogNovo Foundation

Klara is a psychologist, a dancer, an improviser. She is a founder member of CogNovo Foundation, a network of researchers working to advance Cognitive Innovation, an umbrella-term for creativity, innovation, learning, development, and adaptation. Her research focuses on situated, embodied cognition, promoting an interdisciplinary dialogue between scientific inquiries and creative practices. In particular, she uses structures of dance improvisation as a laboratory to observe in details embodied, yet shared and social creative process. Simultaneously, in her dance practice, she explored group improvisation as a performance strategy that highlights the unpredictable, highly adaptive and open-ended character of creativity. Recently, she joined RURITAGE project, in which she inquiries into situated, environmental aspects of cognition, social interactions and creative resilience of the communities located within varied natural/cultural landscapes.

Lody Padilla Espenido

Women's Education, Development, Productivity, and Research Organization (PH) University of the Philippines Diliman College of Social Work and Development (PH)

Lody is a passionate and committed woman who wants to make a lasting difference and contribute to poverty reduction. She is currently a lecturer at the College of Social Work and Community Development at the University of the Philippines Diliman, handling courses on, “Community Organizing,” “Planning and Administration,” “Program and Project Development and Management,” “Community Leadership and Organization Development,” “Participatory Management,” and “Social Enterprises and Cooperatives.” She is a member of the “psychosocial committee” providing counselling services and helping ensure the mental well-being of students. She is a gender specialist and a member of Women's Education, Development, Productivity, and Research Organization (WeDpro), a nonprofit in the Philippines working to protect women and youth against all forms of violence. She has done work with development NGOs, farmers, human rights and women’s groups, the academe, bilateral assistance, government. In addition, her experience includes rural development, social development, livelihoods, social enterprises, advocacy campaigns, and capacity building.

Marie-Sol Hidalgo, MA

University of the Philippines Open University Universiti Sains Malaysia

Sol is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Education at the UP Open University. She was trained as a molecular biologist and biochemist who has published papers in national and international journals in plant biochemistry. An online science educator who teaches biology and chemistry teachers in basic education, she is an advocate of science education and indigenous knowledge for local and national development, and is currently writing her PhD thesis on the institutionalisation of Philippine Traditional Medicine (particularly Hilot) and sits as a member of the National Certification Committee for Hilot of the Department of Health-PITAHC.

Mihaela Taranu, PhD

Interacting Minds Centre, Aarhus University (DK) CogNovo Foundation

Mihaela is a psychology researcher at the Interacting Minds Centre at Aarhus University (Denmark). Here she is doing research on play with the interdisciplinary PlayTrack group (founded by the Lego Foundation). She earned a PhD in Psychology in 2018 from the University of Plymouth (UK) where she had a Marie Curie scholarship. She also did research at the University of Edinburgh (UK) and at the University of Cambridge (UK). She has also two masters from Babes-Bolyai University in Romania in developmental psychology & psychological counseling and in organisational development. Spending some years doing research on perception and individual differences she got more and more interested in interdisciplinary research and play research. She believes that due to its nature, play is a powerful ‘’gear’ we should embrace more in our lives.

Minerva Gonzales

Women's Education, Development, Productivity, and Research Organization (PH)

"Niva" is is a marine biologist by training, an environment and development management specialist by practice and a social and human rights activist by vocation. She has more than 30 years of extensive experience in the multidisciplinary dynamics of community based management of natural resources including protected area establishment and management, coastal resource management, biodiversity management and in recent years, climate justice advocacy. She has served as consultant to various ODA funded projects with government agencies such as the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Department of Agriculture and the National Economic and Development Authority. She has also undertaken project preparation and evaluation work in Cambodia on sustainable livelihood development in the Mekong Sub Region for Action Aid and Oxfam Great Britain. She served as Third Country Expert to the Department of Fisheries of the Royal Kingdom of Cambodia in the development of appropriate fisheries co-management models, policies and approaches in 2003. She belongs to the select pool of reviewers of the Environmental Management Bureau (DENR) tasked with reviewing the Environmental Impact Assessment procedural and substantive compliance to the Philippine EIS system of environmentally critical industries and projects prior to the issuance of Environmental Compliance Certificates. So far, she has participated and completed the review of more than 20 projects nationwide. She serves as the chairperson of the board of ESCR-Asia, vice chairperson of the board of the Center for Empowerment and Resource Development (CERD), an NGO engaged in developing learning communities and sustainable coastal resource management and also active in the board of Tbak, an organization of Martial Law activists.

Mona Nasser, DDS, MSc, PgCert, FHEA, PhD

University of Plymouth (UK)

Mona is an Associate Professor of Evidence-Based Dentistry at the University of Plymouth. She is the co-convener of the Cochrane Priority Setting Methods Group, member of the steering group of the Evidence based Research Network and the President-Elect of the Evidence based Dentistry Network of the International Association of Dental Research (IADR). She teaches critical appraisal and evidence-based health care to undergraduate, postgraduate students and other researchers. She has published >70 peer reviewed publications ranging from systematic reviews, meta-epidemiological studies, medical history to oral health inequalities and human health in spaceflight. Her research programmed focuses on a) How do the methods of clinical epidemiology inform decisions about priorities, funding, and project management by officials of public agencies and staff of philanthropies hat support health research? (b) How can engaging a diverse range of stakeholders in “speculative research scenarios” e.g. future space missions to stimulate the development of new and useful methods in clinical epidemiology (c) How can new approaches to social engagement enhance the engagement of disadvantaged groups in health research.

Pieter Steyaert, MFA

Erasmus University College Brussels (BE) SEAD (Space Ecologies Art and Design)

Pieter is an artist who uses advanced computational methods to create interactive artworks and performances. He gets his kicks out of collaborations, building and hacking stuff. Furthermore he has been bringing live visuals at a wide range of music festivals for over a decade. As one of SEAD’s founders, Pieter worked on an extensive range of Biomodd and Seeker projects in the USA and Europe. He spearheads the development of tools and platforms to support the global SEAD community. Most of his artistic and scientific activities are data-driven and deal with exploring digital lifeforms. Pieter is a lector at Art and Technology, at the Erasmus Hogeschool in Brussels and is currently living in Manila as Content Expert for UPOU.

Ria Mae Borromeo, PhD

UP Open University (PH)

Ria is an assistant professor at the University of the Philippines Open University (UPOU) where she teaches Computer Science and Information Systems courses. She earned a PhD Degree in Engineering from Keio University in 2017 under the Japanese Government Scholar and a Masters degree in Engineering from the same university in 2011 under the Asian Development Bank-Japan Scholarship Program. She also worked as a software engineer in NEC Telecom Software Philippines right after obtaining a Bachelor's degree from the University of the Philippines Los Baños. Her research interests include educational technologies, data engineering, and crowdsourcing.

Rita Ramos

UP Open University (PH)

Rita Ramos is an Assistant Professor of the Faculty of Management and Development Studies in the UP Open University. She finished her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from San Juan De Dios College. She obtained her Master of Arts in Nursing from the University of the Philippines Manila. Her research interests include Item Response Theory; Classical Test Theory; tool validation; motivation in distance education; achievement goals in education; self-regulation; clinical learning environment; dignified dying; and aggression. She is taking her PhD in Educational Psychology, major in Quantitative Methods in De La Salle University Manila, currently on dissertation writing.

Roberto Figueroa, MSc

UP Open University (PH) International Christian University (JP) SEAD (Space Ecologies Art and Design) CogNovo Foundation

"Bob" is Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Information and Communication Studies at the UP Open University, and is currently a PhD student at the International Christian University(国際基督教大学), in Tokyo, Japan. Under the leadership and guidance of Professor Insung Jung, he works collaboratively on Educational Technology research projects with his colleagues at the EdTech Research Group (https://www.edtechgroup.org/) His main interest is in immersive technology, particularly in the effective integration of interactive 360-degree educational media. Some of his projects utilizing this technology can be found in this page. Unsurprisingly, he is also interested in the use of mixed, augmented, and virtual realities (MAVR) for teaching and learning. Thus he has become an active member and officer of the MAVR SIG of the Japan Association for Language Teaching.

Sue Denham, PhD

Wotelsat UK Ltd (UK)

Sue is the director of Wotelsat UK Lld Company (UK), which focuses primarily on satellite telecommunications activities and engineering-related scientific and technical consulting activities. Prior to her position at Wotelsat, Sue was Professor of Cognitive and Computational Neuroscience at the University of Plymouth (UK) where she worked for 24 years. She was the director of CogNovo, an innovative doctoral programme funded by the EU Marie-Skłodowska Curie initiative and the University of Plymouth, to foster research training in the emerging field of Cognitive Innovation. Between 2014 and 2017, CogNovo offered transdisciplinary training that combined scientific studies of the neural correlates and mechanisms of creativity, with investigations into the role of creativity in human cognition, and their application in sustainable technological and social innovation.