The Innovation Expert

Rapid technological changes urge organizations – startups, small and medium businesses, and corporates – to be innovative to stay in business. However, companies often don’t have the right in-house expertise to create innovative products or services successfully. You can solve that lack of know-how by working with an experienced innovation expert. 

Liliana Carrillo is a top 5 nominee for the Belgian ICT Woman of the Year, organized by DataNews on February 4, 2021: She Goes ICT. Liliana is a computer science engineer, researcher, and entrepreneur with experience in the American and European markets. She has in-depth technical and business expertise and focuses on helping companies to innovate smarter. It is her passion to create new technologies and methodologies that help organizations grow sustainably. 

Liliana already helped many businesses with their innovation projects by, for example: translating business needs into financial and technical requirements and vice versa: being an intermediary between the business and the customer; and building the right team to ensure a successful innovation project.

European Digital Development Alliance 

Currently, Liliana is CEO of the European Digital Development Alliance (EDDA). EDDA represents more than fifty think-thanks, civil society organizations, and experts focusing on digital policies and digital transformation. The aim is stimulating European digital- and tech policies that reduce the worldwide digital divide. 

In February 2021, EDDA organizes the event: Next Generation Collective Intelligence. Besides, Liliana is the lead-writer of a Policy Paper for the European Commission and -Parliament on strategically addressing the African digital challenges. She does this in cooperation with the Director of the European Future Forum. 

Innovative Projects

Three examples of companies who have worked with Liliana are the Digital Leadership Institute, a Human Resource Tech startup, and Threefold. These organizations recognize that determining and finding the right expertise is crucial for successfully building sustainable, innovative products and services.

1. Digital Leadership Institute

The Digital Leadership Institute (DLI) is a Brussels-based, international non-government organization. It is a recognized world leader in promoting girls’ and women’s greater participation in strategic, innovative entrepreneurship and arts powered by science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) sectors. The four areas of activity are education and skills development, innovation and entrepreneurship support, advocacy and awareness building, research, and consultancy.

They reached out to Liliana for her business knowledge and hands-on experience with co-writing proposals for innovative European projects and her technical expertise to build blockchain applications: “I helped them co-writing a funding request for a new project. Besides, I also provided technical advice on how to build and deploy the blockchain application named E-womensays Liliana.”

“I add business value to organizations by helping them with their innovation projects on a technical, business, and human level.”

2. Human Resource Tech Start-up

A startup in the Human Resource (HR) sector came up with the innovative idea to build a platform that helps you find in no-time a job that fits best, whether you are a career starter or want to evolve or switch your career. The application requirements included an AI-algorithm and a conversational bot.

Although the startup founders had lots of HR experience, they acknowledged their lack of technical expertise to build a platform that helps people find a job that best fits them. Therefore, they asked Liliane to become their technical lead. Liliana: “To avoid supplier lock-in and high financial cost, I migrated their current platform to a new independent platform that gives them full flexibility. Additionally, I was asked to help find financial investors and grants programs, better market their brand, and contact the public employment service of Flanders to use their databases to build a pilot project.”

3. Threefold 

The mission of Threefold is to create a truly neutral, decentralized, green upgraded internet (ThreeFold Grid) and a truly decentralized, green, and inclusive digital currency (ThreeFold Token). In other words, create the biggest decentralized grid of self-managing internet capacity in the world being built collectively by an inclusive ecosystem and owned by everyone.

Threefold contacted Liliana because of her ability to combine business, technical, and social competencies. They requested her to create an innovative team that can develop a gold token for their digital platform — the right people with the right synergies. “First, I made sure I fully understood all aspects of the end-product: the gold token and its components. Secondly, I created a project work-breakdown of all required roles, e.g., legal consultants, finance consultants, security consultants, back-end, and front-end developers. Third, I listed per position all required technical and social skills. Fourth, I prepared a job description per role, including financial compensation, and discussed it with the customer. Fifth, I contacted recruiters in different countries to post our job vacancies online. Last but not least, I interviewed the candidates and created a list of people that best fit the team requirements.” 

Liliana’s motto is: make innovation simple for customers. “I add business value to organizations by helping them with their innovation projects on a technical, business, and human level. It is all about assisting customers to successfully achieve their goal to develop a new product or service by using my insights and experience effectively and efficiently throughout the whole innovation project.”

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