Working with the most vulnerable populations, and being exposed to so many different lives and contexts, requires deep empathy and a good set of tools. Having practiced this profession for more than 12 years in 13 different countries, I have learned to develop sharp insights about people and work within innovation teams to design solutions to complex problems.
These work samples illustrate my diverse experience in this field, from research to design to implementation to delivery. For a more detailed portfolio, please contact me directly.
For the International Rescue Committee (IRC), I led the vision and creation of an emergency education program in close partnerships with expert organizations. First, our team analyzed best practices and scientific evidence for similar challenges, then selected potential ed-tech partners, and tested their software extensively. After an initial phase of strategic budgeting and forecasting, I worked closely with teams in Bangladesh to conduct in-depth ethnographic research and behavioral mapping to design the best model for localization, implementation, and scaling. We launched the program with a rigorous research pilot, always aiming for the highest impact for the lowest cost possible. PopUp was recognized as a world-changing idea by Fast Company and is now being scaled in Tanzania and Bangladesh.
With Mozilla Foundation, I led a multifaceted 16-months ethnographic study of the next billion web users and their behaviors online. I spent time in Kenya, Indonesia, India, Bangladesh, and Brazil to understand how different cultures and communities use the web, the critical structural and behavioral barriers they face, and the opportunities for designing innovative tools to promote active and empowering usage. The study was multidisciplinary and involved both ethnographic and UX research methods. The insights were featured in the press, were shared in conferences, and had a transformative effect on our organization and our products and services.
Our team’s goal was to develop an in-depth understanding of the decision-making strategies that diverse communities make as they move around urban spaces. How do people choose to ride their bike or another mode of transportation? How does racism impact people’s decisions when it comes to mobility? What strategies do people use to keep themselves and their loved ones safe? I designed a diary study with engaging activities to answer these questions. For several days, we followed the lives of students, delivery drivers, mothers, and fathers as they made daily decisions about their safety and mobility. The study generated rich innovation and marketing insights that informed the client’s future strategy.
With Mozilla and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, I designed and led a year-long study following the lives of 200 first-time smartphone users in Kenya. Our team conducted extensive ethnographic research, collected periodic quantitative data, and developed prototypes for products and services. The study was also a community-driven project modeled after the principles of Participatory Action Research. It followed a quasi-experimental design with a control group and a treatment group. Insights unveiled the complexity of the relationship between digital skills and digital financial services uptake and provided extensive knowledge about people’s technological needs when stepping into digital lives.
At the Airbel Impact Lab (International Rescue Committee), I designed and led an innovative edutaining program co-created with our partner Ubongo.org. We worked with hundreds of mothers and caregivers and their reference networks living in refugee camps in Tanzania to co-design a program and learning products to support their parenting. The idea was to leverage the power of edutaining content and to create engaging videos to illustrate and guide caregivers through early childhood education activities proven to support the healthy development of their babies. Our videos were designed with and produced by Ubongo and tested multiple times in various settings. Our rigorous pilot revealed positive outcome measures, and the project is currently being scaled across East Africa by Ubongo.
Hi, I'm Laura.
I'm a researcher & behavioral designer.
I am a multidisciplinary researcher at the crossroads of human-centered design and behavioral insights. For the past twelve years, I have led various social impact and technology projects across multiple fields, for example: on education and early childhood development in conflict settings, equitable mobility for diverse communities in urban spaces, digital financial services for people living below the poverty line, or open source tools to empower young adults to leverage the web. With Mozilla, the International Rescue Committee (IRC), The World Bank, Humans Who Play, OLPC, and many partners from the public and private sectors, I have worked across five continents, in 13 countries, with diverse audiences, including the most vulnerable. I have conducted numerous ethnographic and rigorous research projects worldwide. My work has been published in media outlets such as BBC News, Le Monde, the Washington Post, and Quartz. Most recently, my education project with Rohingya refugee children was recognized by Fast Company as a world-changing idea in education, inspiring better and more equitable learning. I hold a Master of Science, Behavioral Science, with distinction, from the London School of Economics and a Bachelor and a Master in International Business from the Paris School of Business.
Currently, I am supporting organizations with multidisciplinary design and research methods.
Some of my projects this year include: working with governments to design behaviorally informed public policies, delivering behavioral science training, inventing tools to help youth combat hate speech, developing and evaluating a transformative education program in Kenyan schools, researching how behavioral science can support the fight anthropogenic climate change.
World Bank, UNDP
Humans Who Play
Director of Research and Design
Airbel Impact Lab at the International Rescue Committee
Design Innovation Lead
Design Innovation Lead
One Laptop Per Child
Open source contributor
Master of Science
Behavioral Science with distinctions
London School of Economics (2022)
Master of International Business
Boston University (2013)
Bachelor of Business
Regent's College (2011)