ICT4D Professional Profile: Carla Briceno

As the population demographics of the United States are continuing to highlight the large and growing Hispanic community, it is necessary that their community is represented on the web and that they have access to  markets. Carla Briceno is a passionate leader in involving Latin Americans and the Hispanic population in the United States into the marketplace through communication web tools and data visualization. She is the Co-Founder of Bixal, a company founded to engage and serve the Hispanic markets. Her efforts to promote these communities is motivating and relevant to our current and future global community.

Before co-founding Bixal, she has worked in a variety of areas in the public and private sector. Briceno served as a Peace Corp Volunteer in rural Guatemala, worked as a researcher and consultant measuring impacts of projects, and has most recently been working on various web developing projects such as translation, development of web-based applications, and data visualization tools.With Bixal, she has been involved on a variety of projects, and she has a wide range of clients from the Panamanian Ministry of Commerce to non-profits. Although Briceno has worked mainly on connecting online communities for issues involving international trade, Bixal is now working toward developing mobile communications for women’s health.  She is collaborating with Peruvian colleagues to create a data cloud on Drupal, an open source content management platform, that can be accessed on smart phones. The cloud would provide information to help promoters on tracking cases and content to share with women who they are monitoring in a tablet format. She is also hoping to develop partnership with mobile companies to add an element of texting that can be accessed without a smart phone.

When asked what advice she would give to students, Briceno responded by saying that students planning to work in the international development realm need to have hands on technology skills and experiences, especially with web and mobile communications, along with foreign language skills. She advised that students get involved in the private sector to begin with and bring those skills to the public sector in later years. Briceno is active on social media through Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, and is a great person to talk to if you are pursuing a career path in her field. I found it very impressive that she is very involved in raising her two children bilingual, and even uses social media to connect others in the region with a similar interest in doing so.

I can say without hesitating that Carla Briceno’s work is making a difference. She is a positive thinker and uses her specialized skills in web developing and management to put forth her objectives in expanding the web presence of Hispanic communities and markets. Briceno is using ICTs for development while improving her own quality of life, a business model that will continue to ensure success.

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