Monique Morrow – President of the Humanized Internet and of the VETRI Foundation

By on , in Europe, Interviews

My journey has been a very enriching one specific to technology and it continues today in the form of social entrepreneurship, ethics and governance specific to technology.

Monique Morrow is President and Co-Founder of the Humanized Internet, a non-profit organization focused on addressing the need to control our identities as well as providing digital identity for those individuals most underserved.

The belief in the social good of technology with embedded ethics has guided Monique’s extensive work with blockchain, especially its applicability to education and credentialing as well as other industries including healthcare, insurance, and Internet of things.

Monique is also President of the VETRI Foundation in Switzerland. The main purpose of the Foundation is to manage a platform presently known as VETRI and the funding, establishment and execution of initiatives that are focused on the management and control of data and privacy. The Foundation abides by the key tenets of “Trust and Transparency”. The vision is to enable individuals to self-determine over their data. This alignment translates to assessing possible investments and activities towards secure self-sovereignty and secure e-vault mechanisms for the management and storage of data.

In a Nutshell: Tell us a bit about your job and what role technology plays in it?

I am President of the VETRI Foundation. VETRI is a blockchain-enabled personal data marketplace, taking the concept of personal data self-sovereignty to the next level: thus allowing individuals and businesses to mutually benefit from a direct relationship via ethical and secure data sharing.  The solution is basically simple tool for individuals to aggregate, encrypt, and store their data on their mobile device. They decide who gets access to this information and for what price. So yes, technology is an enabler for VETRI.

Where did your professional journey start and how did you get to where you are now?

My professional journey started in the heart of Silicon Valley California at the time distributed networking coupled with the Internet was just taking off. My journey has been a very enriching one specific to technology and it continues today in the form of social entrepreneurship, ethics and governance specific to technology.  The common thread for me has been always been, to be curious asking questions as to what is imaginable. I do see the intersectionality between technology and social science, humanities becoming more common place today.  For example, someone studying law may wish to take a few courses in computer science as to understand algorithmic decision -making bias in profiling and judicial outcomes.  I also believe that cybersecurity and privacy are very critical in a world where we pulsate data and where the potential for harm is great.

What is the greatest transformation in technology you’ve witnessed in your career?

The greatest transformation that I have witnessed is how the Internet has been integral  to our daily communications, whether in the form of a mobile phone or social media . It has been an amazing transformation for me to both witness and to be part of.

When you think about ‘women’ and ‘technology’ what comes to your mind first?

I do not distinguish between women and technology but will assert that persistence is core to solving hard problems.  When my career began, I was often the only woman in the room, but that fact did not deter me from wanting to learn more. I believe in the power of the AND no matter what your gender is in this technical world as we possess a common interest to create in this space.

We always hear there are not enough women working in Tech. What needs to happen to change that, which steps should be done to achieve gender equality in tech?

I always look at an organization whether or not it truly reflects the society we share. If not, that is already a red flag for me.

I caution in presenting women as victims rather than assessing organizationally what can be done better. When women give up tech career, there is data that suggests that they do so for good.   I always look at an organization whether or not it truly reflects the society we share.  If not, that is already a red flag for me.  Media whether in film, documentaries, your own platform can certainly play a role in shining a light for women and girls in tech.   In conferences for example there should be sessions that are demonstrably balanced in representation – else no session.

 If the comment is : “we cannot find women in tech to join our company,”  my counter response is that “you are not looking hard enough.”

 It truly is an exciting time for us !

How different would our world be if more women worked in STEM?

I do not want to under-estimate the fact that we have challenges here as confirmed by the World Economic Forum [WEF] in this space:

“Women who choose to rise to the challenge and pursue a STEM career later face the prospect of unequal pay and restricted career progression. Additionally, gender disparities adversely affect economic growth and social progress, studies show.”

I do believe that having more women in STEM would stimulate awesome inventions that will benefit society.  How cool is that !

Which was the best decision in your career?

GO IN TECH OF COURSE!

What advice would you give to women who want a tech career?

There is one thing I know for sure: it is a great time to be in tech.  We need you!

Monique Morrow is President and Co-Founder of the Humanized Internet, a non-profit organization focused on addressing the need to control our identities as well as providing digital identity for those individuals most underserved.

The belief in the social good of technology with embedded ethics has guided Monique’s extensive work with blockchain, especially its applicability to education and credentialing as well as other industries including healthcare, insurance, and Internet of things.

Monique is also President of the VETRI Foundation in Switzerland. The main purpose of the Foundation is to manage a platform presently known as VETRI and the funding, establishment and execution of initiatives that are focused on the management and control of data and privacy. The Foundation abides by the key tenets of “Trust and Transparency”. The vision is to enable individuals to self-determine over their data. This alignment translates to assessing possible investments and activities towards secure self-sovereignty and secure e-vault mechanisms for the management and storage of data.

See more interviews of our amazing Gals.

0

You must be logged in to post a comment.