Joana Lacerda is a Portuguese female entrepreneur, activist and awarded impact enthusiast. Founded her first social startup with 25 years old with the aim to generate disruptive solutions for the refugees crisis which led, 2 years later, to a joint venture with the University of Leipzig with the purpose of amplifying its social impact at European level, engaging not only academia but several of the top companies in the world. From her experience as an activist for Human Rights, Joana has been generating impact and public debate, mainly in women empowerment related issues. Besides advocating for equality at several levels at the European scale, Joana has been invited to speak at the United Nations Headquarters NYC as an adviser through the recognition of her close work with UNHCR. Joana also counts with great experience in mentoring and coaching female innovators and supporting young girls through several empowerment initiatives - from being invited member of the Portuguese Women in Tech mentorship program to one of the 9 ambassadors of the “Ser Mulher em Português” - a strategy for gender equality and equity on Portuguese speaking countries. Joana is also an invited high-level expert advisor for the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) and the European DIGITAL SME Alliance bringing to the round-tables a disruptive and inclusive mindset towards the future of AI and related technologies in Europe. Joana has a knack for connecting business and people, enabling companies and organizations to innovate, thrive and find new opportunities for inclusive growth. Since 2019, Joana is leading the business strategy and development department at ThePowerHouse GmbH with the goal to re-shape and re-invent the creative and industrial European ecosystems toward a more innovative and inclusive approach. In 2017, Forbes recognized Joana as one of the brightest entrepreneurs, innovators and game-changers under the age of 30 who are transforming business as usual and changing the world in the Law and Policy category.
Areas of Interest