Our Expert Community is at the core of the Solar Impulse Foundation, assessing Solutions seeking the Efficient Solution Label and contributing to the global adoption of clean and profitable technologies. With representation from over 50 countries, our Experts have extensive backgrounds in science, engineering and consulting.
Every month, we share the story of one of our Experts who has impressed us with their performance and dedication to helping label sustainable and profitable Solutions. We are very pleased to announce that the Expert of December is… Cristina Marolda! Since joining our Community in August 2021, Cristina stood out to us for her insightful, opinionated, and high-quality assessments.
In this article, we hear about Cristina's experiences and expertise.
Can you tell us about yourself and describe your background in brief?
I graduated in Architecture in Rome. I started working at the European Commission in 1991 in the Directorate General for S&T Research, then I moved to DG Transport and Mobility. My background in Architecture and construction brought me to work on transport infrastructure. From there I started following programs and projects on transport safety and security. During the last period in DG Transport, I also enlarged my portfolio to Logistics. I am now retired and still live in Brussels.
What is your area of expertise and profession?
I am formally an architect, but I always worked in the field of transport, with a special focus on infrastructure, safety and logistics. I have always been very engaged in mainstreaming the role of women in the transport sector.
What is the most rewarding aspect of your work?
Working in the field of research and innovation has allowed me to be up to date with developments both in technology and society. Indeed, the transport sector has so many social impacts that having a ‘humanistic’ view of the problems is the most rewarding aspect of the work.
You worked for the European Commission for several years. Could you share a few details about your activity at the European Commission and how it’s linked to sustainability?
As already said, I mainly acted as a Policy Officer in the field of Transport and Mobility. The EU policy to reduce CO2 involves strongly both transport means (cars, trains, airplanes…) and transport systems to support a different kind of mobility that is more in line with environmental challenges.
Could you share with us some of the exciting projects or themes you have worked on?
I have been in charge of drafting the research programs of the European Commission for mobility and logistics. Both are very complex issues and it has been extremely challenging and rewarding to identify the research lines to follow to support effective innovation in both sectors.
What barriers need to be overcome to move towards green, smart and affordable mobility, and what new solutions are needed?
Technological solutions like the ones already developed are not enough to attain sustainable mobility. What is strongly needed is a change of the mindset of people and reach what we can now call “meaningful” mobility: avoid long exhausting commuting, unnecessary trips, and support a different kind of tourism that will promote “slow mobility”.
You joined Expert’s Community in August 2021, from the Solutions you evaluated, which stood out as the most impactful, and why?
It is difficult to point out a single Solution. Having worked in the field of innovation for years I experienced many projects of high value, but I can still declare that no single development can be the solution to the world challenges of today. Only the implementation of many, even little, changes can help us meet the goal of a more sustainable world.
What are your hopes for the Labeled Solutions, and the Solar Impulse Foundation more widely?
The goal of the Solar Impulse Label is to reach out to as many stakeholders as possible, who can either implement the solution or spread the knowledge around clean tech. It would be useful to have information on the work done by the Foundation disseminated more largely, also to the general public. Unfortunately, I noticed that a lot of people in my environment are not aware of this initiative. I do not have recipes for that, but surely campaigns in schools, for example, could be a good initiative. There are Solutions that can easily be understood also by children and could foster their creativity for more environmentally friendly behaviors.