Management team

Jara Pascual, Founder & CEO: Host of the podcast: Business of Collaboration.
Book author "Innovation & Collaboration in the Digital Era" publisher 
@DeGruyter (coming on Fall2020). She has worked for 15 years in Innovation 
Management doing transformational innovation culture and projects within the
fashion industry. As a true entrepreneur she founded the site to help expats in Germany, and she is author of the 
children book "Rafael and Virginia are moving to Germany", and innovation 
articles for online magazines.

Catherine Sorbara, PhD. Director Marketing & Operations: In March 2018, I 
returned from a 3-week all-women expedition to Antarctica as part of 
Homeward Bound Projects, a groundbreaking leadership, strategic and science 
initiative for women. I am now energised and inspired to be a more effective
 leader and elevate our voices to meaningfully shape the road to a more 
peaceful and sustainable future.

For the past four years I worked as Chief Operations Officer of Cheeky 
Scientist, a global platform devoted to helping PhDs remember their value 
and find meaningful careers in industry. I lead a global team of amazing 
individuals who look after our members, now over 7000 PhDs strong. My 
expertise ranges from program and product development to strategic 
marketing and operations. My role honed my agility, innovative thinking and 
conflict management skills.

As Chair of the Cambridge Women in Science and Engineering group, I 
developed, organised and facilitated local networking events to promote 
and support women in STEM.

Technical team

Virginia Vila, Director UX: Virginia Vila is based in Zaragoza. User 
Experience Designer. Focused on exploring how to bridge the gap between 
people and technology with the help of UX and Service Design.

Victoria Quirante, Software developer: Victoria Quirante is based in Munich.
Senior web developer and project manager. More than 8 years of experience in
PHP with Symfony and Javascript (frontend and backend). Main technical areas of expertise: 
Symfony (PHP) and React.js. We run projects with more than 800k pageviews/


Claudia Vila, Podcast & Video editor: Claudia Vila is based in Barcelona. 
Currently she is studying Audiovisual Communication degree at University 
Pompeu Fabra and participated in an Erasmus exchange to Germany, where she 
studied at TH Köln. Claudia Vila likes everything related to edition and 
photography and her passion is the world of Media. She is currently working 
on a Newsletter of her home country as an interviewer and photographer.

Jeltje Oosterwoud, Communication Specialist: Jeltje Oosterwoud is a social 
and open-minded communication student. Who's interested in communication-
related cases, preferably in the orient. I will be supporting the company 
with the social media and website activities.

BLANCA VERGARA, Author: Blanca  Vergara is a woman on a mission: to 
accelerate the emergence of the Heart Centered Economy. Through her books 
and lectures she dares intelligent women to fully express themselves, 
embrace risk,  and lead by example. Among her books are “Women Work Wonders”
 and “One Couple Two Careers”.  She has degrees in IT and Coaching, as well 
as an MBA. Her 25-plus years of international business experience stems from 
working at large firms like Price Waterhouse and the European Space Agency. She 
is fluent in English, Spanish and Dutch.
All articles by Blanca published in, here.

EDMEE SCHALKX, Author: Edmée is a leadership coach and certified Mentor coach
with a track record in coaching business leaders, professional coaches and 
blended learning programmes. She is a keynote speaker and writer on subjects 
related to cultural awareness, the development of the culture competency and 
the impact of culture in organisations and individuals.
All articles by Edmée published in, here.

Advisory board

CRYSTAL JIANG, Ph. D. Advisory Board Member: Crystal Jiang, Ph.D.  26 years
of business and university experience. Associate Professor of Management, 
Bryant University. Executive Board Member of the Academy of International 
Business Northeast Chapter, Associate Editor of the New England Journal of 
Entrepreneurship, and Caucus Committee Chair for the Academy of Management 
Annual Conference in 2018. Crystal is Lego® Series Play® (LSP) facilitator 
with certificate in facilitating and designing LSP workshops for business, 
organizational, team and personal development. Crystal’s research has published
 in premier journals such as the Journal of Management, Journal of International 
Business Studies, Journal of World Business, among others. She is a frequent 
speaker at the Academy of Management and the Academy of International Business 
Annual Conference. Dr. Jiang’s research has won Best Paper Award at the Academy 
of Management and the Academy of International Business annual conference. Her 
innovation research won finalist for Innovation Management Best Paper Award 
in 2014. She has been interviewed by Wall Street Journal, Associated Press, 
National Public Radio on the evolution of Chinese companies and the Automobile 

Irene Lopez de Vallejo, PhD. Advisory Board Member: She is an expert in 
blockchain, AI, technology, innovation and collaborations. She is working 
at Ocean Protocol and is a former founder of GivingStreets. She is an 
Industrial sociologist with exceptional experience in social, spatial and 
technology research in organisations. Skilled in developing new 
methodological tools to study social interaction in complex buildings, 
including the use of GIS techniques and software. PhD in Architecture by 
Research – VIVA scheduled by December 2009 – at The Bartlett, School of 
Graduate Studies, University College London, in the use of location tracking
technologies to study informal interaction in organisations. She is strong 
project management abilities, experience working in international 
multidiscipline research groups. Combined expertise and interest in human 
behaviour, pervasive computing and workplace design. Currently, she is 
living in London.

Do you want to join us?

Send an email to with the topic [JOIN KNOWCO by collabwith]. Attach your resume and an idea on how to improve cooperation between businesses and academia.