The Heroine’s Journey of Luisa Marotta

What is the best thing that I love about my work? I love creating meaningful connections, through people or through numbers and data. I love working in the innovation field because I like the idea that I’m contributing to build a simpler future for everyone, by leveraging on knowledge and information.

What is my idea of perfect happiness? Happiness for me consists in having a drink with the people I love in a place with tons of sparkling light bulbs.

What is my greatest fear? Having too many regrets, especially being unable to express my feelings.

What is the trait that I most deplore in myself? I’m a control freak, sometimes I wish I could simply take a chill pill.

Which living persons in my profession do I most admire? I have a crush (professionally speaking) for Assia Grazioli Venier, I met her at a Ted event and I found her personal journey as interesting as her professional path. I admire her because she has been able to employ her skills and intuitions in the innovation field across several industries.

What is my greatest extravagance? I’m obsessed with unicorns and pink stuff.

On what occasion would I lie? I don’t lie I rather prefer omitting details.

What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work? It’s very challenging for me to face resistance to change among people within organizations.

When and where was I the happiest, in my work? Finding hidden meanings in data makes me very happy. Data science is great for curious minds that are willing to be astonished! I love when I’m working on a dataset and I find correlations that I could have never imagined without statistical methodologies.

If I could, what would I change about myself? I would like to learn how to shake things off.

What is my greatest achievement in work? I’m pretty sure my greatest achievements still have to come.

Where would I most like to live? I’d like to live for a certain period of time in Silicon Valley.

What is my most treasured possession? My treasured possessions are my photo books, my personal diaries (I have been writing diaries since I was six years old) and a Times Square printing I bought in NY when I was 16.

What is my most marked characteristic? I set very high standards in every aspect of my life, in everything I do. This means that I’m very pragmatic, passionate and goal oriented, but at the same time this implies that I’m very hard on myself most of the time.

What is my most inspirational location, in my city? My favorite place here in Rome is the “Music Bridge”, il Ponte della Musica, it’s a nice and modern bridge near my house. I often go there when I run and sometimes I just go there to meditate and clear my mind.

What is my favorite place to eat and drink, in my city? This period I’m totally obsessed with a rooftop called Les Etoiles, in fact I celebrated there my last birthday. The view of the eternal city from there is just breath-taking! (The selfie you see here in my interview was taken there).

What books influenced my life and how? I’d mention “Jane Eyre” and “White Nights. I loved the Jane Eyre character because she evolves a lot in the course of the book, she becomes brave and she ultimately fights for herself and for what she loves. I loved the “White Nights” because while I was reading it I learned a lot about waiting for happiness and about hope and resilience.

Who are my favorite writers? No doubts, Dostoevskij. While my favorite poet is Gabriele D’Annunzio.

You Only Die Once. What music would I listen on my last day? Drunk In Love, The Weeknd’s version.

Who is my hero or heroine in fiction? I rather prefer real heroines and heroes and there are sooo many!

Who are my heroes and heroines in real life? For sure my parents are my heroes. My dad had a stroke last year and now he is paralyzed, he totally depends on my mum for everything, nevertheless they still find strength and time to cheer me up when I’m low.

Which movie would I recommend to see once in a lifetime? I love romantic movies so badly! I would say now “The English Patient”, I saw it last year at the Rome Film Festival and it gave me shivers!!!

What role plays art in my life and work? Even if I work with numbers, art and creativity are very relevant for me. I think that beauty in presenting reports and dashboards is essential to keep people’s attention, that’s why I take care of “artistic” details in everything I do.

Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime? My sister, she thinks I’m an inspiring person besides my bu****it.

Whom would I like to work with in 2017? I do not have myths, I just hope I’ll keep working with people that inspire me and that can teach me something. I’m constantly looking for mentors.

Which people in my profession would I love to meet in 2017? I’d love to interview Bibop Gresta! He was a speaker at the Startup Grind Europe 2017 conference and I’d like to bring him at Startup Grind Rome to meet the Roman startup ecosystem, I think that the hyperloop technology is a fascinating topic especially in a city like Rome that has a lot of mobility issues.

What project, in 2017, am I looking forward to work on? I’m writing a book..I’m really looking forward to finish it and publish it! Moreover I’d like to start teaching and coaching… we’ll see what the future holds.

Where can you see me or my work in 2017? I’m very active on social media, I like to tell people what I do to get feedbacks and suggestions… so don’t forget to follow me, especially on Facebook and LinkedIn. To discover more about what I do in the Roman startup ecosystem instead, you can follow Startup Grind Roma either on Facebook, or Twitter, or on Instagram.

What do the words “Passion Never Retires” mean to me? I like the quotes “Choose a job that you love and you’ll never work”. I like the idea that when you do what you love, when you do something you are passionate about you don’t need a vacation from your everyday life. I think there are so many experiences to do in this world, so many interesting people to meet, so many stories to discover..one life is simply not enough.

Which creative heroines should Peter invite to tell their story? That’s probably the most difficult question..I know so many inspiring heroines and heroes. Picking just some of them I’d like Peter to interview my mum, Mirella Leonetti, who is an incredible teacher whose focus is on connecting kids with art (and in a city like Rome this job is particularly relevant). Then Peter should contact also Giulia Decina, the president of an amazing club, the Girls Geek Dinner Lazio; my bosses Ilaria Giordano and Sonia Costantino, two “badass” women who built an incredible career in a big Italian multiutility company (and trust me this is a big deal in my country); and last but not least my friends Jessica Brancaccio and Federica Valente who are the kind of people I love to have around, we are all struggling together to find our place in this world and I’m honored to be able to grow up with them.

How can you contact me

I’d love to meet you all both online and offline!

You can contact me in the following ways:

e-mail: luisa@startupgrind.com

LinkedIn & Facebook: Luisa Marotta

Twitter & Instagram: @LAdamantina

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