Blog > Job market insights > Luciana Carvalho Se: On a one-woman mission to demystify tech

Luciana Carvalho Se: On a one-woman mission to demystify tech

Read about how virtual reality will change the way we live and work.

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One of the most inspiring and innovative women in tech, Luciana Carvalho Se tells us about her passion for the industry and how Virtual Reality is set to change the way we live and work, as part of our women in STEM series.

Head of Business Development & Partnerships at Racefully, a start-up that enables runners to keep fit with friends and coaches from around the world, Luciana also founded her own company SE3 Solutions to work on Business Development and new emerging tech, including trendy virtual reality.

She explains, “VR seeks to transport you into a fully immersive audio, visual and sensory experience that could either be a replica of reality or a completely fantastic one.

Brazilian born, Luciana grew up in Portugal. After learning English and travelling the world as a teenager with Model United Nations & Global Young Leaders Conferences, she found herself doing brief stints at Harvard Extension School, in turn, making her way to Cambridge University to study Law.

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It’s about finding meaning and what fits; what makes sense to you

I still get asked, ‘why aren’t you doing Law?’ For me, it’s about finding meaning and what fits; what makes sense to you. Since the age of 10, I‘ve been making websites on MS Frontpage (“Jennifer Aniston’s Brazil Official Fan site” – for real!), inspired by my electronic engineer Dad. Tech is natural to me; it’s second nature.

After finishing my Masters in International Business in London and San Francisco, I interned at different start-ups and found myself challenged like never before. It’s the rush, the unpredictability of tech, the ability to keep learning, growing and bettering yourself on a daily basis that appeals. To me, there’s no other industry that gives that rush.

Yet, the downside, and what sometimes overwhelms me is the ‘having to wear many different hats’ and, let’s face it, the sleepless nights and lack of cash flow. I also find the buzzwords, the bravado and the inflated egos can be tiring.

That aside, I’ve never met such authentic, mind-bogglingly talented people doing such cool stuff before. We’re shaping the future in a uniquely collaborative environment like never before.


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Virtual reality is pushing the boundaries of what is possible

VR for business is rapidly developing, from Property Tech (real estate walkthroughs) to Architecture and Interior Design (given the ability to manipulate objects in real time), as well as employee training at oil rigs and other big industry scenarios.

Virtual reality is pushing the boundaries like never before. It offers improved efficacy (the ability to produce an intended result) especially in potentially dangerous conditions as well as the opportunity to do rapid prototyping and risk management testing. In the health sector, VR can be used for PTSD-treatment and mental health. The possibilities are limitless.

Using tech re-invents how we learn more effectively – education being the most powerful tool for unlocking a better and more peaceful future.

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VR can go a long way towards personal and professional development

Just as email and tools like Slack have revolutionized how we work by making communication more effortless and convenient, virtual reality has the ability to bring people together in a more ‘humane’ and authentic way. This is important as our world becomes more globalized (and some would say polarized).

Collaboration becomes easier and overcomes the hurdles of e-mail and text miscommunication, reducing friction and improving relationships. We can collaborate on visual prototypes in real time, testing ideas in a fun and collaborative way.

I recently heard an interesting application on the Voices of VR podcast into research on social presence and training social dynamics with virtual humans. This helps employees and employers face and overcome social communication hurdles, optimising the way they interact. The example given was nurses communicating more assertively with doctors.

Imagine how this could benefit women in typically male-dominated industries, where it’s often said assertiveness is lacking. If we could get instant feedback and improvement recommendations, that could go a long way towards personal and professional development.

It’s important we demystify tech and the stereotypes around it

When you consider the tech role models out there – aside from the Sheryl Sandbergs and Arianna Huffingtons– you’ll generally find male-only lists of innovators in the media and an educational system that is outdated or, at the very least, does not fit the current learning model.

The focus on that ‘traditional’ academic path is celebrated and encouraged from the bottom up. Until we shift that perspective, from the leaders, teachers, parents and influencers, girls will be discouraged, sometimes through sheer lack of knowledge or insight into what’s available to them, just as Anne-Marie Imafidon stated.

It’s important we demystify what tech is and the stereotypes around it. That’s why organisations such as Code First Girls, Girls in Tech, Acorn Aspirations, Blooming Founders, etc. are fundamental to that mind-set (and practical) shift.

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We need to address the perception girls and women have of themselves

These organisations not only highlight that girls can evolve to be in tech, but that you don’t necessarily need a tech background in order to succeed in the tech industry.

Whatever your age or background or experience, you can work in tech. Passion, dedication and willingness to learn are the only requirements! So we have to address the perception girls and women have of themselves.

I approach it not as a complaint, but as a welcoming challenge. Regardless of stereotypes, and because of stereotypes, it can feel quite amazing to say – yes, I built that. After all, girls write better rated code than boys, right?

The power of VR/AR is its location at the very intersect of art and science

The power of VR/AR is that it sits at the very intersect of art and science, blending in beautifully with the creative force of film and 360º video. My guess is that it attracts a wider talent pool than other tech disciplines and might explain why the gender balance feels more equal.

Far from existing only in the realm of gaming, the potential wider application and appeal of VR is vast, not just in tech but across other sectors too.

There is a huge driving force behind Women in VR, and we are on the cusp of a virtual and augmented reality revolution.

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I find role models in those with passion

Women in VR are an incredibly resourceful and supportive community of like-minded people (men are also welcomed!) who celebrate females in the immersive tech scene.

Just like other female networks and community-led groups, it’s where we go to stay up to date with the industry, share and brainstorm ideas, seek product/idea validation, inspired by the VRGirlsUK, led by Sammy Kingston, Amandine Flach and Sarah Jones, who are wonderfully talented and women I have deep admiration and respect for.

Dio Gonzalez is one of my role models, she really shares my passions. I am also inspired by podcasters and influencers who are my daily juice of motivation, like Tony Robbins and Tim Ferris. I find role models in everyone I meet and am inspired by those with passion, who have walked the walk, who open up to being vulnerable and exposed and from whom I can seek guidance

What lies ahead is truly very exciting

Now that Google’s Daydream is out there, Apple’s working on it behind the scene, Playstation is releasing its more attractively priced VR headset, Microsoft’s just released commercial application of the HoloLens and Magic Leap is working on the ‘future’ (whatever that may be) behind closed doors. I think what lies ahead is truly very exciting…

Are you part of the STEM workforce? Who inspired you to start your career? Tell us now in the comments section and follow Luciana on Twitter for the next big VR thing!

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1 Comment

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  1. Jason Saturday, 20 Aug, 2016 at 4:23 pm

    VR did wonders for the Lawnmower man

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