Fabien Girardin

Biography References

Fabien Girardin (PhD) is a scientist, engineer and executive active in the development of humane technologies. He is the co-founder of the Near Future Laboratory, a micro-multinational innovation and foresight agency based in California and Europe. With a broad spectrum of interdisciplinary skills, he guides organizations in transforming digital technologies into innovative cultures, visions and solutions.

Throughout his career, Fabien has collaborated in dream teams that bring Data Science to the avant-garde of their domains. Most notably, he was the co-CEO at BBVA Data & Analytics a center of excellence in advanced analytics that derived knowledge from financial data to transform the banking industry[1][2][3]. At Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he pioneered in techniques that analyze digital traces of human activity for urban innovation[4][5][6] and applied them in the industry with a travel detection system produced for the Boeing Company[7]. Subsequently, he co-created Quadrigram, a visual programming environment that democratizes data manipulation and visualization as part of a practice he coined as Sketching with Data[8].

In addition, Fabien has been an active actor in the establishment of Design Fiction, an approach to anticipate and speculate on the near future use of digital technologies. For instance, his exhibited works[9][10] as well as apps like Memento and Humans offer tangible observations and visions to discuss the evolution of people relations with algorithms.

Fabien holds a Ph.D. degree in Computer Science and Digital Communications[11] from Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF) in Barcelona, Spain. Along his academic journey, he was also affiliated with the Senseable City Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Prior to his graduate studies, he joined the Swiss Federal Institute of Technologies in Lausanne (EPFL) to manage and investigate the use of technologies for collaborative learning. Earlier in 1997, he developed a web directory popular in Switzerland that he later sold to a local Internet Service Provider[12] to finance his studies in Computer Science at the Biel School of Engineering and expand his horizons working as a Software Engineer in Silicon Valley.

Besides occasional lectures in universities, design schools and business schools, Fabien speaks in international conferences such as O'Reilly Strata, TEDx, Picnic, Lift, Barcelona Design Week, and Smart City World Congress.


Selected publications

[1] Alfaro, E., Murillo, J., Girardin, F., Wixom, B., Someh, I. (2018). BBVA Fuels Digital Transformation Progress with a Data Science Center of Excellence. MIT CISR Publications.

[2] Girardin, F., Fleurquin, P. (2018). Designing for Trust with Machine Learing. AAAI 2018 Spring Symposia.

[3] Girardin, F., Lathia, N. (2017). When User Experience Designers Partner with Data Scientists. AAAI 2017 Spring Symposia.

[4] Girardin, F., Calabrese, F., Dal Fiore, F., Ratti, C., and Blat, J. (2008). Digital footprinting: Uncovering tourists with user-generated content. IEEE Pervasive Computing, 7(4):36-43.

[5] Girardin, F., Vaccari, A., Gerber, A., Biderman, A., and Ratti, C. (2009). Quantifying urban attractiveness from the distribution and density of digital footprints. International Journal of Spatial Data Infrastructure Research, 4:175-200.

[6] Girardin, F. (2013). Insights from network data analysis that yield field observations. Ethnography matters.

[7] Girardin, F., Nova, N., and Dillenbourg, P. (2009). Detecting air travel to survey passengers on a worldwide scale. Journal of Location-Based Services, 3(3):210-226.

[8] Girardin, F. (2015). Sketching with Data, in New Challenges for Data Design. p6 189-205 Bihanic, David (Ed.), Springer

[11] Girardin, F. (2009). Aspects of implicit and explicit human interactions with ubiquitous geographic information. PhD thesis, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.

Recent posts

The Mindset for Innovation with Data Science: Principles to nurture a healthy and innovative Data Science function. May 11, 2018

The Design of Future Visions for Large Organizations: Clarify the present with Design Fiction: A tool to discuss the priorities for today which can make a preferable future attainable. March 28, 2018

After the Big Now: Imagine another version of the Internet respectful of people’s attention and time. January 25, 2017

Experience Design in the Machine Learning Era: Notes for designers and data scientists who create together systems that learn from human behaviors. December 9, 2016

The Life and Death of Data Products: The approximate transcript of a talk on products characterized by an experience that evolves according to user behaviors and constantly updating algorithms fed by streams of data. July 12, 2016

Social Media at Human Pace: The reasons why I developed Humans, an app that offers a way to rationally manage too many social media contacts and slows down the consumption of status updates, tweets, selfies, and photos of all kinds. January 11, 2016

The Global Village and its Discomfort: Or why designers and data scientists should learn from the anxieties, obsessions, phobias, stress and other mental burdens of the connected humans. December 10, 2015

Our Approach of Design Fiction: Reflections on what Design Fiction is, how it’s best practiced, and in what ways it can evolve. October 15, 2015

Selected media coverage

Fabien Girardin : un service au rythme de l’humain ?, Commission nationale de l’informatique et des libertés, October 29, 2018.

Fabien Girardin, ancien co-CEO de BBVA Data & Analytics, Be My Guest, December 18, 2018.

Accusés de rendre leurs utilisateurs accros, les géants de la tech réagissent, Le Temps, September 25, 2018.

Comment nous rend-on accros à nos applis ?, Le Monde, June 22, 2018.

Temps volé par nos applis: ce que proposent les frondeurs anti-GAFA, Socialter, December 14, 2017.

Big data en otros sectores, entrevista a Fabien Girardin, Knowmadas, September, 2017.

Qui sera responsable des maladies de la connexion?, Le Monde, February 25, 2016.

Muchos números para el fútbol, El Periodico, July 27, 2015.

Un catálogo de Ikea de ciencia ficción muestra el futuro de la tecnología, El Confidencial, July 2, 2015.

Interview with Fabien Girardin. Co-founder of Near Future Laboratory, Smart City Business Institute , December, 2014.

El 'efecto Mona Lisa' guia cada paso de los turistas en el Louvre, El Periodico, February 6, 2012.

La nouvelle science des données, InternetActu, July 12, 2010.

Flickr Photos Yield Tourist Trails, Technology Review, June 15, 2010.

Quelle ville voulons-nous offrir ? Quelle ville espérons-nous recevoir ?, Le Monde, March 6, 2009.

Internet revela los movimientos de los turistas en las ciudades, El Periodico, March 31, 2008.

[12] Avec Yoodle.ch, deux entrepreneurs rêvent d'un Yahoo à la sauce edelweiss, Le Temps, March 11, 2000.

Exhibited work

[9] Winning Formula at the National Football Museum in Manchester, the CCCB in Barceloona, the Fundacion Telefonica in Madrid, Santiago de Chile, Buenos Aires, Mexico City, Lima and the DOX Centre for Contemporary Art in Prague (2014)

[10] World's Eyes at Design Museum of Barcelona and LABoral Centro de Arte y Creación Industrial (2009)

Fabien Girardin. 1995-2018 All Rights Reserved