Paula Rubiralta, winner of the public prize at SpinUOC
06 July 2015
By Marian Anton
When did you first hear of SpinUOC?
I didn't know about the initiative until this year, when the information reached me through the UOC Campus channels. At the time I thought it was a very interesting platform for publicizing projects and raising their profile, as well as being a really attractive event because of its format.
And when did you decide you wanted to take part?
As soon as I knew of its existence, it occurred to me that it could be a good opportunity to present the project I was working on with my work colleagues (lawyers). After reading the rules and realizing that it was perfectly suited, I decided to submit.
Tell us about the project you've submitted.
The e-testament is a project that is still in development that aims to organize a legal and valid process for managing our wills with regard to everything we have on the Internet. We aren't aware that we increasingly have more “digital property”, without a physical support, such as the photographs we keep in the cloud or the money we might have in a PayPal account. We also own a “digital identity”, which is the personality that we create on the Web with everything that we or others upload, such as photographs and videos, written publications, etc.
At present, there is no legal mechanism to help us manage what should happen to all these elements after the death of the user, other than including these wishes in an ordinary will, with everything that this entails (not streamlined, high cost, etc.). The e-testament is a technological solution to the problem that includes a solid legal basis. It aims to involve notaries public and the public administration, as without these, it would not be possible to roll out the service.
When were you told that you had been selected?
I was told by email in February. To be honest, I really wasn't expecting it. I submitted without any great expectations. The news got me very excited and enthusiastic, although the thought of what I was getting into also scared me a bit. I had to work hard on the presentation, learn the dynamic of the Pecha Kucha format and, the hardest of all, go up on stage and speak in public.
And then the great day came. What was it like?
The day of the presentation was unbeatable. My presentation, like all the others, was prepared down to the last detail, very much studied and rehearsed, but I was terrified my nerve would give out in front of so many people and my mind would go blank. But that wasn't how it went! I was able to “take the stage” as though I'd done it all my life, presenting the project as I'd rehearsed it and completely naturally. The atmosphere created with the other speakers, the trainers, the presenter (“scar Dalmau), the public and the venue made things much easier. It was a really good experience, without a doubt, and they even awarded me the public prize!
What will the next steps with your project be now?
The e-testament isn't yet possible today because a few changes in the public administration are needed to be able to make it a reality. While that's the case, we'll carry on working on looking at solutions, doing pilot trials with the software and the agents, etc.
Would you encourage UOC students to submit to the next SpinUOC?
Yes. It's a great opportunity to raise the profile of projects and find partners or investors. But I'd also stress that it's a unique experience for acquiring new skills, such as writing a very structured script for explaining projects or ideas or getting up and speaking in a large auditorium. It's also a physical space that lets you realize that you really are part of the “UOC community”, which is very necessary and motivating at times for “virtual” students, so used to studying alone in front of a screen. I would also like to highlight the great work of the team of trainers, especially Bea Barco, who's been with us throughout the whole preparation process and has taught us a huge amount. It has been a great help counting on them, both for the training they give and for the motivation they convey.