Katrie is a Chartered Civil Engineer and entrepreneur, passionate about the creation of sustainable, integrated cities and tackling the world’s five big urban challenges: density, affordability, liveability, sustainability and technology.
Briefly, what does your day-to-day work look like?
I lead a startup that is using a new type of digital technology called Self Sovereign Identity to address accessibility challenges faced by people when applying for rental housing. My main responsibility is to coordinate the development of our product and support it getting to market. My day-to-day work involves regular meetings with the different teams within our company — engineering, user research, business strategy, marketing — as well as connecting with potential customers and investors to ensure what we are all working towards is aligned.
What led you to this career/job?
I started my career as an engineering consultant working on water and urban development projects. This is what first inspired my passion for cities and led me to later launch Urban CurioCity – a global travel and research project investigating the world's major urban challenges. My research led me to Berlin, a city with the dual fame of being Europe's startup hub and having the fastest growing housing prices in the world, and this is what inspired me to eventually co-found Domi Labs.
What training do you have for this job?
My training for my current job is the result of many years of different professional and personal life experiences. I graduated from a combined Bachelor of Civil Engineering and a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies. This mixed education has heavily influenced my unique approach to how I deliver my job, as a significant part of what I do is 'joining dots' - promoting innovation by connecting ideas and opportunities from different disciplines together. As a CEO, I also draw heavily upon my experience leading teams, managing projects and engaging with stakeholders from my work as an engineering consultant.
If you could change one thing about your industry/job what would it be?
I am someone that sits across two industries – the urban development industry and digital technology industry. This is quite rare, and the one thing I would change in both industries is to encourage this to be more common. Solving the world's major challenges will require cross-pollination of ideas between industries and this can only happen by nurturing curiosity and welcoming professionals from non-traditional backgrounds into the creative process.
What are the key skills, both technical and non-technical, you need to succeed in your job/industry?
The key skill needed to succeed in my job is the ability to comprehend the real-world implications of complex technical concepts, and vice versa. This requires not only the ability to grasp technical concepts, but also a strategic mindset and the ability to communicate to range of different stakeholders.
If you had one piece of advice for young people getting into your industry, what would it be?
Take your time to understand the world around you. Travel, explore and be curious. Connect with people from different backgrounds, engage with their personal experiences and form your own experiences. The most impactful innovations are those created with a deep understanding of the problem being solved.