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I'm Diego Sierra, a product builder

and behavior scientist.

I aim to close disparities in access to opportunities. I am a Senior Product Leader at Nubank. Previously I was a Research Scientist at Stanford University, and a product manager at both large and emerging tech companies.

In my work, research and practice, I design technologies to help people learn better or access better opportunities through technology, mostly leveraging human-centered design and cognitive science. My research has been funded by Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA), Stanford Center on Longevity and the MIT Jameel Abdul Latiff World Education Lab.


My work and collaborations have been featured on:

 new york times
nature aging
the verge 1.png

Projects I am currently working on


Breaking Barriers to Access Credit in Colombia

In Latin America, access to financial opportunities is hindered by traditional barriers to access credit. As a product manager at Nubank, I am currently working with a tremendous team to build the most human-centered and innovative financial services in Colombia.

Learn more in this blog-post:

Nu Colombia: Listening Users to Build financial products


Building a New Map of Life to Redesign Longevity 

The 20th century gave us 30 extra years of life - the highest sudden increase in life expectancy in the history of humanity.
We are envisioning a New Map of Life, to define new models for education, work, health care, housing, the environment and financial security.

Featured in
The Washington Post

Learn more visiting the
Stanford Center on longevity
Stanford Lifespan Development Lab

Building virtual games to develop emotional skills

Socioemotional skills are a high predictor of success in life, including well-being, quality jobs and income opportunities. However, Latin America is the current region with the highest gap of socioemotional and collaborative skills between household income levels. 

We are designing scalable and affordable collaborative games to foster socioemotional skills development through inquiry.

Learn More:

Stanford Adaptive Learning and Behavior Lab
Currently funded by the MIT Jameel Abdul Latiff World Education Lab

Some Previous Projects:






Self-regulation learning app

Millions of students struggle with digital distractions around the globe. Inspireo is a mobile companion designed to empower students to self-regulate their attention in an increasingly distracting digital world.  The pilot results on users after using our tool show significant and large effects of improvement in self-efficacy on self-regulated learning.


This project was awarded the Technology for Equity In Learning Opportunities (TELOS) Grant from Stanford University.

Learn more visiting the project's website. 


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How My Stuffed Animals Learn Stuff 

Children's book to learn about learning

We wrote and illustrated the first book to help parents and children to learn about learning theories. The book summarizes and explains some of the main social psychology and cognitive development theories about the different ways learning happens. 

Available on Amazon!



Closing the Digital Divide in LatAm


Connecting rural schools to learning opportunities through novel technology

It is estimated only 20% of public schools in Colombia have access to internet services. Between Microsoft and the government, we designed a digital inclusion program that provided access and training for more than 3 million students. Novel prototypes of affordable connectivity were developed to reach remote areas. Using the TV spectrum, we broke the paradigm of affordable internet at scale for rural schools.

Learn more by reading this article from The Verge


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Local Hive

AI-driven community development

Local Hive is a community-building app for neighborhoods that connects people in need to those who can help. Local Hive was a research prototype developed at the Stanford Center for Human-Centered AI. 

Learn more in the project's website


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HPC Cloud DataCenter for Research

A center for computation-intensive research, at scale

Universities face the increasing challenge of providing flexible and scalable computing power to researchers. High-performance computing tasks are especially challenging since they require high levels of investment and many hours of idle time. 

With Universidad de Los Andes, we designed the first Cloud Research Datacenter in the region, providing access to flexible computing on-demand, from virtual machines to HPC clusters.

Visit the case study here. 



VR training for caregivers of Alzheimer Patients


User research to scale a VR training module to global audiences

By 2050, 30% of the population 64 and older in Latinamerica is expected to develop some type of dementia. Embodied Labs is transforming care by providing caregivers training where learners embody an older adult. As a summer intern, I conducted User Research to localize their Alzheimer's module to Hispanic and Spanish-speaking users.

Embodied Labs rocks! Check them out here.


Awards and Grants

New Map of Life Fellowship

Stanford University


Workforce Learning Innovation Grant 

MIT Jameel Abdul Latiff World Education Lab 


Fulbright Scholarship

U.S. Department of State


Technology for Equity in Learning Opportunities (TELOS) Grant 

Stanford University

July 2019 - Sept 2019

Isaac and Madeline Stein Fellowship

Stanford University


Colfuturo Research Grant





diego.sierra.huertas [at] gmail [dot] com

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