Member Interview: Uncorked Studios

“BBPDX helps place neighborhood issues in context, and creates channels for participation, access to elected officials, and forums for diverse conversations.”

This month, we collaborated with Marcelino Alvarez, the Founder and Chief Executive Officer at Uncorked Studios on this op-ed for the Portland Business Tribune. So while we were meeting, we asked him about his engagement with BBPDX.

Uncorked Studios is a strategic product design studio connecting people, technology, and context to drive meaningful change. We help our partners commercialize emerging technology innovation, often serving as the first designers to represent human users for technologies emerging from innovation or engineering R&D groups. Our team is comprised of thinkers, builders, writers, developers, and designers who evolve big ideas into reality.


Why did you decide to join Business For a Better Portland? What do you see as the value of our work?

“We joined BBPDX because we believe our communities benefit from active participation by their citizens. BBPDX helps place neighborhood issues in context, and creates channels for participation, access to elected officials, and forums for diverse conversations. The value for our studio comes from BBPDX’s unique ability to connect to the policies that will improve our community.”

BBPDX works on a few focus areas including transportation, affordable housing, and equitable access to capital. Which issue area most attracted you to BBPDX and why?

“For us, the most important focus area is affordable housing. Our region is continuing to grow. If we don't create policies favorable to the creation of more affordable housing at broad levels of income, then we create disproportionate pressure for the most vulnerable members of society. We can learn from our neighbors to the south how not to approach these policies, and we still have some time to take a considered approach, but time is running out.

What is your vision for how Portland can be “better”?

“I would welcome a Portland where industry and social silos continue to fade away. In our studio as well as our community the best collaboration comes from multi-disciplinary minds coming together to solve real problems.

— Marcelino Alvarez, Founder & Chief Executive Officer at Uncorked Studios

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