How I found my “Celo”

I’ve joined the Celo team to lead engineering in Celo’s Berlin office. I can’t tell you how happy and excited I am!

Judy Piper
Sep 18, 2019 · 4 min read

Celo, pronounced /ˈtselo/, means ‘purpose’ in Esperanto. Celo is a blockchain-based open platform that makes financial tools accessible to anyone with a mobile phone. Celo’s mission is to build a monetary system that creates the conditions for prosperity for everyone.

Everyone’s dream job looks different. To me, I feel fortunate to find my “Celo”.

  1. Mission. Working on a purposeful mission to better the lives of everyone while making meaningful connections and impact.
  2. People. Working with a smart, thoughtful, and diverse team and leadership that empowers them and values diversity and inclusion.
  3. Technology. Working with a disruptive technology for positive change to humanity. After working on a decentralized Internet Computer for the past year, I’m convinced that we’ve only scratched the surface of the potential that blockchain-based decentralization offers.
  4. Platform. Working on my own delicious “Kimchi” network. Celo is pondering to name its Beta -Testnet “Bibimbap”. I think it’s as good as it gets, don’t you think?! Also, if you haven’t had Kimchi Bibimbap, you’ve been missing out.
  5. Location. Working in Berlin, Germany, one of the most bike-friendly cities in the world. (and the annual Melt! festival)

How did we come together? Thanks to Martin’s intro, Rene and I connected on LinkedIn and he invited me to Celo SF Office for a chat over coffee. At that point, I had already verbally accepted another offer that morning — so this was supposed to be a short networking meeting.

Celo SF is located in the Mission District, tucked away from Downtown. Nearby the office, you’ll find a friendly urban coffee shop, Mission Cliff climbing gym, and Mr. Muggle’s Dogs, and many interesting restaurants.

After our initial chat, Rene introduced me to his co-founder, Marek, and the rest of the wonderful Celo team. After an energizing chat about Celo’s mission and organizational focus areas, a light bulb went on.

The Friday afternoon chat turned into an all-day interview on Saturday with Celo partners across SF and Berlin. For the first time in a while, I wanted the job so bad. After I got home, I was exhausted but super excited about the potential to join.

I got a follow-up call that evening from Rene and the rest is history!

Partnership matters. I’ve always been passionate about fostering a company culture that values openness, transparency, collaboration, ownership & accountability, and building trust through partnership and the “bottom-up” management approach.

For this reason, I love how the Celo team is creating a culture of working together toward a common mission; everyone is a “partner.”

Title and reporting structure aren’t what drive innovation and organizational growth. In a self-managed environment, everyone feels empowered to bring their whole authentic self to work on the area they’re passionate about without compromising ownership and accountability which are critical to organizational growth.

Vanessa Slavich, Celo Partner wrote a Medium post “The future is teal” that explains Frederic Laloux’s “Reinventing Organizations” and “Teal” organization that allows for higher employee engagement and authenticity. I highly recommend anyone to read the post.

Inclusion matters. With a mission to make finance and money accessible to everyone, Celo creates a diverse and inclusive culture that attracts innovative, mission-driven, and compassionate problem solvers.

Yesterday, I received my welcome package from the Celo team. In it, there was a book, “Sacred Economics” by Charles Eisenstein, Celo stickers, and a welcome card signed by the Celo team. I think one of the quotes found in the book gives a good glimpse of how it began for Celo.

We are all here to contribute our gifts toward something greater than ourselves, and will never be content unless we are.” — Charles Eisenstein.

We’re hiring in San Francisco, Berlin, and Buenos Aires! If Celo’s mission excites you, come join me to work on Celo.

I can’t thank my husband, my son, and our new puppy, Bailey enough. Moving to Berlin is a HUGE decision and none of this is possible without my family’s love and support!

📝 Read this story later in Journal.

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Judy Piper

Written by

Engineering @Celo.

The Celo Blog

Celo is an open platform that makes financial tools accessible to anyone with a mobile phone. Visit for info on the community, contributors, and technology.

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