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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

2-26-24 PDF
February 26, 2024
An inside look at Bobby B. Beacon’s insides. Illustrated by Bianca Oppedisano/ Mass Media Staff.
Bobby's Inside Story
February 26, 2024

Ideas Boston: Jasmina Agasnovic

Jasmina Agasnovic and ten others will speak at this year’s IDEAS Boston, set to take place on Oct. 28.  Agasnovic is the current president of Mother Dirt, a consumer brand for A Biome, which focuses on research products for skin microbiome. She is the entrepreneur for the cosmetics and consumer goods branch of that parent company. She trained at MIT as a Chemical and Biological Engineer.
MM: What do you do at Mother Dirt?
JA: I’m responsible for figuring out how we can build a consumer business around our product. This involves understanding who our users are and getting together strategies on how exactly to grow. Mother Dirt will officially launch on July 6 2016 and hopefully move away from brand building and brand creation and more toward growth.
MM: What made you decide to join the company?
JA: I was interested in the research AOBiome was doing on skin microbiome. This idea that our skin is an ecosystem filled with microorganisms that should be nurtured is a radical concept. So I was attracted to the sheer challenge of creating a product that would resonate with people.
MM: What will your IDEAS Boston talk be about?
JA: The talk is about the redemption story of bacteria; the story behind the company and how it came to be. I thought that it was a great topic for this particular venue and for this conference, because they are about ideas. I talk about the evolution of this idea of bacteria on the skin that then led to the idea of a citizen alliance movement. We have users who are incredibly passionate about the product and are running their own little experiments and sharing their results with us—a very incredible, impactful strategy.  
MM: Why should the UMass Boston community hear your talk?
JA: The main takeaway I hope to bring is how we can rethink our definition of clean and reevaluate the war we’ve been waging with the microbial world. We are learning that the majority of the bacteria that we interact with aren’t bad, in fact, they are very useful to us. I’m trying to shift a perception that can potentially lead to heath improvement. 
MM: What are you planning on doing in the near future?
JA: We’re trying to build our story, reach new people, and create more of a community movement that will help enable our citizen scientists.
MM: What advice can you give to undergrads? 
JA: Be as open minded as possible. Free yourself of the expectation that you should know what you want to do for the rest of your life, though you should be really aggressive on trying to see what you want to do.