The About section includes my CV and some reflections on my inner process. I have been lucky enough to have been able to focus on making a professional career as well as on personal work.


Inner focus

I have always been interested in personal growth and spiritual issues. In the prologue of my book Achieving Sustainability: The Ultimate Human Challenge (see publications) I write that the source of these interests can be found in childhood. However, it was not until I got divorced at the age of 30, took sole care of my two children (aged 3 and 6) and moved from being wealthy in Malaysia to being poor in Cornwall, UK – that I decided to embark on a journey of personal and spiritual development. It was a conscious choice as I knew that I had to do something to survive and remain strong and healthy in mind and spirit.

The inner aspect is a key factor in the transition to zero carbon and sustainable societies. Our fears, worries and other emotional issues often prevent us from taking the necessary steps. I write about that in Chapter 8 in Achieving Sustainability. About the importance of the inner work that helps to muster the necessary will for change and build resilience.

Luckily personal and inner work is something each of us can do without any external interference. There are so many excellent teachers, coaches and consultants around the world as well as books and online tools that can support our personal processes. I see more and more women and men engaging in meditation and mindfullness.I spend 10-15 minutes a day focussing on my breathing. It is simple and easy. I also have an app where I can access meditation practices for sleep. It is better that pills. I sleep more soundly and wake refreshed.

Over the period of more than 30 years of personal work I think I must have tried almost everything from individual consultations to week-long courses in personal and spiritual development in England, Ireland, India, Sweden, Egypt, US, Israel and Denmark. A lot of it has been tough. Facing yourself, your fixed thought patterns and your demons is challenging but necessary to be able to move on. Each bit has taught me something about being human, about myself and others. It is an ongoing process. My life has consisted of many chapters and each has presented me with new challenges. Life is one long school.

Karen Blincoe

…”I would get fed up and leave home, which meant walking out the back door, down through the garden, past the beehives and the vegetable garden, the blackcurrent bushes and cherry trees”.

One of the guest presenters said at the launch of ICIS in January 2001 that there is an Indian proverb that says that everyone is in a house with four rooms: a physical, an emotional, a mental and a spiritual room. Most of us tend to live in one room most of the time, but unless we go into every room every day, even if only to keep it aired, we are not complete.

That philosophy has been the foundation for my work and life since then. It makes such sense to pay attention to and balance the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual aspects of one’s life and not leave any out.


Expertise and experience

  • Sustainability
  • 17 Sustainable Development Goals
  • Sustainable development
  • Leadership
  • International liaisons
  • Organisational structure and development
  • Design and related fields
  • Vocational, graduate and postgraduate education


2019 – 2021Chairman Chora 2030
2016 – 2019Director and Board Member, Chora Connection, DK
2013 – 2016Joint Founder, Chora Connection, DK
2010 – 2013President, Danish Designers
2006 – 2009Director, Schumacher College, Dartington Hall Trust, England
2002 – 2014Founder/Director, ICIS Foundation
1991 – 1998Head of Institute, Visual Communication, Danish Design School (College), Copenhagen

Honorary Positions, etc.

2022-2026Appointed external examiner (Architecture, Design and Conservation)
2021Member Danish Design Council
2020 – 2021Chairman, Chora 2030
2016 – 2019Director, Chora Connection
2014 – 2016Chairman, Chora Connection, DK
2017 –Board member, Chora Connection, DK
2015 –Board member, Energy Academy, Samsø, DK
2010 – 2013President of the Association Danish Designers, CPH
2004 – 2015Guest professor, University of Brighton, UK
2001 – 2005Vice-President and Treasurer, Icograda (The International Council of Graphic Design Associations), Canada
1998 – 2002Chairman of the Danish Ministry of Culture’s Educational Council for Art, Architecture, Design and Conservation, CPH
Karen Blincoe


2020PhD University of Kingston, UK
2010-2012MPhil University of Brighton, UK
2002-2004Integrated Masters’ Program, Cornwall University College, UK

Research and educational work

2020PhD, Sustainability
2012Reader, MA Sustainable Futures, Goldsmith UV, London
2012International Verifyer, Design Center College of Design, Johannesburg
2008PhD examiner, Faculty of Design, University of London
2004 – 2006External examiner and course supervisor, Goldsmiths University, London
2004 – 2006Member of the Research Group for Design Futures, Goldsmith University
2004 – 2006Developing master’s programme in sustainable design in collaboration University of Lund, Helsingborg Campus (EU Project/Interreg II)


2022Achieving Sustainability: The Ultimate Human Challenge. Published by Springer Nature
2020PhD Thesis, Kingston UV, UK. From Utopian Theory to Practical Application
2009’Re-educating the person’. Chapter 30. The Handbook of Sustainability Literacy. Edited by Arran Stibbe
2009DEEDS: A Teaching & Learning resource to help mainstream sustainability into everyday design teaching and professional practice

Personal details

Karen is married and lives with her husband in Dronningmølle, North of Copenhagen. She has two children and four grandchildren. Karen spends her free time with family, gardening and keeping fit physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.

”I will not die an unlived life.
I will not live in fear
of falling or catching fire.
I choose to inhabit my days,
to allow my living open me
to make me less afraid,
more accessible,
to loosen my heart
until it becomes a wing,
a torch, a promise.
I choose to risk my significance;
To live so that, which came to me as seed
goes to the next as blossom
and that which came to me as blossom
goes on as fruit.”

Poem by Antoine de Saint Exupery (1900-1944)