Opening Keynote

Karen O’Brien

Karen O’Brien is a Professor in the Department of Sociology and Human Geography at the University of Oslo, Norway. She is also co-founder of cCHANGE, a company that supports transformation in a changing climate. Karen’s research emphasizes the social and human dimensions of climate change and implications for human security. Her current research focuses on the relationship between climate change adaptation and transformations to sustainability, with an emphasis on the role of creativity, collaboration, empowerment, and narratives. She is particularly interested in the role of beliefs, values, worldviews, and paradigms in generating conscious social change, and this includes an exploration of the potential for “quantum social change.” In 2019 she received a Research Excellence Award from the AAG Human Dimensions Specialty Group. In 2021 she was co-recipient of the BBVA Foundations Frontiers of Knowledge Award for Climate Change.

Karen was named by Web of Science as one of the world’s most influential researchers of the past decade in 2019 and 2020