Back to All Events

Opening Keynote: How Designers Will Change The World


Karen Welman

Founding Creative Partner & CCO, Pearlfisher

Session Title: How Designers Will Change The World

We hold our hands up. We are designers. We've designed the packaging waste. Now is the time for us to design it out.

Tackling the issue of packaging waste - in all it's forms - is our collective responsibility. Law makers will create change through discipline, scientists will do so through factual evidence. But the crucial role of designers lies in our ability to totally reimagine the possibilities, not being limited by what's come before or the seemingly impossible and making that attractive, desirable, can’t live without – changing thinking and behaviour on a mass level by creating the sustainable world we want to see. Karen will discuss the responsibility of designers to unravel the intangibility of sustainability and help it be an essential part of what it means to be a progressive, relevant and attractive brand today. She will present key actionable principles designers and brands can follow to design in a return to the source, extend the life and use of products and packaging and, ultimately, create reusable, longstanding products to last longer than a lifetime.

About Karen Welman

Karen is of the three founding partners of Pearlfisher, one of the world’s leading international independent design agencies with studios in London, New York, San Francisco and Copenhagen. Recognised in the industry as a curious and creative explorer – Karen drives Pearlfisher to continually question the possibilities and to create work that breaks new ground. Karen surrounds herself with brave thinkers and believes that those prepared to take a risk, are the ones to create real change. Named in the Top 10 Global Female Inventors, Karen’s passion is innovation and turning great ideas into action is her speciality. Her patented inventions include 37º a range of temperature-regulating baby clothes featuring NASA-developed fabrics that picked up awards all of the world. Most recently, Karen undertook her most challenging but ground-breaking project to date with the creation of the gold award-winning Pearlfisher Garden, highlighting the impact of ocean plastic at the 2018 Chelsea Flower Show.