Karen O'Brien - Biography#

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, an organization that supports public engagement with transformations to sustainability. Karen’s research emphasizes the social and human dimensions of climate change and implications for human security. Her current research focuses on climate change adaptation and transformations to sustainability, with an emphasis on integrative approaches that explore how beliefs, values, worldviews, and paradigms influence systems change and social change. In particular, she is interested in how quantum social science can inform understandings of social change. Her recent books include You Matter More Than You Think: Quantum Social Change for a Thriving World and Climate and Society: Transforming the Future (with Robin Leichenko). Karen has been named by Web of Science as one of the world’s most influential researchers of the past decade. In 2021 she was co-recipient of the BBVA Foundations Frontiers of Knowledge Award for Climate Change. Karen is currently co-chair of the International Science-Policy Platform for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) Transformative Change Assessment.

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