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John Thackara

Design Expert and Global Authority on Innovation and Sustainability


"One of the most important new design challenges is to make the processes and systems that surround us intelligible and knowable."

About John Thackara

John Thackara is a leading global authority on innovation in a green economy. The Economic Times of India lauded his “brilliant insights into the internet and sustainability”. Business Week stated that John is “one of the great voices on sustainability”, and Wall Street Journal noted that he has a “global reputation as a cutting edge design expert”. John writes a widely-read blog at, and has authored twelve books including In The Bubble: Designing In A Complex World. As director of Doors of Perception, John also organises festivals around the world in which communities imagine a sustainable future — and take practical steps to realise it.

John initially studied philosophy and then trained as a journalist, before spending 10 years working as a book and magazine editor. He was the first Director of the Netherlands Design Institute in Amsterdam and was program director of Designs of the Time (the social innovation biennial in England). A Senior Fellow of the Royal College of Art, he is also a member of the UK Parliament’s Standing Commission on Design. He is a Fellow of The Young Foundation, the UK’s social enterprise incubator and sits on the advisory boards of the Pixelache Festival in Helsinki, the Pecha Kucha Foundation in Tokyo, and Design Impact in the USA.