Karen Ward

Visiting Faculty
Nationality: Canadian

Karen began her career in marketing at Leo Burnett where she worked on the Kellogg’s account and the international award-winning “Look Good on Your Own Terms” Special K campaign. She then moved onto The Body Shop Canada where she developed the company’s Local Shop Marketing program after which she assumed the role of Brand Marketing Manager and worked on the development and execution of the Canadian Brand Strategy.

In 2000, Karen joined D-Code, a firm specializing in the Information Age Generations where she led research and strategy projects with Nike, Coca-Cola, Nortel, Procter & Gamble, Labatt Breweries, Haworth and the Government of Canada. She was a highly sought after speaker and spoke across Canada on the attitudes, values and influence of Generation X and Y. Eventually, the entrepreneur within emerged and Karen launched her freelance career.

As an independent strategist and researcher Karen has worked with a wide range of clients in the private and public sectors – Human Resources Development Canada, Campbell’s, Health Canada, Weston, United Nations Association of Canada, Vincor, The Innoversity Creative Summit, Wyeth Consumer Healthcare, Travesty Productions, and BuzzTaxi. One of Karen’s primary clients was Cossette Communication-Marketing where she supported the Coca-Cola and General Mills accounts as a Senior Strategist and also led research and innovation projects on Dare Food, Shopper’s Drug Mart and the CNIB.

In 2005, Karen recently brought her independent pursuits together more formally and launched Curiosity Inc, a research and innovation company that helps organizations cultivate curiosity and discover and leverage insights and opportunities that lead to product, service and experience innovation. Under Karen’s leadership, Curiosity Inc. has explored a wide range of questions working with client partners in the consumer package goods, financial services, automotive and entertainment industries and in the education and not-for-profit sectors.

Karen holds a degree in Sociology and Film Studies from Queen’s University and brings her passion for film and storytelling to her inquiry and insight seeking; she is the producer of several consumer documentaries. She is also deeply committed to supplementing her professional pursuits with extended sabbaticals in foreign lands – she’s lived and volunteered with a women’s co-op in central Turkey and spent several months living in Paris where she studied French and conducted an ethnographic study of Parisian dating rituals.

She is currently studying at the 180 Academy in Denmark where she is pursuing a Masters in Innovation and Concept-making.