Carra is a cross-sector educator and interpreter, supporting creative enterprise, cities and communities to co-design the transition to sustainable futures.

Through the lens of people and place, she translates environmental, social and economic needs into active learning and understanding, solving real-world problems and unlocking opportunities through creative vision, values and relationships.


“Extremely knowledgeable and passionate - these two qualities don’t always come together.”


Leadership Education.

Common Knowledge. Sense-making education for cross-sector leaders, educators and advisors in their context, conveying 'the basics' of sustainable futures, so everyone is confidently starting from the same page.


Creative Enterprise.

Common Practice. Futures skills and insights for creative/design enterprise and practice, realising the sector’s unique role in setting the sustainable futures stage.


Collaborative Cities.

Common Ground. Systems thinking within place-based parameters, supporting sectors, cities and communities to collaborate and co-design their sustainable futures transition.


Approach.

Carra's in-depth and interconnected insights into sustainable futures education and communication are based on inherent creativity, curiosity and ongoing research into new economics, enterprise, behaviour, communication and design.Her approach is influenced by her career origins in multidisciplinary concept generation and development - tapping into food, fashion, interiors, furniture, exhibition, spatial and urban design - and her personal passion, which is exploring how transformative habits, attitudes, practices, behaviours and relationships can be facilitated by forward-thinking design and communication.

Contact.

If you would like to discuss your particular project or needs, please don’t hesitate to get in touch, and suggest a good time to talk.



Carra is UK-based and works internationally.
© Carra Santos MSc FRSA


About Carra.

Carra combines twenty years in the creative and design industries with an interdisciplinary MSc Sustainable Development in Practice (Distinction).

Over the years, her career has evolved from multidisciplinary creative and design concepts for cross-sector applications - including internationally-acclaimed product innovation and highly-prescient future concepts for world-class events - to future-shaping skills and inspiration for forward-thinking leadership.

Carra has introduced diverse and interconnected topics via talks, workshops, interviews, research presentations and panel/roundtable discussions, as a Design Council Expert, and at Design Council's Design for Planet, The Design and Technology Association (DATA), Sustainable Innovation Conference, the International Federation of Interior Architects/Designers (IFI), the International Food and Drink Event (IFE), and 100% Design London.In addition to her everyday practice, she is an independent Doughnut Economics educator and facilitator. Her lead author chapter contribution to the book ‘Accelerating Sustainability in Fashion, Clothing & Apparel’ was published by Routledge in 2023.


‘Powering Change: Women in Innovation and Creativity’ ACID Female Design Champion Award, Runner Up, April 2018: “For the imaginative boundary breaking work she is doing between different individuals.”
- Design Council


Research areas.

Carra's 'beyond net-zero' research sparks from three vibrant themes. These interconnected themes offer a groundswell of creative, place-based potential to shape thriving futures that can be sustained within the means of the living world.


Regenerative Enterprise.
Alternative business models and project strategies that aim to put back more than they take, so as to preserve and restore our natural environment - often from the perspective of micro- (<10) and small (<50) enterprises in particular.


Circular Networks.
Practical and interpersonal skills for beyond-sector knowledge and collaborative relationships across different disciplines and communities, to preserve our life support systems and spread economic opportunities widely.


Creative Communities.
The physical and digital landscape that supports creative and collaborative capabilities within communities, such as growing, making, sharing, repairing, and learning the practical skills required to support a circular economy.


Masters Modules.

Listed below, as each academic module builds on twenty years of industry experience and is continually incorporated into everyday practice and communication:

  • Sustainable Development: Principles and Practice

  • The Sustainable Organisation: Vision into Practice

  • Sustainability in the Built Environment

  • Creating Sustainable Behaviour Change

  • Communications Campaigns: Creative Approaches and Tools

  • Learning Design for Professional Development

  • Journalism Writing


“Carra’s approach to every project is in-depth, practical and passionate; working with her is always a very pleasurable experience.”


Carra is UK-based and works internationally.
© Carra Santos MSc FRSA


Leadership Education.

Common knowledge. Sense-making education for cross-sector leaders, educators and advisors in their context, conveying 'the basics' of sustainable futures, so everyone is confidently starting from the same page.

This can include:

  • Quiet learning for leaders, educators and advisors

  • Contextual research and training for teams

  • Programme/workshop design and/or facilitation

  • Research interpretation for curriculums, lesson plans and learning resources

  • Project-by-project support (a 'Learning by Doing' approach)


Client ecosystem.

Design schools, university departments (design, business, finance and technology), councils, enterprise advisors, industry advisory bodies, trade associations and business leaders.

Key thinking tools:

A selection of relevant theories, methods, thinking and evaluation tools in this context.

Schwartz Values
The theory that a fixed number of basic human values and motivations are universally shared and drive human behaviour - as such, offering the tools to seek common ground for effective communication.

The Double Diamond
The 'design thinking' process of exploring a challenge widely and deeply to solve the right problem in the right way. Carra puts 'systems thinking' into the first diamond to provide beyond-industry context and inspiration.

The Embedded Economy
Doughnut Economics' structure for a regenerative and distributive economy, comprising four economic realms collaborating in balance: the market, the household, the state and the commons.

Selected examples:

The Basics of Sustainable Futures
Design and ongoing facilitation of a four-part learning programme delivered to design, business, finance and technology academics, to inform upcoming programmes, curriculums and learning materials.

‘Doughnut Economics: Can Bath Thrive Like Amsterdam?’
A lecture for members of Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution exploring the potential of the UK city of Bath to thrive like Amsterdam - the first European city to adopt The Doughnut.

Design for Thriving Cities
A future-shaping series of leadership, design and built environment workshops conveying knowledge in context, including Circular Economy, Social Value, Inclusive Design and Reinstating Nature.


“It’s fantastic to be shown that we can start a conversation and provide leadership/guidance through our courses, even if we are not experts.”


Carra is UK-based and works internationally.
© Carra Santos MSc FRSA


Creative Enterprise & Practice.

Common practice. Futures skills and insights for creative/design enterprise and practice, realising the sector’s unique role in setting the sustainable futures stage.

This can include:

  • Quiet learning for creative enterprise/project/practice leaders

  • Specialist topic research, inspiration, explanation and business case-building

  • Shared vision through team workshops and strategic learning activities

  • Expanded stakeholder mapping and tools for communication and collaboration

  • Project-by-project support (a 'Learning by Doing' approach)


Client ecosystem.

Architecture, placemaking, fashion design, interior design, product/furniture design, hospitality, branding, communication, creative technology, and purpose-led professional services.

Key thinking tools:

A selection of relevant theories, methods, thinking and evaluation tools in this context.

Schwartz Values
The theory that a fixed number of basic human values and motivations are universally shared and drive human behaviour - as such, offering the tools to seek common ground for effective communication.

Social Practice Theory
The theory that an individual’s behaviours and choices are not always based on their own values, but on the social norms that surround them. How do we shape new norms?

The Embedded Economy
Doughnut Economics' structure for a regenerative and distributive economy, comprising four economic realms collaborating in balance: the market, the household, the state and the commons.

Examples in practice:

'All Sewn Up'
Academic research, paper and industry presentation on enabling sustainable behaviours through post-growth fashion enterprise, presented at UCA Sustainable Innovation Conference, and published by Routledge.

‘The Sustainability Spectrum’
A presentation for the creative and professional services sectors demonstrating the full scope of sustainable futures beyond 'green', and their untapped potential to support them.

The Future of Interior Design
Research report and presentation on interior design practice in a regenerative, distributive and circular economy, to inspire the evolved enterprise model and curriculum of an award-winning interior design school in London, UK.


“Carra knows her sustainability stuff and her knowledge has depth in addition to passion.”


Carra is UK-based and works internationally.
© Carra Santos MSc FRSA

Declutter.

Cut through ‘sustainability’ myths and misunderstandings, and start your transition to sustainable futures.

This group learning session hits ‘reset’ on your sustainability learning to date, and offers a fresh starting-point from what’s needed, what you’re good at and what inspires you.By the end of the session, you will have clarified your starting-point potential, and taken your first steps on an uplifting and achievable pathway to shaping a more sustainable future, and securing your place in it.


Request details:

At-A-Glance

  • Groups of 5-10.

  • Online/in-person subject to practicalities.

  • 2 hour interactive group session with Q&A and discussion throughout.

  • Short pre-session questionnaire for each participant.

  • Post-session summary notes by email following the session.


"I wish we'd done it sooner."
- Managing Director, award-winning international design studio, London, UK


Carra is UK-based and works internationally.
© Carra Santos MSc FRSA


Collaborative Cities & Communities.

Common ground. Systems thinking within place-based parameters, supporting sectors, cities and communities to collaborate and co-design their sustainable futures transition.

This can include:

  • Quiet learning for decision-makers/teams

  • Place-based research and analysis

  • Programme/workshop development and/or facilitation

  • Project team sense-checking, coaching and support

  • Doughnut Economics education and facilitation


Client ecosystem.

Place-based start-ups, social enterprises, councils, schools/colleges, heritage and public spaces, and educational/design-led community initiatives.

Key thinking tools:

A selection of relevant theories, methods, thinking and evaluation tools in this context.

Bridge to Belonging
Carra's own place-based evaluation method to establish priorities and consensus among decision-makers at a neighbourhood level - in particular, within areas of urban inequality/deprivation.

The Double Diamond
The 'design thinking' process of exploring a challenge widely and deeply to solve the right problem in the right way. Carra puts 'systems thinking' into the first diamond to provide beyond-industry context and inspiration.

The Doughnut
Doughnut Economics' place-based tool for securing the social foundation, where everyone’s needs are met, within the ecological ceiling, where planetary boundaries are not breached.

Examples in practice:

'Make Space for Soil'
A cohesive communication campaign strategy to educate and encourage two interconnected audiences - city-dwellers and private developers - to incorporate space for soil into urban property developments, homes and gardens, with core messages adapted to each.

'Design, differently'
Coach and co-facilitator for a six-month Design Council programme that invited six communities and councils to combine design thinking with systems thinking, to solve local challenges and issues as a result of the wider effects of climate change.

Doughnut Economics BANES, UK
Analysis, synthesis and interpretation of participatory research findings from the public launch of Doughnut Economics strategy in Bath & North East Somerset, UK, facilitated by Kate Raworth and the DEAL team.


“A special talent for looking at projects delivering solutions that satisfy the requirements from all stakeholder perspectives, are truly relevant and have undeniable integrity.”


Carra is UK-based and works internationally.
© Carra Santos MSc FRSA

Featured Talk:

Doughnut Economics: Can Bath Thrive Like Amsterdam?

Carra also runs Bath City Doughnut Learning Group; monthly learning sessions for cross-sector professionals to read, learn and apply Doughnut Economics principles, and gain a deeper understanding of their potential in Bath, UK.Watch Carra's September 2023 lecture for members of Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution, exploring the potential of the UK city of Bath to thrive like Amsterdam - the first European city to adopt The Doughnut.

On your desktop/laptop: Scroll back and forward to particular slides by clicking '•••' and 'Hide Controls'.



Doughnut Economics Education & Facilitation.

An official independent Doughnut Economics educator and consultant since March 2023, Carra creates uplifting and engaging environments for active learning within councils, businesses, organisations and communities.

She promotes a deep understanding of the Doughnut Economics principles, their interconnections, and their place-based potential. Supported by her broad knowledge and systems-thinking approach, her current Doughnut Economics education and facilitation services largely incorporate and expand on:

  • Joining the Doughnut Dots

  • The Four Lenses

  • The Doughnut Unrolled

  • Meet the Economy

  • Doughnut Design for Business


Group Workshops

Collaborative Cities & Communities.

Focusing on sustainable cities and communities, these active learning sessions invite snapshots of local stakeholders to pool insights and perspectives, and cultivate a shared vision of what's possible in their place.


Doughnut Skills for Cross-Sector Collaboration

Exploring a Topic.
This session is an effective first step beyond the Doughnut Economics introduction, helping teams and/or stakeholder groups to map the interconnected people, skills, needs and possibilities and obstacles surrounding a current topic, building shared understanding.

Innovation at the Intersections.
This session examines the Embedded Economy model to unlock the cross-sector potential for meeting local wants and needs within the means of the living world, enabling the private sector, public sector, third sector and community groups to draft localised plans.


Doughnut Skills for Place-Based Projects

The Four Lenses.
This session supports project stakeholders to build up a cohesive picture of the needs and possibilities (and obstacles) to consider within a place-based project proposal, by asking: “How can this place be a home to thriving people in an ecologically thriving place, while respecting the wellbeing of all people, and the health of the whole planet?”

 

Group Workshops

Doing Business in The Doughnut.

Focusing on enterprise design, these active learning sessions invite companies to engage in a transformative agenda of becoming regenerative and distributive in their strategies, operations, and impact.


Doughnut Design for Business

What does business look like in a Doughnut Economy?
This session takes businesses through an action-oriented workshop that is practical but ambitious, and aimed at catalysing the innovations in their deep design that will enable them to become part of a regenerative and distributive future.


Doughnut Design for [Design] Business

What does design business look like in a Doughnut Economy?
As above, but from the specific context of design business, where positive impact leans more towards outward influence than internal operations, enabling the regenerative and distributive products, practices and behaviours we need to thrive.

 


Bespoke Doughnut Economics-aligned research, education and strategy development are available on enquiry. Contact Carra to discuss any workshops, research or strategic learning programmes you would like her to help design/facilitate.


Carra is UK-based and works internationally.
© Carra Santos MSc FRSA


Request a call.

If you would like to discuss research, consultancy, learning programmes, project support, or something else, please don’t hesitate to get in touch, and suggest a good time to talk.

Complete the form to arrange a complementary 30min online call with Carra. A link will be provided upon confirmation of a date/time that works for both.


“It was a real pleasure working with Carra, I look forward to working with her again in the future.”


Carra is UK-based and works internationally.
© Carra Santos MSc FRSA