Ashoka Innovators for the Public | Director, Changemakers Opportunities | Arlington VA United States
Here I am poring over one of the books I started collecting in 1981 about the Italian painter Giorgio Morandi. His myriad still lifes of a small collection of bottles, boxes, jars, and vases impressed me then and still now as a model of how to wake up—of making change by calling for real attention—attention to the sheer beauty of what is simply at hand, i.e., everything that’s necessary for change. My mother’s love of art and my father’s inventive skill with words—combined with their joy in the natural world and having adventures, including skiing and sailing—led me surely to being a changemaker with words: the right words, framed right, with the right color and nuance, power and quiet.
Newfoundland’s wild and raw landscape, seascape, and weather resonate with my Nordic genes, while the people of the Rock make a pretty convincing case for being the warmest, most hospitable, generous, and fun-loving anywhere. The hiking, birds, and icebergs add to the compelling experience of a distant place. My strongest “place” connections are at home in Washington, DC, and in Denver, Colorado, where I lived for almost 30 years, and where I now go to play with my four grandkids.
Documentary—stories of real people and their lives—in all its forms (literary, oral history, film, photography, painting, drama) becoming the most important, most widespread, and most practiced genre on the cultural landscape, in the entertainment world, in museums, on the radio, in advertising, everywhere.
Karin is Director of Opportunities at Changemakers.com. Before joining Ashoka in 1997, Karin lived in Colorado, working for several years as a freelance writer on literature, art, and architecture, solar energy and historic preservation. In addition, she also taught at the University of Colorado at Denver and consulted for Colorado Governor Richard Lamm on Colorado’s winning competition bid to run the nation's principal research center for the development of solar energy and other renewable energy sources. As a senior policy analyst, she was part of the core start-up staff at the Solar Energy Research Institute (now the National Renewable Energy Laboratory) and co-authored a National Science Foundation-funded study of the legal and institutional barriers to solar energy development. Karin earned an undergraduate degree in philosophy from Smith College, a master’s degree in comparative literature from the University of Wisconsin at Madison, and a master’s degree in urban planning and community development from the University of Colorado at Denver.