Global Facilitator in Innovation and Leadership
Dr Karina R Jensen is best acknowledged as a Global Facilitator. Born in San Francisco with Scandinavian heritage, she spent her early years traveling and residing with her family in California (US), Norway and Sweden. This experience motivated her to pursue an international career path that has been influenced by her interests in global innovation, leadership development and multicultural collaboration. It has brought her opportunities to launch global and local initiatives, explore and learn about diverse cultures, and develop international networks of friends and colleagues. She has travelled to 50+ countries in six regions with Bachelor, MBA and PhD studies in the US and Europe. Currently based in Paris, France, she enjoys her roles as an international consultant, educator, and change facilitator in global innovation and leadership.
Interestingly, Karina has made three career shifts in her lifetime – from corporate roles in launching global initiatives in Silicon Valley to founding her international advisory firm Global Minds Network – to pursuing her PhD and serving as a professor in global innovation and leadership, as well as co-founding a leadership center in France.
“Each time that I made a career change or launched a new initiative, I was faced with some criticism, mixed support and resistance. These challenges helped me become more resilient and focused on my purpose while aligning with stakeholders and those who were supportive. By embracing change and new opportunities, I demonstrated to my family, friends and colleagues that I was able to strengthen my knowledge and experience while creating value for my vision and purpose,” reveals Karina.
Today, she’s the proud Founder and Executive Director of ‘Global Minds Network’, an international advisory that provides global innovation readiness solutions for leaders and teams.
In addition, she’s the cofounder of the Centre for Leadership and Effective Organizations at NEOMA Business School and the co-founder of the ISPIM Innovation Leadership SIG. She launched the Empower Social Entrepreneurship program for youth in Nepal and Ghana and has founded the non-profit micollaboratory. org to create a social impact platform for youth. Last but not the least, she’s the author of the book Leading Global Innovation.
Speaking about the passions that drives her to partake in so many roles, Karina says, “Since my early years, I have always had a passion for art, travel, learning, and discovering new cultures around the globe. Whenembarking upon my corporate, consulting and academic careers, these passions have served as my ‘fil rouge’ or guide in exploring how to optimize the collective wisdom and creativity of diverse groups through multicultural collaboration. This allows me to design and deliver valuable solutions for enabling leaders and teams to create global and local impact. In recent years, my goal of enabling youth entrepreneurship through social impact is also being realized.
Does her busy professional life ever overshadow the personal, we wonder? “My instinct is to say ‘Yes’ to all opportunities, yet it becomes necessary to prioritize key projects in order to manage time and create more value. Thus I’ve become more conscious of separating my professional and personal lives in order to enjoy the weekends and vacation time to fully relax with family and friends,” she tells us.
For Karina, weekends are ‘inspiration’ time which see her enjoy an art class on illustration at Beaux Arts de Paris. After class, she usually takes a stroll through the Saint-Germain-des-Près district to enjoy street art, browse through galleries, and meet friends at a café. In addition to exploring the arts through courses, museums and events, she enjoys traveling to new cities and countries in order to learn about diverse cultures. When she travels for work, Karina ensures she reserves time to discover local life through excursions and the arts scene.
Yet, for Karina, it is her family, friends, students and colleagues that inspire her the most. Her parents have been very supportive and served as great role models. Her mentors have guided her through her business and academic paths. Her students provide her with inspiration through the learning journey. And the International Advisory team at Global Minds Network offers inspiration, support and guidance.
Nevertheless, for Karina, success lies in her strengths centered around curiosity, love of learning, and persistence. “Curiosity allows me to question the past and present, identify gaps and challenges in order to create new solutions. My love of learning has uncovered new knowledge and helped me connect with fascinating people. And persistence has helped me stay the course in taking the road less travelled through hard work and patience,” shares the formidable Karina Jensen.