Carra is a creative environmental, social and economic development consultant. She specialises in sustainable behaviour change and communication.

She predominantly works with leaders, educators and advisors to introduce sustainable futures concepts within their contexts. This ensures their insights and communication strategies are relevant, relatable and within reach.

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


Relevant.

Creative thinking. Explaining how environmental, social and economic concepts connect and overlap. This reveals effective entry-points according to different sectors, interests and local contexts.


Relatable.

Collaborative thinking. Showing how (and why) pace, language, themes, and examples can be adapted to different interests and abilities. This nurtures empathy and interpersonal skills.


Within reach.

Curiosity & Lifelong Learning. Championing accessible research skills and inspiration on a ten-year timeframe. This is far enough away to stimulate imaginations, yet close enough to turn ideas into action and chart an effective transition pathway.


Carra primarily works with:

Education & Advisory

e.g. further/higher education and enterprise/industry/trade advisors integrating sustainable futures principles and skills into learning materials.

“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 [in sustainability].”


Creative/Design Industries

e.g. architecture, design, technology and creative services delivering economic, environmental and social impact through client projects and communication.

“I wish we'd done it sooner. It blew away some myths and helped me realise there is so much more to sustainability than use or non-use of materials.”


Place-Based Projects

e.g. local enterprise, education and design-led initiatives creating the conditions for sustainable behaviours (low carbon living) long-term.

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


Contact.

If you'd like to talk about your projects, opportunities or ideas, please get in touch and suggest a good time to talk.



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


About.

Carra is dedicated to creating the environmental, social and economic conditions for sustainable behaviours, by connecting the following core themes:

  • Environment. Liveable futures. Our long-term ability to meet environmental needs and live - eat, drink, breathe, shelter, stay warm, stay cool - within the environment we inhabit.

  • Society. Equitable futures. Our long-term ability to work together to meet social needs - not just of ourselves, but of everyone, everywhere - while preserving and restoring our environment.

  • Economy. Viable futures. Our long-term economic ability to meet our environmental and social needs within planetary limits, through diverse knowledge, skills, innovation and collaboration.

Academic & Applied Research

Carra's 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 sustainable futures.Carra's in-depth and interconnected insights combine twenty years in the creative industries with an MSc Sustainable Development in Practice (Distinction). Her interdisciplinary research spans climate action, social cohesion, economic development, behaviour change, communication and design.MSc Modules:

  • 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

Research Writing & Publications:'Communicating Degrowth: Analysing language to find favourable starting points for degrowth discourse with UK business leaders'
A Master’s dissertation exploring effective communication of sustainability and degrowth business practices to UK business leaders, combining economics, behaviour and communication theory.
'All Sewn Up: Dismantling Fast Fashion Consumption as a Social Practice through Creative Empowerment and Consumer Collaboration'
Research paper on sustainable behaviour change in fashion industry and consumption, exploring Social Practice Theory to restore creative thinking and practical skills. Published by UCA (University for the Creative Arts) Centre for Sustainable Design.
leading to'Accelerating Sustainability in Fashion, Clothing and Textiles'
Lead author of Chapter 17: Crafting connections with clothing: values, influence and relationships, by Carra Santos, Kadian Gosler and Ann Marie Newton. Published by Routledge, and edited by Martin Charter, Bernice Pan and Sandy Black.

Behind the scenes

Carra's vibrant approach is enhanced by her career origins in concept generation and development - tapping into food, fashion, interiors, furniture, exhibition, spatial and urban design, writing, photography, and illustration - and her personal passion, which is exploring how transformative habits, attitudes, practices, behaviours and relationships can be facilitated by creative thinking and design.

Awards

Powering Change: Women in Innovation and Creativity
ACID (Anti-Copying in Design) Female Design Champion Award, Runner Up, World Intellectual Property Day 2018.
“For the imaginative boundary breaking work she is doing between different individuals” - Design Council


“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


Leadership support

Sustainable Futures Thinking Partner

Carra supports visionary leaders, educators and advisors to map their transition to sustainable futures.

Through contextual research and education, she nurtures the knowledge and creative thinking skills required to evaluate the current situation, plan steps, and realise new possibilities.To ensure that these insights are robust and connected, Carra works with them as their thinking partner over time.

Example activities include:

  • Online/telephone consultations. Soundboarding, signposting, and addressing questions and challenges as they arise.

  • Tailored learning sessions and resources. Developing specialist knowledge and skills as particular needs emerge.

  • Document reviews. Notes with recommendations/improvements, strengthening proposals, copy and communication.

  • Email Q&A. Considering and explaining issues, opportunities and obstacles as they're encountered.

  • Curated research and reading lists. Including added explanations appropriate to particular contexts.

  • Project support. Specialist support on strategy, design, communication or place-based projects.


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


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


Strategy Development

Sustainable Behaviour Change & Communication.

The conditions for sustainable behaviours can be environmental, where our good health, quality education, nature connection, economic inclusion and community resilience are influenced by the physical places and spaces we design. They can also be emotional, relating to our cultural values and influences, our fears, and our ability to think clearly, learn, share, care for ourselves/others, and build relationships.Barriers to sustainable behaviours can therefore include poor infrastructure, rapid urbanisation and rural isolation, or poverty, inequality, loneliness, addiction and overconsumption. Creating the conditions for sustainable behaviours requires identifying the respective opportunities and drivers, while addressing the barriers to change.


The following questions - inspired by Social Practice Theory - are a good place to start when evaluating current choices, practices and behaviours; from how we eat, exercise and enjoy our time, to what we buy, build and do for a living:

  • Do we have the knowledge and skills to change our behaviour?

  • Do we have the physical materials and infrastructure to change our behaviour?

  • Do we have a reason/motivation to change our behaviour that resonates with us?

The answers to these questions reveal initial insights into opportunities and obstacles, and offer a solid basis for effective research, strategy and communication.

Example projects and research:

Public Talks & Presentations

CfSD (Centre for Sustainable Design) 'Accelerating Sustainability in Fashion, Clothing and Textiles' Book Launch & Workshop
Presentation of lead author chapter contribution for the academic/industry-focused book launch, along with facilitation of a roundtable discussion.
The RSA (Royal Society of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce) 'A Different Way'
An online talk for the RSA highlighting the role of creatives to shift sustainability-thinking ‘beyond net-zero’ and create the conditions for everyone to thrive within the means of the living world.
Design Council: 'Design, differently with Communities'
Scriptwriting, delivery and recording of a futures narrative imagining life in circular communities in the year 2033 - on themes of energy, mobility, land use, food, education and circular skills - including co-facilitation of the related workshop at Design for Planet alongside members of the Design Council team.
UCA (University for the Creative Arts) Sustainable Innovation Conference 'All Sewn Up: Dismantling Fast Fashion Consumption as a Social Practice through Creative Empowerment and Consumer Collaboration'
Academic and industry research paper, presentation and (consequently) Routledge book chapter contribution, on enabling sustainable social behaviours through post-growth fashion design and retail.
'Designed for Life' Design & Technology Association (DATA) Podcast
Invited to take part in an ongoing series of conversations spanning education, industry and design, aiming to inspire tomorrow's solutions today.
'Talking Trends: Waste Not Want Not' at the International Food & Drink Event (IFE) London
Panel discussion on food waste, exploring various topics including how food and design meet in the circular economy through new materials for fashion, packaging and construction.

Further/Higher & CPD Education

'The World We Will Create'
Visioning and futures thinking workshops and resources for young people (15-24) to support their sense of empowerment and agency in shaping a climate-positive future in ways that inspire them.
'The Basics of Sustainable Futures'
Design and ongoing facilitation of a four-part education programme for design, business, finance and technology academics, to provide sustainable development context beyond their subject specialisms, and help inform their content, curriculums, and responses to student enquiries.
'The Future of Interior Design Practice'
Research and recommendations report with stakeholder presentation on interior design education in the context of a regenerative, distributive and circular economy, for an award-winning private interior design school in London, UK.
‘The Sustainability Spectrum’
A learning series for creative and professional services demonstrating the full scope of sustainable futures beyond 'green', and their unique potential to support an integrated approach to environmental, social and economic innovation.

Urban Design & Community Development

'Bridge to Belonging'
A place-based evaluation tool to establish priorities and consensus among designers and decision-makers at a neighbourhood level - in particular, within areas of urban inequality/deprivation.
'Make Space for Soil'
A cohesive communication campaign concept 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 for Thriving Cities'
A future-shaping series of workshops for design professionals, conveying needs and knowledge in context, including Circular Economy, Social Value, Inclusive Design and Reinstating Nature.
Design Council: '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 arising from the wider effects of climate change.

Educational Design Installations

Farm Kitchen for 100% Design, London
A 272sqm immersive design concept, installation and pop-up restaurant integrating micro-agriculture - the practice of growing food on a small scale using a variety of light sources, irrigation methods and growing mediums - into interior design. Sponsored by Gaggenau.
Maker Carousel for 100% Design, London
A playful 81sqm makerspace concept and installation designed to reveal the magical world of the designer-maker - from paper prototyping, model-making and block-printing to 3D printing, smart tech and connectivity - a colourful journey steeped in experimentation and spontaneity. Sponsored by Oikos.
Mattergarden for 100% Design, London
Creative concept for a 160sqm design installation devised as an interactive platform for the exploration of natural and regenerative materials, treatments and applications used in design, architecture and construction. Sponsored by Formica Group.

Doughnut Economics

Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution ‘Doughnut Economics: Can Bath Thrive Like Amsterdam?’
An in-person lecture at BRLSI exploring the potential of the UK city of Bath to thrive like Amsterdam - the first European city to adopt The Doughnut as its economic development strategy.
Economic Development Strategy, Bath & North East Somerset Council, UK
Independent analysis, synthesis and interpretation of participatory research findings for public review, following the Doughnut Economics strategy launch in B&NES, UK, facilitated by economist Kate Raworth and the DEAL team.
'Celebration of the Possible', Staffordshire & Stoke-on-Trent, UK
Workshop facilitation supporting Globe Group CIC and Keele University, along with independent analysis, synthesis and interpretation of their initial regional research presented to multi-stakeholders and decision-makers at their launch event.
DEAL Tool: '3 Horizons for Systemic Change'
Contributing to the 'Doughnut Design for Business' adaptation of the foresight-focused Three Horizons framework by Bill Sharpe.
Bath City Doughnut Learning Group
Organising and hosting monthly sessions for the professional and local community to read, learn and apply Doughnut Economics principles in the World Heritage City of Bath, UK.


“Working with Carra is a fantastic opportunity that all businesses should be lucky to have. You need to know more than you think you know, and I would highly recommend that Carra be the person to bring the passion and creative solution to your business.”


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


Request a call.

If you'd like to talk about your projects, opportunities or ideas, please get in touch and suggest a good time to talk.Email Carra, or complete the form to arrange a complementary 30min online call. A link will be provided on 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