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John Thackara

John Thackara (born 6 August 1951, Newcastle upon Tyne) is a British-born writer, advisor and public speaker. He curated the celebrated Doors of Perception conference for 20 years – first in Amsterdam, later across India – and is a Senior Fellow at the Royal College of Art in London. Thackara writes about live examples of what a sustainable future can be like with a special focus on social and ecological design. He has published online since 1993 at and in books; his most recent title is How To Thrive In the Next Economy (Thames & Hudson 2015).

Thackara studied philosophy, and trained as a journalist, before working for ten years as a book publisher and magazine editor. He was the first director (1993—99) of the Netherlands Design Institute, in Amsterdam, and curated Doors of Perception from 2000–16. He has been program director of Designs of the Time (Dott), the social innovation biennial in England, and curated City Eco Lab – the French design biennial. Thackara has curated place-based professional workshops – called xskools – in 11 countries; he has given keynote talks, and chaired international conferences, in 41 countries; he has chaired or served on professional awards juries in the USA, India, and Europe.

Appointed a senior fellow at the RCA in 2011, Thackara is currently visiting professor at School of Visual Arts in New York, and an advisor to: Chora Connection (Denmark); Konstfack (Sweden); Cateran’s Common Wealth (Scotland); The Nubian Vault Association (France); Unbox Festival (India); Upstarter (London); Participatory City (London).