Karen Downes

Karen Downes

Founder & CEO, The Flourish Initiative

In her 30-year career Karen has built successful companies, supported civil society organisations to transform entrenched cultural norms, advised business leaders and led development programmes around the world.

From her beginnings in health and wellbeing, Karen co-founded and built an $8.5m alternative healthcare enterprise in Australia. A kitchen tabletop to global business success story, whose products and programmes touched the lives of thousands of women in five countries. She has authored 6 books selling over 1/2million copies. In 1999 she was a finalist in the Australian Business Woman of the Year Award.

In 2003 Karen moved to London and has since worked as a business advisor, leadership consultant, programme lead and coach.  She has advised leaders and designed development programmes in global corporates in a diverse portfolio of clients; Molton Brown, Intel, BHP Billiton, BP, Talisman Energy, Intel, Pacific Hydro, The Hunger Project, Save the Children, Unilever, Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Holidays. She brings an unparalleled breadth of experience in bridging the diversity gap and confronting the issues corporates are now dealing with in volatile and uncertain world. She brings her expertise and hands on experience to transform the outdated ways of working in organisations in service to human flourishing and business prosperity.

As a social change agent Karen also worked to transform the subjugation and marginalisation of women in India and Bangladesh by partnering with The Hunger Project. A global organisation ending the chronic persistence of hunger. 

Karen is a serious road cyclist, who competed in the World Masters. This training became a source of her own resilience, inspiration and mastery in teaching others in how to breakthrough constraints and barriers to fulfill their potential.