Karen speaks from the heart, and inspires audiences in schools, organisations and businesses around the globe. She shares personal stories focused on overcoming challenge, embracing change and achieving the ‘unachievable’. As a learning and development specialist and with personal experience of working in corporate and public sectors, she is able to connect with a wide range of clients, large audiences and small teams.
Modest and thoughtful, Karen is a highly sought after and successful speaker, whose stories inspire all those who take time to reflect on what it took to achieve them.
Some of her clients included Unilever, Shell UK, Halliburton, Microsoft, Braun, Novartis, Institute of Directors, SportScotland, a collection of UK universities and other private and public organisations.
"The thing my disability and ensuing adventures makes me most obviously qualified to talk about is ‘overcoming challenge’. But I my experiences also allow me to talk about motivation, change, achievement, teams, leadership, diversity and inclusivity, risk….
How do we overcome challenges? Why is it that some of us are fortunate enough to fall down, pick ourselves up, brush off the dust and go again, whilst others let it stop them? Through my personal experiences, adventures and some ongoing research with others who have tackled great challenge, I enjoy sharing some understanding as to how we can learn from the difficult stuff, and use it to do the positive stuff. How we turn things around, no matter how difficult or seemingly impossible they may seem.
If we can know ourselves better, we can explore our abilities, and achieve all manner of things we may previously have thought impossible."Karen Darke
“I started with your presentation by thinking "I wonder how this will relate to Human Resource Management?", and ended it thinking "That's one of the most important and inspiring things I've ever heard"! My philosophy on training events and conferences is that if there is only one good thing I can take away from it, it will have been worthwhile. Your presentation was definitely the one thing that had a big impact on me, and I have been thinking about it ever since. I will definitely be using it at work from now on.
SIMON BICKERDIKE, AOC (ASSOCIATION OF COLLEGES) CONFERENCE
“Thank you so much for contributing so much to the success of the conference. Your session ‘Challenge or Obstacle?’ provided exactly what we needed and frequent comments from delegate feedback was ‘motivational’; ‘hugely inspiring’; ‘truly inspirational’. May I wish you success in your next challenge”
“I just wanted to offer my thanks for delivering what was an excellent speech and one which left myself and, judging by the comments afterwards, others, feeling in awe, motivated and inspired by your achievements.”
DAMIAN HUGHES, HR OPERATIONS MANAGER, UNILEVER
“Karen Darke was quite outstanding and inspirational.”
B.MCCALLUM, GIRLS ON THE MOVE SCOTTISH EXECUTIVE PROJECT
“Just meeting Karen is an uplifting experience at a personal level, her passion and enthusiasm are bound to rub off on anyone who works with her. She is a natural communicator & coach, working equally effectively one to one, with small teams and in large group situations. I admire the way she has turned life changing personal difficulties into positive opportunities and ever stretching challenges. She changed her career from being a highly regarded technical specialist to becoming a coach, mentor and life long learning adviser and a champion for diversity in a very non-diverse multi national organisation.”
STEVE SPRECKLEY , INTERNAL CHANGE CONSULTANT, SHELL EUROPE
“Karen is an inspirational speaker and has converted many an audience to look at diversity and disability with fresh and positive eyes.”
SHANE WINSER, HEAD OF EXPEDITION ADVISORY CENTRE, ROYAL GEOGRAPHICAL SOCIETY - INSTITUTE OF BRITISH GEOGRAPHERS
“To overcome adversity and to succeed with humour requires self belief and motivation. Karen`s philosophy is to consider that nothing is impossible and that life is just one big challenge. To Karen there is no such word as can`t.”
DAVE GITTUS M.B.E.
“Karen is very modest about what she has achieved for herself since her accident. Her gentle manner means she is able to inspire and motivate others. Her can do approach is infectious.”
FRAN LOOTS, DIRECTOR OF BREATHING SPACE TRAINING CONSULTANTS