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Personal profile

Research interests

I am a critical design practitioner who works with technology. With a background in experimental electronic arts and design, then experiential marketing and eCommerce, I have 25 years in digital and am now an internationally recognised human centred digital transformation designer - expert in designing for emergent behaviour in human/machine convergence - as affordance in digital first complex systems change. I excel in R&D for Next Gen product/service and ensure the digital transformation of values at scale by leveraging the user experience (UX). Clients have inc. Which?, Top Shop & EY. I am a Women In Games Ambassador, sponsored by Google Women Tech Makers, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and now a NED and Trustee of Nest, the UK Govts £10bn workplace pension fund with 12m users as it pivots to digital first. 

I have worked in e-commerce, games, e-health, e-learning, heritage & the arts, FinTech and military & defence with iOS, Android, Windows, Cloud, Xbox, Playstation & Drones; used digital audio and video, MIDI, haptics, holography, stereoscopy and AR/VR; applied sensor tech, biometrics (inc. eye tracking, facial recognition, EEG, EMG, GSR), computer vision, machine learning, predictive analytics, big data and automatic signal recognition & I design A.I.s. My first website and touchscreen were 1994, interactive game 1995 and A.I. in 1997. I won EU recognition for the micro-business model in 96 & devised Sprint0 at EHS in 98. My first neuro-game & dementia tech were in 2009 and lead to breakthrough cognitive UX that nudged addiction. From that work, I developed “RhizoMetrics” TM 2014), a behavioural parametric design method that supports the development, monitoring and recalibration of design affordances in any computational context, including as part of a 5G native Human Centred Network slice. 

My research has always been in closing the semantic gap between users and machines via novel methods in human factors. I specialise in using PET (persuasion, emotion & trust) in the UX as agency for behaviour change, nudging social & neural plasticities digital first, through the isolation, measurement and digital transformation of affordances. This work has always generated personal, behavioural and socio-cultural data and insights, putting me at the fore of ethical debates over many years.Using RhizoMetrics, I am developing cognitive UXD patterns for ‘nudge mechanics', 'neuro-navigation' & 'neuro-transformation' to guide valuable & ethical singularities in IoT, robotics & immersive environment in Industry4.0 and beyond as core to a fundamental Human / Machine Operating System - HM/OSS. 

For the last 14 years, my teaching has been focused upon innovative post graduate curriculum design and delivery, integrating knowledge transfer, work based learning and CPD into industry focused provision and since 1998, using various types of eLearning technologies. In 2005, I was the recipient of an Open University Teaching Award, for the development and maintenance of their first online learning community. In 2009, I lead a 100k HEFCE funded project on the digital transformation of PG teaching, research and enterprise across four faculties at Kingston University, integrating provision from The Design School, Technological Science, Media & Communications and Computer Science into a converged suite of six Masters courses that I devised in consultation with a cross faculty team and an Indistry Advisory Board that included Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, Samsung Design Europe and Dreamworks. I ran ‘Digital Media Kingston’ as a micro-studio, with R&D embedded in the curriculum, as students worked under NDA to Sony Worldwide 3D, Playstation and many SMEs http://arts.brighton.ac.uk/projects/networks/issue-17-april-2012/changing-the-university-genome-a-case-study-of-digital-media-kingston Alumni destinations included Framestore, Extra Mile Studios, Colossal Games, Criterion, IBM and BSkyB. 

Over 25 years I have worked with hundreds of start ups and scale ups, and now head up two innovation ecosystem projects for the University - a £1.3m big data project with Gatwick airport, from our B2B Data Innovation Lab and Digital Catapults £1.2m 5G Brighton testbed in partnership with 5GIC as part of the UK Govts 5G Strategy. 


External positions

Non Executive Director & Trustee

1 Jul 201930 Jun 2024


  • QA76 Computer software
  • media
  • design
  • business
  • digital economy
  • organisational studies
  • complexity
  • cognition
  • augmentation
  • singularity
  • ethics
  • Technology

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Research Output

5G Accelerated Complexity, Human Centred Networks & Data Driven Transformation ​

Cham, K., 15 May 2019.

Research output: Contribution to conferenceOther

  • Designing Change: NeuroMedia As A Metanoic Practice

    Cham, K., 26 Oct 2018.

    Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract

  • Neurogaming & Emotional Singularities

    Cham, K., 10 Jul 2018.

    Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract

  • Bankrupting Gamification – When a Method Becomes Mythologised

    Cham, K., 30 Nov 2017.

    Research output: Contribution to conferenceOther

  • Activities

    HM Government (External organisation)

    Karen Cham (Member)
    1 Jul 201930 Jun 2024

    Activity: External boards and professional/academic bodiesPersonal board membership of professional/academic bodies

    Designing Digital First Behaviour Change: Full Stack Cognitive UXD Process

    Karen Cham (Presenter)
    20 Jun 2019

    Activity: External talk or presentationInvited talk

    Emotional UX and Designing for PET (Persuasion, Emotion & Trust)

    Karen Cham (Presenter)
    19 Apr 2019

    Activity: External talk or presentationInvited talk

    Full Stack Cognitive UXD

    Karen Cham (Invited presenter)
    26 Mar 2019

    Activity: External talk or presentationInvited talk

    Chair : Complexity and Creative Industry: Grip on Transitions and Resilience

    Karen Cham (Panel Chair)
    15 Feb 201920 Jun 2019

    Activity: External funding peer-review