Ingo is an internationally award-winning researcher and educator, passionate about the essentiality and existentiality of human experiences. As a Full Professor at RMIT’s Graduate School of Business and Law, Ingo engages with the community to initiate, lead, and facilitate innovative change across people and systems, supported by his research, teaching, and practice at the nexus of business and design.
I fundamentally care about and work towards improving and innovating human experiences, and that of other beings in the ecosystem. The discipline that underlies this purpose and my daily practice is rather cross-disciplinary, not being bound by rigid ideologies but open philosophies, integrating valuable insights from various perspectives for the betterment of the ecosystem. This challenges me to meaningfully combine human desirability (needs of people), with system-level feasibility (resources, processes), viability (relevant returns) and sustainability (long-term shared benefits).
As a practicing Strategic Designer, I apply design principles and practices to support change and innovation across product/service systems, business models, and entire ecosystems. For this purpose, I lead projects and trainings across governmental, industrial, and not-for-profit sectors. This includes, for example, strategic design projects to reform contexts with traditionally less service-centred perspectives such as courts and hospitals. But it also includes businesses that seek to make a bigger difference to the community and people, such as responsible banks and property/construction companies. Finally, I particularly seek opportunities to support NGOs with a focus on children, animal and indigenous well-being.
Encouraging the emergence of strategic design as a field of research, education and practice, I am a co-editor of the practitioner-oriented book http://www.strategicdesignbook.com, which brings the principles and practices of this discipline to life.
Cross-disciplinary in nature, my research mainly advances Strategic Design, Service, Marketing and Management research, while integrating theories and frameworks from other disciplines. The term ‘strategic’ reappears across my core focus areas as I am interested in studying, explaining and predicting phenomena that define the essence, priorities and evolution of people and the ecosystems they are embedded in. Hence, I use a variety of methods across qualitative and quantitative approaches to fit this purpose.
In recent years, I was focusing on understanding, measuring and managing business success factors from a design and strategy perspective. For instance: drawing on service and designerly thinking to better understand and inform value co-creation and innovation strategies; unpacking and measuring the interplay of service-driving organisational design and customer experience design; managing service systems and human relations towards more engaging experience processes and better experience outcomes.
As part of a strong international research network, I have been a visiting professor at Copenhagen Business School, Denmark and Freie Universität Berlin, Germany. With the aim of improving research education and cross-cultural experiences, I frequently enable the international exchange of PhD students through these networks. I have won competitive grant funding including from the Australian government to support research-driven change and innovation across individual, organisational and ecosystem levels.
I have published across a variety of leading international journals, won international research awards such the American Marketing Association SERVSIG Best Service Article Award, and am a member of editorial review boards such as of the Journal of Service Research.
Since completing my PhD in 2011 at the The University of Melbourne and starting my academic position in full-time capacity, I have been passionate about inspiring students to interact with their peers, lecturers, and industry partners to cocreate exciting learning experiences and outcomes. This includes undergraduate, postgraduate and executive teaching. I view learning as a shared responsibility but put all my effort into engaging interactions in view of critical thinking and creative learning processes.
Currently I am responsible for the course Design Thinking for Business, a course which I developed for RMIT’s Executive MBA program, focusing on collaboration with industry partners to design context-relevant strategy solutions together with executive students. My teaching interests further include Strategic Design, Strategy and Service Management. Together with the teaching team, I enjoy discovering research-driven insights that can be integrated into course content and shared by way of exciting learning experiences.
Over the years, I have been recognised with school (department), college (faculty), overall university, national government and international teaching awards. As of 2018, I am also an ongoing Fellow of the Advance | Higher Education Academy, championing teaching innovation and excellence.
Awards and Recognitions across Research, Teaching and Community Engagement
- 2019-2020 Government Strategic Design Grant; ecosystem- and organisation-level change and innovation project; role: project lead.
- 2018-2019 Industry/Government Strategic Design Grant, organisation-level change and innovation project; role: design lead.
- 2018 Emerald Literati Awards for Excellence, 'Highly Commended Paper Award' for our article in the Journal of Service Theory and Practice on multilevel design conditions https://www.emeraldinsight.com/doi/abs/10.1108/JSTP-05-2015-0121
- 2018 Industry Strategic Design Grant, organisation-level change and innovation project; role: project lead.
- 2018 Awarded Ongoing Fellowship by the Advance | Higher Education Academy, internationally recognising university teaching excellence
- 2015-2018 Various School and College-level Research and Teaching Awards, RMIT University
- 2015 Australia and New Zealand Marketing Academy (ANZMAC) Emerging Researcher of the Year Award; an annual international award across Australia/New Zealand; to date Ingo is the only academic to win both the ANZMAC emerging researcher and emerging educator award
- 2015 RMIT Foundation Malcolm Moore Industry Research Award; university-level (across several colleges) award for an outstanding early career researcher
- 2013-2015 Various School and College-level Research and Teaching Awards, RMIT University
- 2014 ANZMAC-Pearson (Australian & New Zealand Marketing Academy) Emerging Marketing Educator of the Year Award (international-level teaching award)
- 2013 American Marketing Association SERVSIG Best Service Article Award; http://www.servsig.org/wordpress/awards/servsigs-best-services-article-award/
- 2013 Finalist for Best Paper in the Journal of Service Research, the leading international journal for service research
- 2013 National Australian Government’s Office for Learning and Teaching (OLT) Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning (national Australian-level teaching award)
- 2013 RMIT University Vice-Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award in recognition of an outstanding and sustained contribution to teaching excellence (university-level teaching award)
- 2011-2013 Various School and College-level Teaching Awards, RMIT University
PhD, The University of Melbourne, Australia, 2011
I collaborate closely with industry partners to develop innovative and design-led strategy solutions. These partners include governmental, industry and non-profit organisations (previous projects included sectors such as health, legal, banking, property/construction, automotive, and various NGOs).
As a design practitioner and facilitator, I bring a diversity of skills (strategic design project management, design trainings/workshops) that support my efforts in helping organisations to change and build their design thinking capacity. This extends across product and service system innovation and focuses on ecosystem-level cultural and strategic change.
With my projects I aim to combine practitioner, academic and educational relevance. The importance of industry-relevant research is also reflected in my academic journal articles and my practitioner-oriented book on strategic design Strategic Design: 8 Essential Practices Every Strategic Designer Must Master.
- Pallant, J.,Sands, S.,Karpen, I. (2020). Product customization: A profile of consumer demand In: Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 54, 1 - 10
- Baldassarre, B.,Konietzko, J.,Brown, P.,Calabretta, G.,Bocken, N.,Karpen, I.,Hultink, E. (2020). Addressing the design-implementation gap of sustainable business models by prototyping: A tool for planning and executing small-scale pilots In: Journal of Cleaner Production, 255, 1 - 15
- Pallant, J.,Sands, S.,Karpen, I. (2020). The 4Cs of mass customization in service industries: a customer lens In: Journal of Services Marketing, 34, 499 - 511
- Windahl, C.,Karpen, I.,Wright, M. (2020). Strategic design: orchestrating and leveraging market-shaping capabilities In: Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, , 1 - 12
- Karpen, I.,Plewa, C. (2020). From Muso to Academic and Back: A Time and Person-Based Acknowledgement of Michael Kleinaltenkamp In: Journal of Service Management Research, 4, 75 - 83
- Karpen, I.,Conduit, J. (2020). (In Press) Engaging in times of COVID-19 and beyond: Theorizing customer engagement through different paradigmatic lenses In: Journal of Service Management, , 1 - 12
- Kleinaltenkamp, M.,Karpen, I.,Plewa, C.,Jaakkola, E.,Conduit, J. (2019). Collective engagement in organizational settings In: Industrial Marketing Management, 80, 11 - 23
- Conduit, J.,Karpen, I.,Tierney, K. (2019). Volunteer engagement: conceptual extensions and value-in-context outcomes In: Journal of Service Theory and Practice, 29, 1 - 26
- Kock, F.,Josiassen, A.,Assaf, A.,Karpen, I.,Farrelly, F. (2018). Tourism Ethnocentrism and Its Effects on Tourist and Resident Behavior In: Journal of Travel Research, 58, 427 - 439
- Karpen, I.,Kleinaltenkamp, M. (2018). Coordinating Resource Integration and Value Cocreation through Institutional Arrangements: A Phenomenological Perspective In: The SAGE Handbook of Service-Dominant Logic, SAGE Publications Limited, London, United Kingdom
3 PhD Current Supervisions4 PhD Completions
- Human Centred Design Reform Project. Funded by: Court Services Victoria - Competitive from (2019 to 2020)
- Innovation in an agri-technological business context. Funded by: Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute Contract from (2013 to 2013)