PhD Candidate

Karin Margareta Coenen

Field of work

PhD Research Fellow in arts & culture with a focus on (responsible/sustainable) social innovation in a regional-urban context.

Karin Coenen holds a humanities degree from Lund University and a Master of Arts in Museum Studies from University of Newcastle upon Tyne. She has an extensive international work experience within the field of arts & culture, with a particular focus on contemporary art and engagement processes both inside and outside museum environments.


Throughout history artists have played a major role in recording, reflecting on and responding to the state of the world. Here, artists are often recognized for their expertise in exploring different contexts, identifying and (re-)framing questions, and putting them into a creative practice. Today these processes are often participatory with different dimension of community engagement and inclusion.

This research project explores the arts sector through the lens of responsible/sustainable social innovation in a regional-urban context. The aim of the project is to open up knowledge and deepen our understanding of how arts & culture initiatives can contribute to place-based socially sustainable futures. Its main research question is:

How is place-based social innovation manifested in the art sector in the Nordic countries?

This multifaceted overarching research question can be broken down into three sub-questions:

  • To what purpose(s) is place-based social innovation applied in the art sector in the Nordic Countries?
  • Why and how can place-based social innovation strengthen the public art sector working in a community context in the Nordic countries?
  • How can art practices contribute to social innovation in declining regions and neighbourhoods?