FEATURE8 November 2021

Karine Trinquetel – Research Hero

Features People

This year, the Market Research Society launched the Research Heroes programme to celebrate the sector’s unsung heroes. Karine Trinquetel has joined the cadre of Research Heroes 2021.

Karine Trinquetel, global innovation director, Kantar 


Karine Trinquetel is global innovation director at Kantar and sustainability lead on strategy for its sustainable transformation practice. Trinquetel has been nominated for her role in furthering the impact of insights on sustainability and the UN’s sustainable development goals.

Trinquetel lobbied for six months within Kantar for a greater focus on sustainability and subsequently became one of the founding team members of the company’s sustainable transformation practice. She continues to push the sustainability conversation forward and drives the evolving offers to ensure household brands use insights to make sustainability a key part of their strategies.

She has a postgraduate degree in business sustainability management from the University of Cambridge, which she completed in combination with a full-time job.

At Kantar, Trinquetel has also mentored peers, supported colleagues in leadership and promoted sustainability through her work with clients.

What is the biggest challenge you have faced during your career?

Becoming an impactful change agent for sustainability. The biggest challenge was the initial drive to get sustainability on the agenda. Solving for sustainability is like opening Pandora’s box, once you start to address it. It was key to pin down what I could do as an individual and what we could do as a business to move forward.

Then it was about getting a groundswell of activity from around the business to ensure there could be people to provide support. Achieving the momentum to get to the tipping point was tough, especially in tandem with my day job. It took creative thinking and dog-eared determination to demonstrate the value that ultimately changed the tide. It was the hardest stage, but also the most rewarding.

I continue to be challenged every day by aligning efforts, addressing the ever-changing aspects of sustainability and ensuring research plays a central role in decision making.

What will be the next big trend or development in the research industry, and why?

The inclusion of sustainability as a vital component in solving brands’ challenges. As sustainability is not a siloed issue, it needs to be part of every conversation and every project.

The 17 sustainable development goals outlined by the UN are imperative to achieve if we are to ensure a habitable environment for ourselves and the generations ahead of us. The research industry is in an unparalleled position to support these goals, as we influence the key decision makers in the biggest brands across the world. It is through the work we do that we have the ability to shift perceptions and drive sustainable change.

Moving the dial on sustainability is hard. The challenges to solve are knotty and involve significant change for governments, brands and people. As researchers we can understand our clients, we can understand people and we are in a unique position to connect the dots. I believe that to have a chance of succeeding, we need to approach this topic with empathy to guide and encourage everyone.

Who inspires you as a researcher?

Greta Thunberg. She’s an incredible young woman who went from being a 16-year-old student in Sweden striking from school, to become one of the most influential global voices for sustainability.

I’m inspired by her determination and bravery to take action. She persistently keeps the conversation on track when standing up to world leaders, not bowing to their excuses. She calls for different and creative thinking in problem solving and she does so with thoughtful understanding.

Her achievements are incredible and if anything, she’s showed me it’s in everyone’s power to do something to make a more sustainable world.

View the full list of Research Heroes for 2021

In Spring 2022, MRS will be requesting nominations for Research Heroes 2022.