Vanessa’s inspiring story is one of vision, determination, integrity, hard work and overcoming severe adversity, personal responsibility, discipline, growth, emotional intelligence, balance, compassion and giving. Her successes as an award winning social entrepreneur, brand and built environment strategist and ultra-endurance athlete have privileged her with the credentials and flexibility to now support others. She offers strategic, workplace, management, life and health/wellness mentoring to anyone in governance, business, leadership or influence. Her mentees are those looking to improve their organisational and/or personal performance and well-being in an agile, forward thinking, ethical and sustainable fashion. She brings to them an open mind, listening ear, extensive academic, professional and lived experience (including of trauma) and a willingness to both encourage and challenge. Vanessa is known as a straight talker and is often engaged as a board advisor, conference speaker and tertiary education guest lecturer.
For over 16 years Vanessa has been the Managing Director of Forward Thinking Design (www.forwardthinkingdesign.com.au); a Certified B Corp social enterprise, which she founded.
Forward Thinking Design is one of the most awarded brand strategy, stakeholder experience, fitout design & project management studios in Australia. The firm consults to leadership across restaurants and hospitality, retail, services, workplace, health/fitness, sporting club and community venues. It specifically exists to support fellow organisations with social, ethical and environmental impact values at their core and the business’ profits are retained to finance the provision of pro bono and reduced fee services to charities and social enterprise.
She is the Diversity and Inclusion Chairperson of BLocal Sydney, Australia (B Corporation business community) and an activist for equality, environmental sustainability and improved ethics in business and society. As a sufferer and survivor of serious illness she is an Ambassador for Polycystic Kidney Disease Australia, Member of the AKTN Scientific Committee and Co-Chair of the NSW BEAT-CKD Consumer Advisory Board.
Previously she was the Junior Vice President of the NSW Division of the Australian Shop & Office Fitting Association (ASOFIA), a committee on which she served for many years. She holds a Bachelor of Design (Hons) – UNSW, a Postgraduate Diploma in Museum Studies – Deakin and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Directors Company Directors Course.
Vanessa holds a Fastest Known Time ultra trail running record and previously represented Australia in triathlon. She has been profiled in several books, national print media, on radio, TV and podcasts. She is a strong promoter of individual and collective empowerment, responsibility, achievement and well-being.
I am a responsive, straight-forward and deeply empathetic professional, with a 15 year experience at both sides of the entrepreneur ecosystem (founding-advising). As such, I have a 360º perspective on funding, scaling and advising startups, and can help you avoid classical pitfalls. I am currently helping startups at one of the best programs worlwide, the Mobile World Capital Foundation accelerator (Barcelona)
As an industrial engineer, I combine a deep technologic knowledge with a huge experience in B2C industries. I’ll help you through your entire seed & scale stages.
if you need friendly, firm and focused support to either build yourself, your business or your team I can be there supporting you and your team as needed
I started my career majoring in environmental science and going to law school with the intention of becoming an environmental lawyer. While I have practiced to some degree in that field, my career has brought me across the world, including Mexico, Argentina, the Northern Mariana Islands, the Philippines, Hawaii, Arctic Alaska and Russia.
In 2018, I completed a Ph.D. at the University of Hawaii-Manoa how Alaska Native Villages are adapting to climate change and how laws and planning help or hinder. Much of my work now involves legal, planning, and logistical work with these communities on adaptation and other community challenges. The other substantial part of my work involves mediation, particularly for families with children.
I am passionate about helping people overcome whatever life issues they may be experiencing; I am a compassionate and caring sounding board for you; I’ll help you discover the underlying greatness you may have inside you; I’ll help show you how to embrace the shitty situations life may throw at you and how to come out the otherside with strength, courage, fortitude and a smile.
Working with People Partners (HR practitioners) as a Coach and Mentor, I partner to develop leadership and HR capability across all levels and disciplines, enabling practitioners to become a more strategic, trusted and credible partner in the business. Starting with the strengths of the individual and how they work in the context of the organisation, I act as a translator, connector and strategist to support growth and build up confidence as a practitioner.
Driven, enthusiastic, well versed and capable of interpreting convoluted concepts/ terminologies into easy to digest and understand terms.
I love what I do and I would like to bring the best out of you!
My passion is in serving people. Nothing makes me happier than helping someone achieve what they are after and get life on their terms. It is this passion that drives me to continue to learn new ways to make changes and get the results that we want.
Hi, I am ex military officer turned business man; and would like to train others in the fields of business management, leadership and entrepreneurship. It will be a pleasure to assist all those who want to grow across the globe.
Kia Ora Mentees,
Believing that you should always be learning and embracing one’s challenges in life, never be afraid to give your dreams and aspirations a go. My support network has grown as I have become more willing to ask questions and remove myself from the process. Together we will make constructive steps to achieving your goals!
My experience and expertise as a scientist, executive, and mentor will save you time, provide you with the practical tools you need to be a succesful entrepreneur.
A senior executive coach with over three decades of experience in the Corporate Sector and having worked across three different continents. Have coached over hundreds of senior executives across India, US, Singapore and China with regard to “doing business in India”.