I started disrupting for good when I was young.  At 17, I believed the older boys who were jeering at and harassing the younger girls in our school needed to be stopped.  So that’s what I did - I stopped it.  My cool factor certainly went down in the process – but the result was a request by the administration to design a school-wide peer-to-peer program that addressed gender-based harassment and violence.    

Since then, I’ve worked as a frontline youth worker, educator, and international development practitioner, director, board member, and consultant tackling social, environmental, and indigenous issues around the world.  The two things I love to do more than anything are design strategies and programs with transformative and measurable impacts, and inspire and empower others to create change through facilitation and participatory program design.  

 

 

Jane Goodall and Carissa MacLennan, Lecture Tour 2013

Design – Strategy and Programs 

Over the years, I’ve designed innovative and influential strategies and programs with some of the world’s leading organizations. 

The Rights Media framework I designed for Journalists for Human Rights gained the attention of BBC World Service Trust as an innovative approach for training journalists and has been implemented in over 25 countries.  While working with UNICEF Canada, I led a team that designed the Canadian Rights Respecting Schools Initiative which has since been integrated into UNICEF’s global toolkit for rights-based approaches to education in developed countries.  During my time with the Jane Goodall Institute of Canada, I led the evaluation and redesign of their Roots & Shoots program to focus on holistic approaches to sustainability, inclusive of indigenous ways of knowing – which is also being adapted into Roots & Shoots programs around the world.  

 

 
Teaching in Lewah, Cameroon 2003

Teaching in Lewah, Cameroon 2003

Facilitation  

I LOVE facilitating. 

I get warm fuzzies whenever I can shape the coming together of minds to co-design something amazing and good.   As a formally trained educator, I’ve designed creative, engaging and effective training programs that tackle complex issues for a wide range of audiences.  

Through my work with UNICEF and the Jane Goodall Institute, I’ve designed and facilitated training programs for thousands of educators and administrators.  I’ve also trained faculty of education instructors and professors at the University of Toronto and University of Saskatchewan.  Through my work at Journalists for Human Rights, I’ve trained journalists in Sub-Saharan Africa and Canada, as well as some of Canada’s top publishers and editors on our Rights Media framework.

 

 
Carissa MacLennan Fun Facts Photography

Passions Collide as a Force to Change the World  

I’ve decided it’s time to bring together the best of my experience and passions by providing strategic design for good through facilitated processes with those who are also passionate about transformative change.  I toss into my offering a knack for numbers, ridiculous organizational and process design skills, and a crazy dedication to mindfulness in the workplace.  It’s the combination of these passions and skills that will make our work together unique and transformational.

Learn more about how we can change the world together by selecting your sector below. 

Business. Non-profits. Philanthropists. 

 

Degrees and Stuff

Education

Master of Education, University Western Ontario
Bachelor of Education, Nipissing University
Bachelor of Geography & Environmental Studies, Honours, Carleton University

Certificates 

Leading Strategic Innovation in Organizations
Mindfulness Training: The Power of Awareness
Aboriginal World Views and Education
International Human Rights Education

 

 
Carissa MacLennan Motorcycle Fun Facts

Fun Facts  

I’ve lived, worked and travelled all over the world, including; China, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ghana, India, Vietnam, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Zambia.     

I’ve been seen horseback riding in the Egyptian desert, summiting Mount Cameroon, motor biking around Vietnam, ice fishing in Canada’s north, bungee jumping in Thailand, safari trekking in Kenya, visiting monks in the caves of Myanmar, and drinking scotch with Dr. Jane Goodall.  These days I find myself spending more time enjoying the contemplative silence of meditation, having completed multiple mindfulness certifications.    I believe mindfulness is integral to transformative change – which you will see plays an important role in my work. 

My most favourite Dr. Jane quote, “You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you.  What you do makes a difference. And you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.”