HELLO. MY NAME IS
I'm a tech entrepreneur, educator, program designer and level up-er. Currently, I am an Entrepreneur-In-Residence (EiR) at Parkdale Centre for Innovation, Partner of D.I.G., Principal of Crayne Collective and Strategic Advisor for Eschaton Solutions.
I enjoy tackling complex and undefined problems. Common themes in my work have involved working closely with early stage startups, teams through expansion and scale, leading innovation, organizational growth and deepening impact.
I've spent my career building, expanding and scaling up businesses and strategic initiatives through operational and infrastructure design, building and leading teams, program and service development and design frameworks, strategic marketing and partnerships. This has led me to work with regional, national and global organizations including Rogers Wireless, MAC Cosmetics, Microsoft, Google, Amazon. Most recently through the expansion and growth of Ladies Learning Code → Canada Learning Code.
My experience across ecosystems - directly with communities, in tech startup, in corporate environments as well as in not-for-profit - means you will find me tackling complex problems by shifting narratives, connecting levers and when needed, (re)designing systems. Over the past 10 years, diversity, equity, and inclusion has been an important factor for me - and has been ribboned throughout my work in various ways.
Occasionally, you can find me sharing at conferences, post-secondary institution and with community groups. I believe in contributing to a future well beyond my time and that just as ecosystems are designed - sustainable, meaningful and successful innovation will be a result of many. Advisees, mentees and students of mine have included post secondary students, girls and women in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics), sales managers, software developers, CEOs, Executive Directors, HR professionals, K-12 educators, municipal government public servants and agile coaches.
I am known for having the "perfect blend of strategic and implementation skills", being a catalyst for organizational change, a professional dot-connector, a creative problem solver, an innovator and a mobilizer of growth. If you are looking to level-up your organization, we should chat.
“We went from developing a product that people “could see” themselves using to developing a product people “will” use and that all stemmed from us making a conscious effort to hone in on the value that we were aiming to deliver to our consumers. This is what Carolyn is able to bring to the table.” - Yohannes T., Product at Google
“She doesn't bury the lead or sugar-coat anything; As learned from our discussions about my own startup which helped broaden my understanding on building a superior product. - Will D., Content at Unbox Therapy
Partnerships & Fundraising
We were not optimistic that we would be able to move ahead. And then Carolyn joined the team. And wow, what a difference! Through her energy, bold-nature, persistence, awesome ideas and wide connections we just rocketed forward.
By the cut-off date, we had more attendees than we needed and she had expanded our financial, community and media sponsors/partners to boot. The event was a roaring success and had the largest attendance of any Lean Startup Machine in the world. And I credit a lot of that success to Carolyn.
Carolyn is thoughtful, empathetic, focused and always knows how to plan and execute the next move. I would love an opportunity to work with Carolyn again … and so should you.”
- Declan, Agile at LeanIntuit
I have been invited to advise and speak to audiences and teams from national and global organizations and outlets.
Topics have included the economic, business, social and global impact of diversity, equity and inclusion, leadership, startups, the future of work, technology, marketing, tackling complex problems, entrepreneurship, innovation, systems design and building our future.
"Everyone is riveted while Carolyn Van speaks" - Katia M.
I create and deliver information and insights that unexpectedly shifts and challenges perspective, leaves audiences in deep expansive thought and nudges it towards action.
BOOK ME TO KEYNOTE, INTERVIEW, WRITE, MODERATE, HOST, MC
House of Commons, Parliament of Canada
The University of Toronto Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy
Oxfam Canada · Historica Canada · Pearson Education · Canadian Film Centre (CFC) Medial Lab
Humber College · York University · Ryerson University ·
George Brown College · University of Guelph · Sheridan College
The Globe & Mail · The Toronto Star ·
Financial Post · The National Post ·
CTV News Technology Expert ·
Canada Business Review
Lean Startup Machine Conference
Ontario Library Association Superconference
Global Entrepreneurship Week Conference
Junior Achievement National Conference
Digital Odyssey Conference
Bridging The Gap Conference
SocialHR Camp Unconference
Social Media Week Conference
The Canadian Institute Conference
Discover Your Personal Brand Conference
Start Something Big Conference
Pod Camp Conference
She Does The City
Mobile User Experience Group
Toronto Product Management Association
Tangerine (formerly ING Direct)