Courtney is an explorer and connector by nature who thrives by working with others to bring system-changing and meaningful projects to life, strategically and efficiently – especially with a focus on innovation and sustainable development. In the past 15 years she has lived, worked and traveled across more than 70 countries in pursuit of positive social impact using design thinking and developing market-based solutions. She has formally co-founded two social enterprises and has worked in and among large-scale organisations like Ashoka and the United Nations, and collaborated with global academic centers such as MIT’s D-lab and Stanford’s Hasso Plattner Institute of Design. For the past six years she has been Asia-based, working in the social impact sector as an entrepreneur, consultant, university lecturer and co-founder of DSIL Global.
Courtney is a current Vital Voices Fellow, faculty member at the Thammasat University’s School of Global Studies and Social Entrepreneurship, and the Amsterdam-based THNK School of Creative Leadership for in-company program. She volunteers her time as an advisory board member to the Frontier Innovators DFAT program. Since 2016 she has also worked with the MIT International Development Design Summits, by co-leading in the Colombia, Thailand and Australia programs.
Other highlights include founding the Japan-based ‘Global Studies, Peace and Leadership Summer Seminar’ series – integrating virtual and fieldwork among participants from more than 40 countries to India, Thailand, Cambodia and the Philippines. From 2006-2014 she also served on the Executive Committee of the of the Swiss-based NGO World Alliance of YMCAs as a global representative of the North America region. Previous to co-founding a US social enterprise dedicated to creating a hub for closed loop systems and sustainability entrepreneurs, she worked with Ashoka’s Full Economic Citizenship initiative in the Washington, D.C.
Since 2002 she has logged in thousands of hours leading and facilitating classes, workshops and trainings across Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Europe, North and South America. She holds a master’s degree in responsible management and sustainable economic development from the United Nations University for Peace, in Costa Rica, and a bachelor’s degree in political science, international relations from the College of Charleston; with one year spent abroad in South Africa, at the University of Stellenbosch. ‘Ubuntu’ is a life-guiding philosophy that connects her passion with her purpose.