Future School Lab

Accelerating Innovation

in Education

Accelerating Innovation in Education

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Who We Are

Vanessa is an expert on innovation in education and combines her personal experience creating a highly successful education partnership initiative at Nike with years of working with innovative nonprofits and experiential learning programs on scale to advise funders, nonprofits and corporations on innovation in education.

What We Do

Leveraging the "Future You" process created with schools at Nike, design thinking concepts, and connections with education experts across the globe, Vanessa brings clarity to the problem clients are trying to solve, distills insights that drive possible solutions, and works with innovators to ideate innovative solutions and programs. 

Three principles describe our work: 

  • Authentic - Building on your organization's biggest strengths and attributes;
  • Relevant - Addressing real and pressing problems with innovative and scalable solutions;
  • Collaborative - Working in cross-sector partnerships with best-in-class organizations. The best most impactful initiatives are rarely solo ventures.

Although Future School Lab is small, we partner with education experts and leaders globally to give our clients best-in-class advice and results without the overhead and expense of larger firms. 

Helping Innovators Create the Future

Spotlight Innovation

Teachers and school leaders everywhere are innovating to serve their students better. We share unique models and trends that are changing the meaning of "school."


Strategy & Execution

We help foundations, corporations and other social impact investors create programs, initiatives and strategies to accelerate innovation in education. 


Share Globally

Cultural exchanges (virtual or in-person) help us see our own biases and expand what's possible. We facilitate tours and introductions that create lasting impact.  

Learning Tours

What People Say About Us

"Vanessa is one of the most astute business women I have worked with globally in 25 years. Highly engaging and brilliantly sharp, she brings critical assessment and dynamic vision to every business challenge. Not afraid to test boundaries for solutions she is a true innovator and visionary. I look forward to continuing to work together in the future and would totally recommend her talents to other businesses / companies." 

"Vanessa is not afraid to take big ideas and make them a reality.  Thanks to her passion, intelligence, and drive, thousands of students in Oregon are successfully achieving in high school and college!" 

"Innovation is a creative process that requires leaders who aren't afraid to put themselves out there. Vanessa knows how to architect that process. She draws leaders in and gives them the courage to collaborate and innovate in unique ways." 

- Mat Johnson, Brand Experience Strategist and Nike Veteran

- Sandy Husk, CEO of AVID and former Salem-Keizer Superintendent

- Ken Black, CEO, PIVOT and former Nike VP Digital Design Transformation

our partners



Contact Us

Tell us about how you're innovating. Share what you know works. Reach out for thought partnership and implementation strategies.

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