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Co-Founder & CEO

Taryn Ash

Taryn Ash has a 25-year career in learning, coaching, and organizational transformation, helping over 50 corporations and government bodies worldwide become more sustainable.

Taryn’s career has focused on professional development and adult learning, initially as a lecturer of interpersonal and intercultural communication, then as an award-winning instructional designer, management and training consultant, and executive leadership coach. She has held senior management roles as a leader and developer of training teams and run her own global talent development consultancy. Taryn has designed and implemented local, regional and global upskilling programs for government bodies and multinational organizations. She has also developed policies to foster diversity and inclusion, company-wide mentoring strategies designed to attract and retain valued staff, and award-winning global sales development programs.

Taryn has given numerous papers at regional and international conferences on topics related to leadership and self-management, as well as on talent development initiatives at a national level. Her work has taken her around the world.

She has an MBA from the University of Nottingham, UK; is a certified leadership coach by Rice University, USA, and has also formally studied business and intercultural communication in Canada, Japan and China.

Originally from Canada, Taryn lives between Dubai and France.

Co-Founder & CIO

Lori Figueiredo

Lori Figueiredo has 30 years of experience in the organizational psychology space, working in more than 20 industries and at least 50 companies in over 100 countries.

Through her business, S&W Accelerate, she applies her award-winning SYZYGY® Design Methodology to projects in the MENA region. Her expertise is in helping to align organizations’ people, purposes and performance. Her state-of-the-art tools have a proven track record with such clients as Singapore Airlines, DBS Bank, KFC, Nokia, Dell, Credit Suisse, Hong Kong Airport, amongst many others. These days Lori leverages the latest digital technology combined with the best in human psychology for large-scale organizational transformation.

Lori bases her expertise on such influences as systems thinking, cognitive and developmental psychology, behaviour change and human-centred design. And she uses it to accelerate leadership development and major group-wide transformations.

Lori currently lives between Dubai, London and South Africa, and works globally.

Lori Figueiredo

Our Global Ecosystem

Our global team of master consultants, coaches, SME’s, VR experts and instructional designers deliver ready-built and customized solutions to match your needs.

Every member of our world-class coaching team is an expert in human skills, also known as POWER skills,  including, but not limited to, leadership, empowerment, communication, and inclusion.

Advisory Board

Rangina Hamidi, MA

Ms Hamidi was Afghanistan’s most recent Education Minister. Today, she is an Afghan-American writer, educator, social entrepreneur, and world-renowned advocate for female empowerment and development. American educated, she is a professor of practice at the prestigous Thunderbird Business School of Global Management and a celebrated public speaker.

Rangina was the first cabinet-level, female minister of education to hold that position in thirty years. She works tirelessly to advocate for women’s rights by empowering girls and women through social entrepreneurship and other initiatives to build their lives.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in Religious Studies and Gender Studies at the University of Virginia and a She later completed a Master of Arts in Global Affairs and Management at Thunderbird School of Global Management.

Returning to Afghanistan in 2003, Ms. Hamidi devoted herself to improving the lives of Afghans through development projects, advocacy, and, most importantly, education. Ms. Hamidi’s accomplishments include the founding of Kandahar Treasure, a full-value chain social enterprise that has lifted countless women through the production of their distinguished, traditional hand-crafted textiles. The collective’s products have been sold in Afghanistan, Europe, the Middle East, and North America. 

Ms. Hamidi is well-versed in pedagogy, child development, and psychology and led the Mezan International School, a private institution, as its first principal. These accomplishments led the president of Afghanistan to ask her to bring her innovative approach to education as acting education minister.

She has contributed to numerous publications and radio programs, including TIMES Asia Magazine, The Globe and Mail, Der Spiegel, Business Week, The New York Times, The Guardian, The Telegraph, NPR, BBC, and Voice of America. Ms. Hamidi co-authored “Embroidering within Boundaries: Afghan Women Creating a Future,” which takes the reader on a pictorial journey into her  life and tells the stories of the courageous Afghan women she serves.

Isabelle Perez-Gore, PhD.

Dr. Isabelle Perez-Gore boasts a distinguished career spanning over 30 years in the field of international education, professional development, and capacity building, in Egypt, Hong Kong, Singapore, Dubai, Jordan, India, Bangladesh and France.

Throughout her tenure, she has played a vital role in empowering educators in various capacities, including the Open University UK project EIA, program reaching 51 thousand teachers and 7 million students in Bangladesh, the Ford Foundation India and Macmillan publishers, impacting 21,243 schools in India, and with government bodies such as the Ministry of Education Jordan and UNWRA. Additionally, she has served as a lecturer in higher education for business and communication development in Hong Kong, Singap ore, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, the UK, and France. She also served as a lecturer in Hospitality and Luxury Brands Masters Supervisor and Examiner in France. Currently, she operates as a global consultant.

GORE holds a master’s degree in Applied Linguistics from Surrey University in England and a Doctorate in Education from the University of London, England. Her research focuses on international development and widening participation, and the overcoming and utilization of cultural barriers for better integration and growth. She has spoken on these education-related subjects at conferences across Asia, Africa, and Europe.

Sarah Mavrinac, PhD.

Sarah Mavrinac, PhD.

Dr. Mavrinac is a Harvard-trained academic, an award-winning social entrepreneur, and an impassioned advocate of wellness lifestyles.

Serving first as a professor at INSEAD, one of the world’s leading business schools, Sarah soon found her way into the impact sector. Aidha, her first social enterprise, established her as a Singapore International Woman of the Year and, in 2009, as a Schwab Fellow of the World Economic Forum (WEF).

In 2012, following her family’s move to Abu Dhabi, Sarah’s interests shifted again – this time towards wellness. To support her son in his recovery from autism, Sarah retrained both as a wellness coach and as a chef.

Today, Dr. Mavrinac brings these capabilities to her newest impact initiative, Azoki, a regenerative health start-up working to empower individuals with health literacy and wellness life skills.

Suzanne Smith, MA

Suzanne Smith has had an illustrious career in development, spanning close to three decades across diverse regions such as Niger, Mozambique, Bangladesh, Tibet, and Afghanistan. Today, she is a globally recognized proponent of female education and empowerment.

Ms. Smith began her journey with the Peace Corps in Niger, where she devised and implemented nutrition and immunization education programs for women and children.

Suzanne has had extensive experience in microcredit organizations in Bangladesh, and monitored and oversaw the Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee (BRAC) Flood Rehabilitation Project through the European Community’s Humanitarian Organization (ECHO).

For nine years, Suzanne focused on Sub-Saharan Africa, notably contributing to Save the Children’s micro-credit program. Her leadership played a pivotal role in the program’s exponential growth and the formulation of policies that supported HIV-affected families in Mozambique, enabling them to effectively manage their loans.

She collaborated with prominent organizations in Mozambique, such as the US Peace Corps, Health Alliance International, International Relief & Development, and the Academy for Education Development, focusing on curriculum design and training initiatives during the HIV/AIDS crisis.

In Afghanistan, she spearheaded gender-based training and development projects in Kandahar and Kabul. Through her efforts, she co-developed curricula and learning materials, enhanced the capabilities of teachers, and piloted a high-school program for girls, which ultimately became an elective offered in high schools under the auspices of the Afghan Ministry of Education.

Today, Suzanne actively supports Ukrainian Refugees’ support groups and aids Afghan resettlement efforts in the USA and Europe. Her commitment to women’s leadership training in developing nations remains steadfast. Moreover, she established a groundbreaking and sustainable system of transparent accounting for aid recipients, Accountable Partners©, which operates as a social enterprise.

Suzanne’s vision entails propagating the Accountable Partners© methodology across the developing world, providing a unified and simplified accounting system for grassroots partners. This approach fosters the trust necessary for scaling up program activities and engenders the lasting impact imperative to address the most pressing global challenges.

Helping leaders maximize their potential
. . . and their impact.