I find writing bios challenging and dull so instead I hired a reporter to interview me.
So here goes!
Lauren, how has your past shaped What’s Next?
My entire life has been shaped by exposure to diverse cultures. I am a South African by birth, an American by choice, and a Global explorer on purpose. These life experiences have fostered in me an appreciation for the diversity of people's beliefs, strengths and passions.
So besides world experience, what education and business credentials do you bring to What’s Next?
I’ve had an interesting but non-linear career. After graduating from the University of Illinois with a B.A. in English, I enrolled in the “International Film and Video Workshops” in Rockport Maine. This led to my Communications Agency, UnitOne.
But after 8 successful years I needed a new challenge. So in 2015 I completed a Masters degree in Creativity; the human science of solving challenges, from Buffalo State College. Over a 20+ year career I’ve worked with start-ups to Fortune 500 companies (e.g. Coca-Cola, Hersheys, Spanx, 3M, AT&T, CVS, McDonald's), using my skills in graphic design, video editing, copywriting, group facilitation, and brand & business strategy.
What has helped to set you up to succeed with What’s Next?
I have had diverse experiences over my career. I am curious. I learn quickly and am not afraid to fail. I learned to edit videos literally overnight, taught college at 25, directed commercials that ran in 30 countries, worked with startups, ran a creative agency, shifted to work in global corporate and now launched What’s Next. My experience helps me to bring multiple perspectives to every client's What's Next journey.
So my last question. What does Lauren do for fun?
Beyond the joy of meeting and working with interesting people from across the globe I am a fiction writer, league axe thrower, 2-year old wrangler, scuba-diver, wine aficionado (but not while I’m scuba diving) and a big time techie.
A little bit about me...
I am a South African by birth, an American by choice and a global explorer by design. These life experiences have fostered in me an appreciation for the diversity of people's ideas, motivations, strengths, and dreams. I am a coach and a consultant.
I wear my coach hat with What’s Next. What’s Next is a radically different approach to finding more fulfillment in your life. What’s Next’s process is based in brain science, social psychology and the best practices used by the top businesses to drive innovation, plan for the future and yield success and applies them to our personal lives to disrupt comfortable patterns and design true change. Our program approach and tools get people to breakthroughs and jumpstarts change quickly in a unique and engaging way.
I wear my consultant hat with Accenture helping internal teams and their top clients solve big challenges – innovate products/services, envision the future, build partnerships, create targeted messaging for specific audiences, and help win projects ranging from $100+ Million - $2 Billion.
Before Accenture, I ran Fresh, a consultancy dedicated to helping startups and innovation teams create fresh brand and marketing strategies. Previous to Fresh, I co-owned a boutique creative agency. UnitOne partnered with clients such as Coca-Cola, Georgia Pacific, Hershey’s, Citi, J&J, TNS, and 3M to name a few.
I have worked with everyone from individuals to non-profits and from start-ups to Fortune 500s across most industries, geographies, and products + services. My experiences help to bring multiple perspectives to all my clients.