By cultivating idea sharing through creativity, everyone has a chance to have their voice heard. This is the foundation of Van Lai-DuMone’s work as the founder of worksmart, a progressive team and leadership development consultancy that activates creativity and experiential learning to enrich company culture and skyrocket performance. She activates her clients' creative capacity through hands-on learning with LEGO® Serious Play, Creative Problem Solving tools, and crafting custom artifacts.
Born in Vietnam and raised in Southern California, after her family fled Vietnam as war refugees, Van watched her parents pave a new life for themselves; exemplifying how creative thinking, innovation, and curiosity can help people overcome their circumstances. In her talks, she often references her mom's role in trailblazing the Vietnamese manicure industry. An industry born through the unlikely teaming up of a Hollywood movie star and 20 Vietnamese women at a refugee camp in 1975; a story that touches on lessons of women empowerment, compassion, diversity, curiosity, and determination.
She studied Psychology at the University of California, Santa Barbara and earned her MBA from Pepperdine University. With over 15 years of corporate and start-up experience, Van actively works to rewrite the way we apply creativity in the workplace, instilling brave thinking in clients who are willing to disrupt traditional thinking. Her clients include game changers such as Google, LinkedIn, and Pandora.