COLIN COLTRERA

Colin was a high school student with 5 years of Japanese study under his belt when he landed in rural Japan for a study abroad program. Sitting down down to his first meal with his host parents, he was shocked and dismayed to discover he could barely communicate how he felt about the food in front of him. He was crushed. Moving up through levels in school didn’t make a difference when the rubber hit the road. He worried that he just wasn’t good at learning languages. But, determined to take matters into his own hands, he dove into online language learning forums, scientific studies and blogs by prolific polyglots. He tried crazy techniques, like listening to audio in a foreign language while reading a translation in English, and mundane ones like flashcard drills. Today Colin has learned to speak Japanese, Spanish and Tibetan, and of course a little French, Biblical Hebrew, Mandarin and Bhutanese to boot. Colin realized that so many people want to learn but haven’t been given the right tools and techniques.

 

Colin creates sustained behavior and culture change, focusing on individual transformation as a means for driving large-scale shifts. He designs immersive learning experiences around topics including innovation and design thinking, managing diverse teams, and the Lean approach to business models. As an expert in human-centered design and the Design Thinking process, he guides teams through research, ideation, and prototyping, resulting in innovation that cuts to the core of customer needs.

 

Colin earned his M.A. in Learning, Design and Technology from Stanford University. As Faculty at Karma Shri Nalanda Institute, a university for Tibetan Buddhist monks in Sikkim, India, he designed and implemented an English language program.

 

Colin builds capabilities and the foundations for new behaviors through a human-centered approach, tailoring solutions to people’s real needs. He inspires others to take control of their own development, learning how to learn, and co-designs personalized solutions to fit each client’s unique learning needs. Colin’s clients learn to innovate, think nimbly, and spot opportunities.

 

Colin got his start in New York City, teaching entrepreneurship and English language to refugee and immigrant teenagers. He combined traditional learning methods and and immersive projects to arm his students with the just-in-time language skills and mindsets they needed. He cofounded Taxi to Tomorrow, a language learning non-profit, where he designed an immersive program of mutual mentorship between non-native English speakers at the high school level and English-speaking college students. He has gone on to design courses and learning experiences for diverse groups of learners around the world — including feedback programs for managers and influencers within top Silicon Valley tech companies, experiential language learning courses for elementary school students in Taiwan and 3-month and 9-month innovation acceleration programs for WorkLab, a consortium of top companies working together to make work better.

 

Colin is an amateur mixed-medium artisan - using a wide range of materials, from fibers and paper to leather. He especially loves to explore regional variants of traditional crafts, like the different styles of basket weaving traditional to first peoples of the Pacific Northwest.

 

Colin’s television “footprint” spans across Asia, from Japan to Bhutan and Taiwan. In Japan he was an audience member on a musical variety show. In Bhutan he was featured in a TV documentary teaching monks in his classroom. And in Taiwan he led a group of children as they tore apart their old English textbooks in a Taipei train station and crafted new ones just for themselves.

 

 

 

 

Colin believes in the transformative power of learning, and the innate capability of each and every person to continuously grow. He lives to create  those moments where people surprise themselves with their own achievements.