“The future is created one room at a time, one gathering at a time. Each gathering needs to become an example of the future we want to create. This means the small group is where transformation takes place. Large-Scale transformation occurs when enough small group shifts lead to the larger change. Small groups have the most leverage when they meet as part of the larger gathering. At these moments, citizens experience the intimacy of the small circle and are simultaneously aware that they are part of a larger whole that shares their concerns.”
—PETER BLOCK, COMMUNITY: THE STRUCTURE OF BELONGING
We are co-designers, process facilitators, knowledge workers, event producers, creators, entrepreneurs, and a team of contrarian thinkers who transform ideas. We are Fearless Voyagers responding to a complex landscape with elegance.
Fantan Group has a network of leaders, innovators, thinkers, creators, educators, and individuals who lend their knowledge and skills to our projects. They are experts and influencers in government, education, big business, local business, entertainment, creative industries, sport, media, and technology.
Tyl van Toorn
Tyl is CEO and co-founder of the Fantan Group. Supported by a world-class team of process designers, project managers and knowledge workers, he has designed, built and managed hundreds of B2B and B2C projects across North America, Asia and Europe.
TNT Productions, which he co-founded in 1999, quickly emerged as a global event production company, successfully implementing large-scale music and action sports events for both live and screen-based audiences while providing specialized, comprehensive management systems.
Becoming increasingly aware that traditional business models in the creative content ecosystem no longer aligned to customer preferences and their usage of technology, Tyl co-founded transmitNOW in 2006, which used a roundtable event model to align companies, trade organizations and government interacting in the creative content ecosystem. transmitNOW transformed the ways in which leaders, thinkers, and creators share knowledge and create new value chains. Since its inception, the transmitNOW event property has helped produce fourteen global leadership events on three continents, in cities from Vancouver to Shanghai, and Beijing to Helsinki.
As CEO of the Fantan Group, Tyl draws on the accumulated capacities of TNT Productions and transmitNOW to practice process design and facilitation, licensed methods co-developed with MG Taylor and the Value Web. Aided by an expanding network of global thinkers, creators and innovators, Fantan’s systems help transform challenges and ideas into strategies and ventures for start-ups, businesses, government, NGOs and educators.
In conjunction with his ongoing work at Fantan, Tyl sits on several boards, including Yuanfen Flow, a technology, entrepreneurship, art and design accelerator based in Beijing, and the SQE Westerkirk Advisory Group based in both Canada and the US.
With a long history of community building, Tessa joins the Fantan team as The Watershed’s Community Manager. In this role she is responsible for all programming offered by the new co-design space for coworkers and will work hard at developing connections between The Watershed and the outer community.
Born in Central Queensland and raised on the West Coast of Australia, Tessa started her working life as a professional singer/performer. Upon moving to Canada in 2000 she settled in the Sea to Sky Corridor where she became the first female Community Outreach Worker, managed a Safe Home that served women and children from the 5 surrounding first Nations Communities, and spearheaded multiple community initiatives that are still staples of the Whistler scene.
A relative newbie to Victoria, in 2013 Tessa co-directed the first Thinklandia Festival, which ran in conjunction with Vancouver Island’s biggest music festival, Rifflandia. In 2014 Tessa founded Kwench: a club that creates cultural community through events, talks, workshops, and collaborative space.
Tessa sits on the board for The Greater Victoria Women’s Shelter Society and is a passionate believer in the benefits of a strong community. She loves yoga, a good board game and water (both to drink and swim in), but most of all her two cheeky monkeys that keep her imagination fueled and her purpose focused.
Duncan is an Ontario-born, Island-raised entrepreneur and investor. He’s a die-hard music fan, a voracious consumer of sci-fi literature, and an avid foodie. He’s proud to call Victoria his home. Duncan has started and run a number of ventures in the past, and he brings his experience to Fantan as both a venture partner and facilitator.
Heather’s trajectory into her current role as Project Manager at Fantan has been an exciting one. Rambling at times, steep at others, the journey has taken her on a few unexpected detours and through some hairy roundabouts, all for the best.
Much of Heather’s late teens and early twenties were spent discovering the world through food, music and travel. After attending numerous festivals and cultural events, she began to identify the power of large social gatherings to generate a sense of community. Deciding to pursue an education in Arts and Cultural Management she landed at Fantan on an internship, eventually leading to full time employment where she cut her teeth curating and managing large-scale events.
Fast-forward 4 years and the landscape of Fantan has changed dramatically. A combination of being in the right place at the right time, coupled with serious intent to affect positive change in the world, allowed Heather to begin studying the vast body of knowledge around design thinking and organizational design, resulting in a transition from producing public events to the intimate gatherings of minds. As a committed Knowledge Worker, aspiring Designer, and constant inquirer, she continues to discover and explore daily.
Heather still loves to travel, experience new cultures, and eat fantastic food with good people. Her work at Fantan affords all three.
In her previous life, Jen braved the harsh prairie winters and travelled across Alberta to deliver programming in emergent literacy, early childhood, and adult education. She continues to be a proponent of constructivist and experiential learning, and is keenly interested in psychology.
Jen’s superpowers are her soft skills. Currently, she weaves her magic around the groundbreaking work of executives and leadership teams. Jen measures thrice and cuts once for consistently excellent results.
When she’s not contemplating the human condition, Jen sings like an angel, appreciates good design, and bakes one hell of a chocolate cake.
With a background in finance and administration, Jacqueline oversees the financial management at Fantan Group. As the Finance Manager, she strives to align Fantan’s visions and values with the business functions of the company. She enjoys the energy of the creative industries, and aims to create simple and organized systems that maximize efficiencies in a dynamic environment.
When she’s not karate chopping through the world of finance and administration at Fantan, Jacqueline enjoys spending time outdoors with the dogs in tow and pretending like she knows how to cook in the kitchen.
As Fantan’s Research and Design Coordinator, Khush enjoys the challenge of exploring concepts that are new and original, discovering ideas, and working with passion, discipline and determination to turn work into art. She has been learning new skills along with new Ways of Working to further her career development.
Khush comes from an Economics and Commerce background, and completed her Master of Arts in Economics at the University of Victoria. Khush is a problem solving enthusiast: an excited, efficient, and well-rounded young professional.
She says, “I like criticism. It makes you strong. I have always accepted challenges gracefully and worked really hard to meet my goals.”
Over the course of 8 years, Amanda has accumulated well-rounded experience in the media industry, event management and partnership development. As General Manager, Amanda has filled many roles within Fantan Group, including the formation and negotiation of transmitNOW’s annual roster of global partners. She’s worked with clients such as BlackBerry, Sonos, Slacker Radio and PacketVideo to develop transmitNOW’s acclaimed custom B2B programme both in Canada and China.
A graduate from the British Columbia Institute of Technology with a diploma in Media Communications, Amanda applies forward-thinking solutions to every situation. In addition to building valuable partnerships, she also directs projects and operations at Fantan.
For more than a decade, Carol-Lynne has been skill-hunting and gathering, largely in the Pacific North West. Her skills and experience span theatre production and performance, communications and media relations, event management, and presentation coaching. She has an everlasting commitment to the arts, film and culture industry and contributes to this sector in various local roles. In 2010, Carol-Lynne co-founded the first large-scale TEDx event in Victoria and led TEDxVictoria for more than four years.
Carol-Lynne stepped into the Fantan Group to coordinate logistic elements for its environments of change. Her creative and practical contributions are independently strong; her toolbox is as diverse as they come. She is a gap-finder and filler, ready to produce solutions for the problems of today and tomorrow. She also supports events and communications for The Watershed.
She was drawn to contribute to Fantan to be part of opening new pathways between existing structures within organizations; she is currently practicing new ways of working and developing her skills as a knowledge worker alongside her logistical duties.
Gail brings five decades experience of group facilitation, instructional design and experiential learning to Tomorrow Makers. Gail uses a synergistic approach to link diverse parties, dissolve blocks of unhealthy competition, and enable organizations and communities to tap into tacit and entrepreneurial knowledge.
Gail has taught in public and private schools. It is here, with young children that she first thought about Group Genius. She was totally amazed at the creative abilities of her students and realized that they had as much to teach her about learning and teaching as she did for them. Student scores soared when Gail observed that there were only a few simple rules that she needed to practice rigorously. Within this discipline, freedom to excel became standard practice.
Gail took what she learned from her interaction with young children and began applying it to the adult community through forming The Learning Exchange. The genius of this organization was that it brought all facets of the community together — young students, CEOs, scientists, teachers, artists, educators, economists, and parents – into collaboration to design curriculum missing in school systems. Group Genius was possible with adults as well as children!
Her work and philosophy in education expanded to the business and government communities when she and her husband, Matt Taylor, co-founded MG Taylor Corporation and knOwhere Inc. Together, they blended their talents and created a system of collaborative environments, work processes and tools to catalyze breakthrough and innovation in high-performance teams. This patented system is able to engage hundreds of people together to create, design and implement higher order solutions in remarkably short periods of time and reach well beyond conflict resolution and compromise. In 2001, Gail began working with the World Economic Forum to design collaborative workshops to participants. She became a fellow in 2005 and part of her work was to transfer the MGT process to the Forum, now known as the WEF WorkSpace.
Now Gail comes full cycle with Tomorrow Makers, a non-profit corporation developed to work with communities to help them bring about the transformations they envision. Tomorrow Makers does many things but the passion is all about teaching and learning through doing.
Gold Sydney Olympics
Silver Beijing Olympics
Flag Bearer London Olympics
Father of two
Endurance and pick up sport junkie
If he’s not playing with his kids or designing to create with the Fantan Group, he’s out on the ocean on his paddle board, with an audiobook and one huge shit eating grin.
Richard has 25+ of experience in the entertainment, broadcasting, cable, telecommunications and cultural industries. He was previously the executive vice president of CBC/Radio Canada.
David Neale is a seasoned senior Telecommunications executive with extensive management experience in consumer mobile devices and technology. Additional telecommunications experience includes the areas of Mobile and IPTV Content development and Digital Media Distribution.
Previously a musician, remixer, engineer, producer and promoter, Simon has been with The Beggars Group since 1990. Starting work with online distribution in 1997 Simon has since worked with almost every significant entity in digital media.
Eric is the founder and CEO of BigChampagne Media Measurement, a music metrics company which is the first and only measure of all of the ways in which music is popular, everywhere.
Steve has served some of the most innovative companies in the entertainment, music, and information technology industry over the last ten years. He is an associate of Masur Law, a boutique intellectual and property business firm that deals with the media, entertainment and technology industries.
Todd has been working in the field of process design and facilitation since 1992. Drawing on a broad and diverse body of work in designing and sequencing group interaction, his focus is on enabling deep dialogue, learning, collaboration, and serious play and to direct this towards the emergence of new ideas, actions and solutions.
An entrepreneur, digital visionary, business development expert with valuable experience in the online media and digital music industry. He is Co-founder of Lev Group Media, and the exclusive rights holder of Warner Music Group/Beggars Group.
After several years managing investments in entertainment and technology for a San Diego-based private venture fund, Jim returned to music as SVP Digital Strategy and Business Development where he foresees the disruption that broadband access brings to the music industry.
For more than 10 years, Svenja has worked as an independent facilitator and process designer focused on delivering collaborative workshops to solve complex problems in an accelerated manner.
Rob has worked in a variety of fields within the music industry including label manager, commercial photography producer and artist manager for independent projects. He is the founder of Secret Study, a boutique agency that connects brands with musicians and artists.
Fearless leader of a band of creative misfits.
An entrepreneur who builds web tools, events and offline spaces that help people collaborate, innovate and inspire. Jonathan is also a keynote speaker, panelist and workshop facilitator where he discusses themes that explore open innovation, creative spaces and rethinking.
An entrepreneur and investor who works with innovative businesses that develop high quality digital entertainment that aim to create social good. Angel currently holds a number of directorships and is on the boards of several companies valuable on a global scale.
“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.” – Ernest Hemingway
Eric’s ambition is to design and facilitate journeys that use the power of collaboration and creative thinking to provoke systemic transformation, catalyze innovation and solve the world’s wicked problems.
After completing a Business degree from the University of Alberta, Eric moved to Victoria to join the Fantan Group in 2010, where he first honed his skills in marketing and project management through initiatives ranging from an outdoor concert for 50,000 people to an exclusive think-tank event for 150 Chinese and Western executives on the Great Wall of China.
During his time at Fantan Group, he was introduced to the MG Taylor methodology through The Value Web, and together with them he has worked on a variety of projects ranging from a startup “Innovation Camp” to a DesignShop that stimulated Vancouver’s creative industries to collaborate as a unified cluster.
In 2012, he made the leap to Asia, traveling in several places like Vietnam and Taipei before settling in Shanghai. From there, he had the chance to work with ?What If! Innovation Partners before establishing his own practice. Projects with clients including Hyundai, Michelin, EY, Microsoft and Roche have led him to be immersed in the market of Tier-5 Chinese cities, organize insights gathering with upper-class households from the UAE, and work with 200 employees of a Fortune 50 company to help themselves transition into a corporate spin-off.
In mid-2014 Eric made the move back to Canada and is presently based in Toronto. Eric is fluent in English, Mandarin and Brazilian Portuguese and continues to seek opportunities to work worldwide.
Catherine acts as an industry advocate and increases the profile of Canadian music publishers both domestically and internationally, specifically their issues and their value to the music industry.
Co-founder of 1970s rock band, Lighthouse, Paul continues to perform in the band and also as a jazz pianist. Paul is also the founder of a research centre at York University where he develops advanced new media.
David Ben Kay
During his 15 years as a corporate lawyer, David assisted over 250 companies in setting up businesses in China and managed issues from a wide range of industries: aviation, automotive, energy, consumer products, finance, pharmaceuticals, high technology, media and communications.
Beginning as a main writer and guitar player for Moev, Mark’s career focuses on the creative elements of the careers of artists. Mark is regarded as one of the best A&R representatives in Canada with an extraordinary ability to attract talent.