Alison Lester

Senior Facilitator

With a bold and creative coaching style, Alison Lester’s communication programs have been utilized by McDonald’s and DDB.

2 Truths and a lie

Here are some facts about Alison – which one do you think is a lie?

  1. My great-great-great grandfather was one of the principal illustrators for Charles Dickens.
  2. I am a twin. My older brothers are also twins.
  3. I was the women’s novice champion of the Karate Referees Association of New England at 16.

From improving personality clashes to performing confidently under pressure, Alison provides step-by-step expertise in communication tools and leadership presence. To futurethink, she brings an improvisational comedy background and a deep understanding of creativity and innovation. Among the many organizations that have implemented her programs are CNBC Asia, DDB, Goldman Sachs, McDonald’s, and Swarovski.

Alison motivates clients toward frank and open discussion—with zero mentions of “out-of-the-box thinking,” an expression she finds wholly unproductive. She has shared her techniques for accessing creativity at TEDx in Singapore, where she now lives, after spending eight years in Tokyo. While living in Asia, she has also edited financial articles, performed stand-up at The Tokyo Comedy Store, and worked as a voice talent for television and radio.

Alison has a BA in Chinese language and literature from Indiana University and an MA in Chinese studies from the Johns Hopkins School of International Studies. A prolific writer, she has authored several books, including Lillian on Life (2015), Restroom Reflections: How Communication Changes Everything (2010), and Present for Success (2009). She speaks Mandarin, Japanese, and French and is known for her offbeat gifting, such as portraits made entirely from found objects.