"Fay Johnson has been a joy to work with both professionally and personally. Her ability to discern and navigate cultural and relational complexity sets her apart in a unique way within the world of non-profit / humanitarian work where nothing is formulaic. Perhaps her greatest gift though is as a communicator and unifier, where misunderstanding and division are always the end of good ideas and intentions. Dealing with wide ranges of personalities and vision statements within the context of social justice is par for the course, and Fay has proven herself more than capable of holding people together and to a common goal even within the most difficult and enduring of circumstances. I would recommend Fay to any individual, organization, or coalition of organizations without flinching. She is a phenomenally gifted individual capable of executing a well vetted plan in clarity, or researching and implementing one out of ambiguity."
– Brad Corrigan, Musician, Dispatch. Founder, Love Light & Melody
Social Entrepreneurship + Design Thinking
"I not only developed an entrepreneurial mindset and enhanced my business capabilities, but I also acquired critical life skills — identifying real-world problems, developing empathy, risk-taking in the face of uncertainty, and iterating potential solutions. Ms. Johnson’s passion, leadership, and first-hand entrepreneurial experience create an engaging environment that fosters collaboration, confidence, and active learning. She inspires and empowers me to tackle the complex challenges of today and tomorrow."
– Jordan Jackson, Student, Castilleja High School; Participant in 2-Week Course taught in Kenya at Castilleja's Sister School, Kisaruni.
“Fay has a been a lifesaver for us. She’s helped on several important projects both at the front end – developing strategy, creating clear plans, setting goals – and at the back end – cleaning up messes, fixing problems and evaluating activities.
In every case, she’s delivered high quality service, thoughtful, creative (without being chaotic), and reliable.”
– Gawain Kripke, Director of Policy, Oxfam America
Employee Workshop: Making a Difference
“We loved having Fay speak to our staff about Choices That Change Things. She provided a unique perspective on how our employees could make a positive impact in the world without quitting their day jobs (which we appreciate). Her presentation was well received – 76% of attendees said the information was relevant for their job. We are happy to be engaged with deliberateLIFE.”
– Joe Hill, Human Resources, SanDisk
Design Thinking 101
We had the pleasure of having Fay run a human-centered design workshop for our nonprofit YCore. Fay was able to provide an overview of human-centered design and rapid prototyping, as well as provide individual feedback and advice to our teams all in the space of 90-mins. She was engaging, enthusiastic, and an absolute joy to have at our workshop. I would highly recommend her to lead workshops on human-centered design, social entrepreneurship, and international development.
– Olivia Bryant, BCG Digital Ventures
Teaching Social Entrepreneurship
Fay is an extremely knowledgeable and skilled educator in the field of entrepreneurship. She led a week-long workshop for an all-girls classroom of Kenyan students (from Kisaruni School) and Bay Area students (from Castilleja School) in Kenya. Her knowledge of the design thinking process and experience facilitating groups allowed her to leverage the cultural differences between the students to enhance their understanding of entrepreneurship on a global scale. She quickly became seen as a leader in our group and a mentor for the students. She was a joy to work with as a trip co-lead; I would highly recommend her!
– Emily Entress, Leadership & Partnerships, Castilleja School
"I often host day-long workshop to provide current and prospective clients with focused time to examine their lives. Fay joined our last session as the guest speaker. She spoke about her journey as an entrepreneur from the perspective of identifying and following your dream. She was great – attendees laughed, were engaged, and examined parts of their life journey they may not have previously. Fay is an absorbing speaking – I recommend her highly."
– David Gerber, David Gerber Coaching
Behavior Change Training
"Fay Johnson and Red Balloon Idea’s commitment to social change is unyielding. Throughout the duration of working with Fay, she has gone above and beyond to utilize her skills, experience and creativity to guide us through the development and branding of a campaign to promote latrine adoption, the "NuChoo" Campaign. We know that the training she provided our staff on product design, user experience and behavior change and her strategic guidance as we launched Nuru’s Social Marketing program will be instrumental in driving us toward the long-term impact in the communities Nuru currently works with in Kenya, and soon beyond."
– Lindsay Cope, Sr Program Mngr, Healthcare; Nuru International
"Fay and I worked together in Oxfam on humanitarian policy issues affecting our respective programs in Ethiopia and Somalia. In a complex region, she identified strategic issues needing to be addressed, and was able to quickly organize policy documents to guide Oxfam's advocacy in these areas. She is quick to grasp the essentials ofany situation regarding humanitarian affairs and how Oxfam should engage. I am impressed by her pro-active approach to challenges, and would highly recommend her for any position demanding the ability to master complex issues, quickly."
– Robert Maletta, Former Regional Policy Advisor, Oxfam
"Fay is exceptional. She has been a go-to resource for me and my former organization for a number of consulting needs. We’ve engaged her services for campaign strategizing, global events with cultural complexity, and brand events with big creative demands. She has a truly unique set of experiences and knowledge that enables her to create products and events for a range of audiences – from government negotiators at international summits, to company executives, to families in Central Park. And it is always a pleasure to work with Fay Johnson."
- Vicky Rateau, Former Climate Change Campaign Director, Oxfam
"Red Balloon Ideas was instrumental in setting up Nuru International’s Social Marketing department here in Kenya. Fay Johnson guided the US and Kenyan teams throughout the first social marketing campaign and brought a level of commitment, professionalism and experience that has proven to be invaluable. During a field visit to Kenya, Fay worked directly with the local staff to come up with a campaign and messages that were both tailored and effective. It has been a joy to put several of Fay’s innovative ideas into practice and see the transformative results. Thanks to Red Balloon Ideas, we feel confident to move forward and used the social marketing process to promote other good behaviors as part of Nuru’s mission to end extreme poverty."
– Claire Rumpsa, Program Manager; Nuru International