Meet Adventureworks! Founder Brian Lisson


Episode 94: Meet Brian Lisson, founder of Adventureworks! based in Canada. Brian, along with his team, provide a diverse range of services in the Adventure Industry field focusing on experiential education.  From challenge course building, to youth leadership development, professional training, and team development services, Adventureworks! is a standout in the field since 1993.  With such a long history, Phil has lots to ask of Brian in this episode like how he got his start and where the industry is heading.  Founder Brian is still, more than ever, committed to building community through the work of experiential education!  

Host Phil Brown starts off with some applause for Brian who was the 2021 recipient of the prestigious ACCT Critical Link Award.  Then he invites Brian to select a mystery question that asks him to reveal something he’s not good at. Brian’s answer may throw you for a curve.  In addition to a host of open-ended questions, Phil is curious to discover what led Brian to this field, and if he has any paramount advice for new practitioners entering the field.  Jobs in the field may be far and few between, but Brian’s advice can help newly entering professionals chart their course for success.  Here’s a preview of what to expect…

Topics & Questions Presented In This Episode

  • Explain what drew you into the field and your first experiences with experiential learning.  
  • Is the market/model for experiential education in Canada similar or different to the market/model in the US?  
  • How and why did you start Adventureworks!?  
  • Is the industry growing and if so where is it heading in the future?  
  • What’s the impact of the commercialization of Challenge Course/Adventure Activities on Adventure-based Education Programs?
  • Compare and contrast the value of challenge courses in terms of entertainment versus education?  
  • What is the future of the industry?  
  • Where do opportunities exist for the industry?

Additional Resources

Adventureworks! website –

Guest Bio – Brian Lisson 

Adventureworks! President & Founder

Brian has been actively involved in facilitating adventure experiences, building ropes courses and training adventure leaders for over twenty five years. He has also been Camp Director at Canterbury Hills, a sessional lecturer at McMaster University, and Director of Professional Development Programs at Outward Bound Canada. 

Brian has worked with a wide variety of clientele. He has facilitated programs for human service professionals, teachers, corporate teams, students, young offenders and therapy groups. 

Brian has presented internationally at the Association for Experiential Education Conference and the Association for Challenge Course Technology (ACCT). He has presented locally at many professional organizations including OCA, BCCA, PRO, and COEO. Brian has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Council of Outdoor Educators of Ontario and the Association for Challenge Course Technology. Brian is currently a member of the Accreditation and Certification Committee and a Board Emeritus Member of the ACCT.

Brian is the recipient of the 2021 Critical Link Award from the Association for Challenge Course Technology. Brian was the 2011 recipient of the Robin Dennis Award and is an Honorary Lifetime Member of the Council of Outdoor Educators of Ontario.