Leadership Change Propels Left’s Purposeful Journey

Since our establishment in 2010, Left has been known by its slogan ‘We’re Left; we do things right’. Over the years, we've  grown, morphed, and pivoted, but we have always remained true to our commitment to use business and technology as a force for good in the world.

This year, as we approach our 10th anniversary, we are consolidating our mission to focus on travel as that force for good. Our Co-Founder and former CMO, John Lyotier, has stepped up to the role of Chief Executive Office to chart our course.

Driven by a firm belief that travel opens minds, breaks down barriers, encourages  peace, and drives economies, John will lead our mission to inspire ‘travel with purpose’.

“Purpose is about determination and intent,” says John, “It’s about understanding that actions have reactions and ensuring you are always doing things for the right reasons.”

John goes on to explain why our renewed focus is on travel: “Travel has always been in Left’s DNA - from the domain names and brands we built out early in our establishment, to the proprietary cloud-based ‘decision engine’ we developed to match travelers with their perfect destinations, to the global travel our team does every year between our offices in Canada and Bangladesh.”

“We know, first-hand, the benefits of travel, and we want to make it easier for all of us to experience them.  But, as a B Corp committed to our motto of ‘doing things right’, we can’t ignore the downsides. Now is the right time for us to focus our attention on using technology in travel as a force for good and to inspire ‘travel with purpose’.”

John’s mission as Left’s CEO is to lead Left through the lens of ‘Sustainable Commerce’ which, explained by John, means “balancing profit and growth with positive social and environmental impact. It means giving back when we gain, so we can all continue to grow.”

Chris Jensen, fellow Left Co-Founder and exiting CEO who has transitioned to Chief Operating Officer, supports John in his new role as CEO.  “John’s track record of growing profitable businesses, along with his unwavering commitment to create meaningful global impact with technology, makes him the right leader for this stage of Left’s evolution”, he states.

Left is the Canadian travel tech company that makes the world a better place by leveraging technology and empowering people to ‘travel with purpose’. Our mission is to increase the benefits and decrease the downsides of travel for people, business, and the planet. Partnering with the world’s largest travel retailers, our flagship brand, Left Travel, matches 5+ million travelers with their dream destinations each year, and our proprietary big data marketing engine, TravelMind fuels over $450 million in annual gross travel bookings. One Degree, our newest brand, encourages, recognizes, and rewards eco-friendly accommodations. Established in 2010, Left is a certified B Corporation and was recognized by B Lab as a “Best for the World” in 2019. Left is one of ‘Canada’s Top 100 Employers’ and is repeatedly honoured with awards that recognize us as one of the happiest, most meaningful, and fastest growing travel tech companies in Canada and North America.

What it means to be a B Corp

Why Left became a B Corp

At Left we believe that you need to know the score to be able to improve and succeed, that is why ‘Keeping Score’ is one of our core values. Whether it is knowing the daily sales stats or tracking community hours, it is important to know your metrics as we believe, that which is measured, gets improved. 

In 2015 we realized that there was a lack of data on parts of our business that were the most important to us, such as measuring our employee engagement and our global impact. The metrics we wanted to track were over time, not day-to-day or month-to-month, but year-to-year. 

To address this, we started by selecting a local company, Perked!, to keep score of our employee engagement and satisfaction. While this tool was leading us in the right direction, it didn’t track how we were making our mark globally or provide benchmarks with other organizations. 

It was while reviewing our fellow nominee for the 2015 ‘Technology Impact Award in Community Engagement’, Traction on Demand, that our Director of Talent and Culture, Tracy McDonald, saw the B-Corp logo for the first time. 

Reading through their website she thought ‘we could do this’ - it was exactly what we were looking for. Being a B-Corp would provide us with a way to ensure that we were doing things right. It would allow us to benchmark ourselves with other organizations, and over time, it would allow us to pick elements from within the scoring mechanism that we could work to improve. Becoming a part of the B Corp movement was a way to be a part of the change, and in our small way, help to champion that change.

In 2017, we were proud to have become a ​Certified B Corporation.

What is a B-Corp?

Certified B Corporations are organizations committed to doing business as a ‘force for good.' Certified companies hold a high standard of “verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose.”

As a collective, the B Corp community works to create a global cultural shift to redefine success in business with the goal of building a more inclusive and sustainable economy.

Becoming a B Corp

Becoming a Certified B Corporation is a tough milestone to achieve, and we're proud to have earned it!
Unlike other organizational certifications, the B Impact Assessment doesn’t only evaluate a product or service, it assesses “the overall positive impact of the company that stands behind it.” This happens through an evaluation and scoring of a business's impact in five key impact areas: Governance, Workers, Community, Environment, and Customers. To become B-Corp certified, companies must score a total of 80 across all impact areas. Left is proud to have scored 101.


The Left impact area score.

Although we're happy with our score, we recognize that being a B Corp is a commitment to abide by a high standard and seek constant improvement in everything we do. We’re always working to improve our impact areas and make a larger positive mark in our Community. We recertify in early 2020, and we look forward to seeing the progress we have made.

Why Left believes in B Corps

It is our goal to model growth without compromise. Where other companies are limited to maximizing shareholder value, we welcome the B-Corp requirement of maximizing “the value of all stakeholders, including shareholders, employees, our partners, the community, and the environment.” This codification ensures that whatever twists and turns the company may take, all involved are assured that we'll live up to our brand promise: We are Left; we do things right.

About Left

Left is a B-Corp certified, Canadian multinational media and technology company committed to using technology for positive social impact. One of Canada’s Top 100 Employers, Left has grown into a global team of over 160. Left Travel, a brand of Left, has been using big data, A.I., and predictive analysis to convert high search intent traffic into quality bookings for hotels and short-term stays since 2010. With its mobile mesh networking project powered by blockchain and tokenization, RightMesh, Left is addressing the global challenge of connectivity — particularly in regions where the digital divide is greatest. Headquartered in the Vancouver-based suburb of Maple Ridge, BC, Left has offices, subsidiaries, and employees in Bangladesh, Switzerland, and the United States.

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Inside One of Canada’s Top 100 Employers

Earlier this year, Left was honoured to have been named on the elite list of Canada’s Top 100 Employers. The award recognizes companies that invest in their employees’ personal growth by offering unique initiatives, continuous learning, and development opportunities.

Left was the smallest company recognized, with only 36 Canadian employees at the time of entry. “Although a small company in comparison to others on the list, our heart is big,” said CEO and Co-founder, Chris Jensen. “We’ve demonstrated that you don’t need big, expensive programs and benefits to create an exceptional place to work — with innovation and progressive initiatives, any company can become a top employer regardless of size if you set your heart and mind to it.”

With that statement in mind, we want to share some of our ‘Lefty magic’ by giving a behind the scenes look into what makes Left one of Canada’s Top Employers.

Board Room

To start our #InsideCanadasTop100 tour, we bring you to the boardroom which reflects that 1/3 of our people are in Maple Ridge and the other 2/3 of our team are in Bangladesh. We use this room to conduct team calls to bring our global Lefties together.
The other special thing about this room is that it has our B-Corp certificate. We became a certified B-Corp in 2017, which means we're committed to use business as a force for good. It was a tough milestone to achieve, and we are very proud to have earned it.

Scrum Room

As a technology company, we practice agile methodology and use sprints to organize our workflow. We have our goals visually displayed to encourage cross-department transparency within the company.
Dhaka Room

Dhaka is the capital of Bangladesh where over 18M people live and where Left has one of its two Bangladesh-based offices.  Like many evolving cities in emerging markets it is growing rapidly. Each year, almost 1M people are added. When you have that kind of growth, the infrastructure simply can’t cope. Healthcare, roads, connectivity - they’re all being strained.
A large part of what we’re building with the RightMesh project is about finding solutions for those in emerging markets. The Dhaka room reminds us of this, and the people we’re trying to help.

Disney Room

When we set up Left we looked to people we admired, and one of those is Walt Disney because of how he set up his business. In 1957, he had the foresight to imagine what Disney could be today. With Left, we have tried to do the same by building a company with a strong vision of lasting value.


Everyday our team meets at 10:10 am to share news, updates, wins, and most importantly, the numbers. We practice open book accounting, because we believe if everyone has a chance to hear the numbers, they have an opportunity to influence them.

Dream Program

Through our award-winning ‘Dream Program’, we help our Lefties identify their personal dreams, and we support each other collectively to achieve them. Whether an individual’s dream is to buy a home, be a digital nomad, achieve Permanent Residency in Canada, or something as simple as have the time to teach their kids to cook, we pool resources or tickets, conduct training, or find other creative ways to support each other. We believe that whatever the dreams, it is our obligation to help our Lefties achieve them because they are helping us achieve our corporate ones.


Our library acts as a multipurpose room. It serves as not only a quiet place for our Lefties to work or read but is also a spot for our Lefties’ children to spend a few hours when they’re off school.

Standout Wall

We find that if we focus on our Lefties’ strengths, rather than their weaknesses, they’re more passionate about the work they're doing. That is why we use ‘Strength Finder 2.0’, an online resource that identifies 'stand out' traits. We display the results on our wall to show our team the best ways to work with each other based on our strengths.

Games Room

A few years ago, we realized we could spend a few hundred dollars on an okay boardroom table or we could spend the same money on a really, really nice table tennis table... guess what we chose?

Legendary Lefty Wall

One of our favourite unique initiatives, the ‘Legendary Lefty program’ was put in place as a way for Lefties to nominate their peers when they see them demonstrating our core values. Every month at each of our offices, one ‘Legendary Lefty’ is chosen from our wall of peer nominations and recognized in front of the team!

Core Values

The very essence of Left is reflected in our 10 core values which we’ve had since the company’s founding. We keep our values displayed on our kitchen wall to keep them top of mind and be the best we can be.

If you have any questions about our programs or initiatives, or if you would like to come see our office for a culture tour, please reach out to amber@left.io!