National Geographic Explorer, TV Host & Actor
Bash has traveled the world for more than a decade sharing a message of empathy and understanding everywhere from Fortune 500 Companies, to inside prison walls, to the United Nations General Assembly Hall.He has shared the stage with Stevie Wonder, the UN Secretary General and his mentor – Dr. Jane Goodall.
Chris Bashinelli, better known as “Bash”, was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York to Lebanese and Italian-American parents. After a decade-long acting career including an appearance on the HBO hit television show, The Sopranos, Bash decided to follow his real passion – using media to build bridges between cultures. He now traverses the globe from Uganda to Haiti as Host of Bridge the Gap, a television series featured on PBS and the National Geographic Channel, where he experience’s life in someone else’s shoes.
A celebrated Diversity and Inclusion speaker, Bash has travelled the world for more than a decade sharing a message of empathy and understanding everywhere from Fortune 500 Companies, to inside prison walls, to the United Nations General Assembly Hall. His world view was shaped on his childhood “Stoop” where his friends shared a combined total of thirteen nationalities. He has shared the stage with Stevie Wonder, the UN Secretary General and his mentor – Dr. Jane Goodall.
After studying Anthropology in East Africa at 20 years old, Chris Bashinelli returned home to discover his father had been diagnosed with terminal cancer. The death of his father sent him on an international quest to better understand the human condition and the universal qualities that lead to a happy, meaningful life. Bash has lived with nomads in Mongolia, worked with suicide prevention activists in Pine Ridge and Sumo wrestled the heaviest Japanese human being in recorded history. Through one of a kind stories of adventure and authentic moments of human connection, Bash truly bridges the gap between self and other, helping us recognise our shared humanity.
Bash has spoken around the world – from TEDx, to Abu Dhabi, to Azerbaijan, at multi-million dollar corporations and Ivy League Universities. At 24 years old he became one of the youngest moderators in the history of the United Nations. Bash is a National Geographic Explorer, a UN Moderator, an Eagle Scout and has interviewed some of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People on the Planet.
Step Into Your Potential – Change Your Mind, Change Your World
Potential is the space between “where we are” and “where we can be”, it is our “unrealised abilities”, personally, professionally and as an organisation. Stepping into our potential means understanding that it is only because of challenge, not in spite of it, that we can become our best selves. In this one of a kind keynote, coloured with international stories of adventure, resilience and triumph – Bash shares the power available to each of us when we stop seeing challenge as an obstacle to success, and instead as the very vehicle by which we can achieve it.
From a remote Chinese village that rebuilds after a devastating fire, to a young Tanzanian filmmaker’s unimaginable dream come true, to Bash’s own personal experience of tragedy to triumph – this talk reminds us that when we change our minds, we truly can change our world. We will only realise our potential as an organisation when every single team member is committed to realising their strength individually. This keynote experience is at once a call to action for each of us personally as it is a reminder of the impact that’s possible when we tap into our collective strength as an organisation.
Embracing Diversity, Building Stronger Teams – the Power of Human Connection
It is only when every single team member, from the office manager to the CEO, feels safe to bring their whole, most authentic selves to work each and every day, that our organisation can realise its full potential. As long as any single employee feels that they have to hide who they are in the workplace, we will be leaving untapped potential on the table – and our results will suffer. From his childhood “Stoop” in Brooklyn where his friends shared a combined total of over 13 nationalities, to his grandparents that immigrated to the United States from Lebanon through Ellis Island – Bash’s understanding of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion is built into the very fabric of his DNA.
Pulling from experiences in over 40 countries as a National Geographic Explorer, living with nomads in Mongolia, farming for tea on the hillsides of China, and Sumo wrestling the heaviest Japanese human being in recorded history, Bash shares in very simple steps how to create an environment where employees not only feel safe – but empowered to bring their whole selves to work – creating trust and allowing our organisation to tap into the power of our shared humanity. By recognising the strength in our diverse experiences, cultures, identities and perspectives we tap into a power that is far greater than we could ever imagine.
Renew Employee Burnout, Renew Inspiration – Mindfulness, Mental Health and Creating a Healthy Workforce
We are working harder, longer and under more pressure than ever before – but without a mindful approach to our work, one that reduces stress and renews inspiration – this type of employee output is entirely unsustainable. If we are to succeed as an organisation we must find a way to not only manage, but transform the stresses and pressures of our constantly changing world. From economic downturns, to global pandemics, to employee shortages, the list of stress factors is endless. Although there is so much that is outside of our control, there is one thing we can always control – our minds.
Drawing from more than a decade of in depth meditation and mindfulness studies and interviews with some of the world’s most renowned thought leaders, Bash walks attendees through a powerful approach to mindfulness – one that we can apply in our work and our lives here and now. Bash shares the practical tools he’s used to reduce stress, increase productivity and create peace of mind – all while hosting an international television series for National Geographic, leading life-changing expeditions around the world, and maintaining a hectic international travel schedule for over fifteen years. From gratitude practice, to smart phone “retreats”, to guided meditations, Bash reminds us that creating a healthy workforce begins with each of us playing our part and taking responsibility over our own minds.
Start at “Step Z” – a Step by Step method for Happiness, Meaning, and Professional Success
What is your Step “Z”, the goal you feel will truly bring your life meaning? It could be a new client, a new partner, or a new home. What if you could arrive at that destination before you even begin the journey? We tend to be so fixated on our goal that we forget to examine how we are viewing ourselves. We feel that if our circumstances were different our goal would be attainable. In reality, we can only go as far as our shadow will let us – it’s not the circumstances that have to change, it’s us.
Bash walks attendees through a scientific method for recognising and reducing their most limiting beliefs, thereby opening the doorway to a whole new world. With total clarity, he emphasises that the swiftest way to get from where we are, to where we want to be, is to be there first – on the inside. The best way to get from Step A to Step Z is to “Start at Step Z”. It may seem counterintuitive, but our best chance at achieving our goal is to imagine it is already accomplished. Step firmly with faith into the shoes you were meant to fill – and live, breathe, work and act from that place.
From moderating a major United Nations event in Brazil at 23 years old with no prior experience, to leading a National Geographic Expedition in Mongolia when nearly all funding had been pulled one month before production, Bash shows how when we change our mind, we can change our world. The key to creating success lies not in getting what we want, but in realising that we already have everything we need to live a life of great meaning. When we connect our ultimate goal to a mission that benefits others, and have unwavering faith in our potential, we will find the inspiration necessary to reach our “Step Z”.
“Chris Bashinelli is an inspiration to youth worldwide. He speaks with passion and his message is one of hope, cultural tolerance and call to action. He knows how to reach young and old alike. Bridge the Gap shares exciting and inspirational stories of daily life from the developing world and encourages us to realise that at the end of the day, we really are all the same and every single one of us makes a difference. We need more people like Chris in the world.” Jane Goodall
“I’ve had the pleasure of witnessing Chris speak on numerous occasions and each time I’m blown away. He is a perfect blend of passionate and compelling, while remaining down to earth and relatable. He knows how to cater his message to different crowds and he never fails to add humour. He is a true artisan with words and a natural leader. I’m excited to see the impact that ‘Bridge the Gap’ will have for this generation and all the ways that Chris Bashinelli will inspire us all to look within, go beyond our comfort zones, and be a voice to those who were otherwise silenced.” Monique Coleman, United Nations Youth Champion & Actress from High School Musical 2