Change Your Mind, Change Your World
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 Mindfulness and Diversity & Inclusion speaker, Bash has traveled the world for more than a decade sharing a message of connection 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 kind stories of adventure and authentic moments of human connection, Bash truly bridges the gap between self and other, helping us recognize 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.
The idea for Bridge the Gap spawned in 2007. It was the dawn of the era of the mindless reality television program – the kind that serves to divide human beings against one another. It was also an era of incredible television programs like Planet Earth (BBC) that captured the beauty of our natural world. Chris saught to create a television series that would capture the beauty of humanity – he traveled to Tanzania to experience life in another culture firsthand and Bridge the Gap was born. Inspired by the people he met in East Africa, Chris returned to the USA with one mission- to use media to bridge the immense inner and outer gaps between people and cultures. What began as a travel series that aimed to “help people”, transformed into a show that aimed to better understand the human condition.
“From Haiti to the Pine Ridge Reservation, I have met countless individuals living in incredibly difficult external conditions who are often more content and inspired than people I know in far “better off” conditions. The common thread many of these individuals share is their concern for others, often even above their own welfare. Through these experiences I am reminded that happiness is a state of mind, not a state of the external world. Perhaps by walking in other people’s shoes and gaining a glimpse into their experience, we can tap into a deeper wisdom that will inspire each of us to live more conscious lives and reach our full potential.”
– Chris Bashinelli
Chris Bashinelli helps organizations Step Into their Full Potential – by harnessing the power of challenge, and leveraging the collective strength of our shared humanity. Potential is the space between where we are, and where we can be. Bash’s one of a kind keynotes remind us that we will only realize our potential when we see stop seeing challenge as an obstacle to success, and instead as the very vehicle by which we can achieve it. His message is at once a call to action for each of us personally as it is a reminder of what’s possible when we tap into the collective strength of our shared humanity.
For more than a decade National Geographic Explorer, Chris Bashinelli, better known as “Bash”, has traveled the world discovering moments of connection that reveal our shared humanity. Bash brings attendees on an inspirational journey, coupled with stunning video footage and thought provoking exercises. Pulling from more than a decade of in-depth Mindfulness practice and first hand cross-cultural experiences in more than 40 countries – Bash brings to life the powerful tools he’s learned to help organizations reduce employee burnout, renew inspiration and build stronger teams.
Whether he’s embarking on yet another jaw-dropping adventure for National Geographic, or interviewing his mentor, Dr. Jane Goodall, for PBS – he will leave audiences inspired & empowered, reminding us of our greatest asset – our people.
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 Chris’s father inspired him to create Bridge the Gap, a television series featured on PBS and the National Geographic Channel, where he experiences life in someone else’s shoes. Through one of a kind stories of adventure and authentic moments of human connection, Chris truly bridges the gap between self and other, helping us recognize our shared humanity.