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Chris Bashinelli of Sopranos fame is a motivational speaker who focuses on creating community and positive change and finding your passion. He travels the world, visiting impoverished areas and finding out first-hand how the other half lives. He is producer and host of an internationally recognized series Bridge the Gap, which fosters intercultural dialogue.

Chris speaks about making the world a better place, finding your community and your passion. He is determined to produce far-reaching, socially conscious media that opens our eyes and our hearts.

Full Profile

    Chris Bashinelli (The Sopranos, HBO) was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. After years of reading headlines about world hunger, human suffering and extreme poverty, he decided to move to Tanzania. Now he travels to impoverished areas worldwide to find out first hand how the other half of the world lives. Chris is the producer and host of Bridge the Gap, an internationally recognized travel series that fosters intercultural dialogue by highlighting stories of every day life from around the world.

    Chris traveled to Tanzania with a Sony handy cam and came home with a newfound meaning for life. He returned to New York to face tragedy and within two years would bury his father due to cancer. These turbulent times forced Chris to find meaning, and he did so in Bridge the Gap.

    Chris is the founder of the socially-conscious production company, Bridge the Gap TV. He’s interviewed everyone from Ben and Jerry to NBA legend Dikembe Mutombo, and has formed partnerships with the world’s leading non-profit organizations, including the Jane Goodall Institute and Do Something.

    Chris’s experience is in the world of film, with credits ranging from The Sopranos (HBO), to An Inconvenient Truth Special on MTV. He holds a B.A. in Theatre Arts (Cum Laude) from Marymount Manhattan College. He is an Eagle Scout and a United Nations Guest Speaker. He has spoken at international youth conferences and Emceed in the UN General Assembly Hall with Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. Chris is determined beyond measure to produce wide-reaching, socially conscious media.

    Chris traverses the globe from Tanzania to Thailand as Host and Executive Producer of Bridge The Gap, a new TV show (premiering onPBS TV later this year) where he discovers what it′s like to walk in someone else′s shoes for one day.

    He′s interviewed some of Time Magazine′s 100 Most Influential People on the planet, and at 26 years old, has become the United Nations Go-To-Kid for all things youth, Brooklyn, and cultural exchange.

    Chris′ passion and charisma have made him a celebrated speaker and emcee at home and abroad.


Chris Bashinelli Videos Back to top

Chris Bashinelli - Speaking Reel


This video reel features Chris Bashinelli’s engaging, inspirational presentation style. He talks about meeting Abasai in Africa, who told him he was going to become a filmmaker, no matter what, and describes the long journey down his road to success. He discusses “finding the stoop” – a place where people in your community or workplace can congregate and solve problems. He talks about finding meaning, finding your passion, and finding common ground.

Chris Bashinelli - TEDx


Chris Bashinelli - Keynote Speech



Chris Bashinelli Programs Back to top


Chris Bashinelli’s presentations are universally inspirational. He discusses topics of leadership, community-building and social responsibility from a unique perspective. He engages audiences and inspires them to reach out to everyone around them and find some common ground. He also encourages audiences to find direction in their lives using concrete examples from his own.

    Global Leadership
    Leadership, CSR, Diversity
    How can a kid from Brooklyn raise $100,000 from companies like Ben and Jerry′s Ice Cream and have a TV show on PBS? Join this expedition from the slums of Haiti to the peak of Mt. Kilimanjaro to push your boundaries of what′s possible in business and in life.

    Rules of the "Stoop"
    Diversity, Inclusion, Cultural Awareness
    Chris takes attendees on a trek across continents, discovering places of common ground, aka "stoops", around the globe. From his multicultural stoop in Brooklyn to the shade of trees in Tanzania, we′ll discover the importance of "finding the stoop" to build cohesion in the workplace.

    From Brooklyn to Africa
    Direction, Social Responsibility, Global Awareness
    Have you ever been uncertain of your life′s direction? Actor, PBS TV Host, and UN Emcee, Chris Bashinelli, shares concrete examples colored by international adventures that help us ignore the noise and find meaning.



Chris Bashinelli Speaker Testimonials Back to top

    CHRIS’S RECENT APPEARANCES
    • UN Launch of International Year of Youth- UN General Assembly Hall, NYC
    • United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC), Bridging Cultures Forum- Brazil
    • United Nations World Forum on Intercultural Dialogue- Baku, Azerbaijan
    • Empower Youth 2011 Conference, Reach out to Asia- Doha, Qatar
    • Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoos National Leadership Retreat- New Orleans, LA
    • Girls Who Rock Benefit Concert w/ Shontelle- NYC
    • Global Issues Conference, American Community School of Abu Dhabi- UAE

    "Chris was outstanding and willing to go the extra mile to meet students. Every young person should hear his message."
    North Central Michigan College
    (Event booked by Speaking.com)

    “Bridge the Gap is a great idea and it’s need has never been greater.”
    UN Ambassador Ombeni Sefue (Tanzania)

    “Chris’s project is exciting and helpful to the people of our world.”
    Princess and Ambassador Mbikusita-Lewanika (Zambia)

    “Chris is beyond inspirational. Before, I thought ‘I’m just one person, what can I do?’ But now I feel I can really make a difference.”
    Mackenzie Stack (15 years old), Student at Qatar Canadian School

    “Chris is a trailblazer in that he is able to entertain and educate simultaneously.”
    Damian Wampler, Photographer, Founder of Colony Magazine

    “Chris has a one of a kind entrepreneurial spirit coupled with an overwhelming desire to be a positive influence for his generation.”
    Alfred Hanssen, former COO for Miracle Corners of the World



Exclusive Interview
with Chris Bashinelli Back to top

Chris Bashinelli (“Bash”) is one of the most exciting young inspirational speakers in the world today. He’s acted (on The Sopranos), spoken on the floor of the United Nations General Assembly Hall, been a TV host (Bridge the Gap) and more. But, the most important thing to him is being a positive, powerful, productive global citizen.

Thank you for joining us Bash! You have traveled the globe and immersed yourself in a variety of cultures. What are some of the main challenges and opportunities for organizations looking to embrace diversity, inclusion and cultural awareness?

I think people tend to make these ideas much more complicated than they are. To me, the most important thing in any workplace when it comes to cross-cultural interaction is Intention. What is your intention? If it is coming from a selfless place, then you have nothing to worry about. If it is coming from a selfish, judgmental place, or from a place that is aiming to point out the differences in others for the sake of separation, that is not OK.

We will all make mistakes. We will all say things that offend others, that are not ‘culturally competent’. That is fine! We’re all human. But the point is to learn from mistakes, and to try to not make the same mistakes over and over again.


Can you give us three tips for increasing organizational cultural awareness?

1) Listen, listen and listen! This goes for all of us. So often we’re not actually listening, but biting our tongue for our chance to speak. The more aware we can be of the person sitting in front of us, the more present we will be, and the more we will be able to respond with wisdom.

2) Find a place, a physical place, which feels safe within or nearby your office. Find a place where you can chat with co-workers without feeling as though you are being judged. This could be as simple as the cafeteria, the lobby, or the stairs leading to the entrance of your building. Safe places allow for meaningful conversations.

3) Be willing to step outside of your comfort zone and experience your co-workers life. Make the effort to visit your co-worker when you are not working. Share in a meal in their home, take to the waves on your surfboards, or simply walk down their favorite street. It’s important to make it about them- what matters to them- what’s important to them. If you adopt this other-centered mind, chances are, they will as well.

You are considered one of the most inspiring young speakers on the speaking circuit today, what inspired you to become a speaker?

Speaking was never something I planned on, it just sort of happened. My passion for the longest time was acting. After almost a decade, I lost my desire to be in front of the camera. So I decided to travel to Tanzania with a video camera. When I returned I realized that I still wanted to entertain, but this time with a clear purpose- bridging the gap between people and cultures.

As I began pursuing this passion I was asked to speak at a few youth conferences. From there, I was invited to speak for the United Nations in Brazil. The coordinator for the UN event really took a chance on me- a 23-year-old speaker with no prior experience- and I’m thankful he did. Since then, I’ve been traveling around the world, meeting audiences from all backgrounds and cultures.

What do you want people to learn / take away from your presentations?

There’s a wonderful saying- ‘I don’t care what you do for a living- I care about how you treat the waiter’. I love that saying because it’s touching on a very important theme- equanimity. Equanimity is the idea that everyone’s life is just as valuable as our own. The main takeaway I’d like people to understand is that in order to create equality in our world, in our business, in our home- we must first recognize that each and every individual’s happiness is as important as our own. By taking attendees on an overtly funny and exciting journey through my TV Shows, hopefully they will understand the deeper, underlying message of compassion.

How to you prepare for your speaking engagements? Do you do any special prep work prior to an event?

I’ve been so fortunate to come from an acting background because I’m able to pull from my acting warm up and incorporate it into my pre-speech routine.

I know this sounds simple, I never eat anything crazy the night before or the day of my event. I also make sure to have a solid night’s sleep if I am able. I make sure to meditate, and to really step into the void first thing in the morning before any speech. This connects me with a greater intention.

If time permits, I’ll actually go to a nearby gym, or do a quick hotel-workout to get the blood flowing. After that I will stretch my vocal chords with some limericks and make sure I’m breathing from my stomach. Finally, I will connect with my greater intention once more before going on stage.

You have traveled around the world, visiting many cultures. Have you had any particularly memorable speaking engagements / unusual situations arise while on the road?

One of my most memorable speaking engagements happened last year. I had the good fortune to present for the Entrepreneur’s Group in Saudi Arabia, directly next to a mosque. During the speech the “Adhan” or “Call to prayer” began. I paused the speech, allowed for a moment of silence to respect the present moment, and after checking with the audience for permission, continued the presentation.

What other projects are you currently working on?

We just discovered that our Mongolia episode of our TV show Bridge the Gap has been picked up by a major international network. This gives powerful legs to the Bridge the Gap series. My new focus is expanding on the digital frontier. I’m in talks with a few recognizable digital platforms to develop a like-minded travel show. The series will be a bit of Vice meets Explorer meets Parts Unknown. If I can successfully channel three of my professional role models- Dr. Jane Goodall, Robin Williams and Anthony Bourdain- it will be a hit! (editor’s note: Jane Goodall has said, “We need more people like Chris in the world”!).

Thank you Chris! If you’d like to bring Chris’ inspiring presentation to your event, please contact Michael Frick at: Mike@Speaking.com.





* Please note that while this speaker’s specific speaking fee falls within the range posted above (for Continental U.S. based events), fees are subject to change. For current fee information or international event fees (which are generally 50-75% more than U.S based event fees), please contact us.

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    CHRIS’S RECENT APPEARANCES
    • UN Launch of International Year of Youth- UN General Assembly Hall, NYC
    • United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC), Bridging Cultures Forum- Brazil
    • United Nations World Forum on Intercultural Dialogue- Baku, Azerbaijan
    • Empower Youth 2011 Conference, Reach out to Asia- Doha, Qatar
    • Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoos National Leadership Retreat- New Orleans, LA
    • Girls Who Rock Benefit Concert w/ Shontelle- NYC
    • Global Issues Conference, American Community School of Abu Dhabi- UAE

    "Chris was outstanding and willing to go the extra mile to meet students. Every young person should hear his message."
    North Central Michigan College
    (Event booked by Speaking.com)

    “Bridge the Gap is a great idea and it’s need has never been greater.”
    UN Ambassador Ombeni Sefue (Tanzania)

    “Chris’s project is exciting and helpful to the people of our world.”
    Princess and Ambassador Mbikusita-Lewanika (Zambia)

    “Chris is beyond inspirational. Before, I thought ‘I’m just one person, what can I do?’ But now I feel I can really make a difference.”
    Mackenzie Stack (15 years old), Student at Qatar Canadian School

    “Chris is a trailblazer in that he is able to entertain and educate simultaneously.”
    Damian Wampler, Photographer, Founder of Colony Magazine

    “Chris has a one of a kind entrepreneurial spirit coupled with an overwhelming desire to be a positive influence for his generation.”
    Alfred Hanssen, former COO for Miracle Corners of the World


    Global Leadership
    Leadership, CSR, Diversity
    How can a kid from Brooklyn raise $100,000 from companies like Ben and Jerry′s Ice Cream and have a TV show on PBS? Join this expedition from the slums of Haiti to the peak of Mt. Kilimanjaro to push your boundaries of what′s possible in business and in life.

    Rules of the "Stoop"
    Diversity, Inclusion, Cultural Awareness
    Chris takes attendees on a trek across continents, discovering places of common ground, aka "stoops", around the globe. From his multicultural stoop in Brooklyn to the shade of trees in Tanzania, we′ll discover the importance of "finding the stoop" to build cohesion in the workplace.

    From Brooklyn to Africa
    Direction, Social Responsibility, Global Awareness
    Have you ever been uncertain of your life′s direction? Actor, PBS TV Host, and UN Emcee, Chris Bashinelli, shares concrete examples colored by international adventures that help us ignore the noise and find meaning.



Chris Bashinelli - Speaking Reel


This video reel features Chris Bashinelli’s engaging, inspirational presentation style. He talks about meeting Abasai in Africa, who told him he was going to become a filmmaker, no matter what, and describes the long journey down his road to success. He discusses “finding the stoop” – a place where people in your community or workplace can congregate and solve problems. He talks about finding meaning, finding your passion, and finding common ground.

Chris Bashinelli - TEDx


Chris Bashinelli - Keynote Speech



Inspiring Cultural Awareness Around the World with Chris Bashinelli

By Chris Bashinelli

Chris Bashinelli (“Bash”) is one of the most exciting young inspirational speakers in the world today. He’s acted (on The Sopranos), spoken on the floor of the United Nations General Assembly Hall, been a TV host (Bridge the Gap) and more. But, the most important thing to him is being a positive, powerful, productive global ... more

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