My Nutshell Story
RESEARCHER + SPEAKER + COACH + GUY WITH SOMETHING TO SAY
I'm Jordan. And I help millennials with big dreams rewire their lives for actual belonging, love and fulfillment.
These days, most of us spend our lives hiding. We are fearful that we're not enough, so we put on masks. I dream of a world where we aren’t scared to be ourselves, where we genuinely are enough as we are. Because it will be a joyful, more productive, and a better place.
As a keynote speaker, I help schools and companies build cultures of belonging. As a researcher, I design social experiments intended to hack our nasty habits and thoughts. As a coach, I help peers transition from feeling like an imposter to accepting themselves.
A RURAL BEGINNING
I grew up in a small town where I was bullied for nearly a decade, eroding my self worth from an early age.
My response was to punch above my weight. I took on student council, began endurance mountain bike racing, and became a touring musician. Hell, I even became one of the youngest people to ever cycle across Canada at age 17 for charity. It was all a cry for help.
I went through university and into my career in a frantic state. My ambition was deadly. Nothing was enough - because I wasn't enough. So I hustled blindly, not realizing that I would break apart.
A STORY THAT CAPTURED THE WORLD
My journey would be corrected by a sheer accident.
Left at the end of a relationship, I had an plane ticket that I had purchased for my previous partner for a trip around the world... in her name. What started as an effort to give the ticket away to pay it forward, turned into the world's most viral human interest story, ever, earning 4.2 billion media impressions and about another billion social media shares. It was f*cked up.
The problem was that I misplaced the momentum of the story and the opportunities that landed at my feet as validation of who I was. When the momentum died down, I crashed and fell into a dark hole realizing my truth: I had been an imposter for my whole life because I didn't feel any self worth. The story only catalyzed that.
WHERE I AM TODAY
One night I opened up to a dear friend among a painful amount of shame. That night triggered a series of events that made me realize that I wasn't defined by the story and, moreover, we all fake it. It's a shared pain of our age - and one that we very rarely talk about openly.
Since I have been on a journey to investigate what makes us hide from who we are and put on masks. I have interviewed 500+ entrepreneurs, social innovators, mental health experts and everyday people on how they manager their inner imposter and find belonging.
Combining my recent journey with my professional experience of the past decade, I now have the privilege to share my work with people all over the world to help them through the same process as me.
Just in case you're THINKING, "Who the hell do you think you are, AXANI?"
- A 10-year focus on building teams, products and places that spark belonging, driven by research and innovation
- Former real estate development (with LWLP), marketing and branding expert (with Ipsos and others)
- Former consultant to Fortune 500s (Shoppers Drug Mart, Telus, P&G), government, social enterprises, artists and startups
- Studied conflict management from University of Ottawa (BSocSci) and the Royal Military College (MA) and design thinking at Bruce Mau's Institute Without Boundaries
- Presented research at Oxford (UK), Nanyang (Singapore), New School (NYC) & across Canada and been published in a number of academic journals
- Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) and Security Defence Institute (SDI) fellow and awarded the Ontario Young Volunteer Award
- More education at Factory (led by Tom Chi, the creator of Google Glasse), Hive Global Leaders Program, The Brandery (top tech accelerator in the US) and MaRS (widely acclaimed healthcare innovation hub)
- Failed startup CEO and charity founder (I'm very open about these experiences and all they taught me)
- Dinner party host, poor runner, musician and talk radio buff