Thriving Amid a Global Crisis

Thriving Amid a Global Crisis

An online video conference entitled Thrive Even When Life Feels Chaotic and Uncertain was held on March 28. Organized by the Calgary-based podcast, The Immigrant Life, The Canadian Narrative ( the free event was billed as a response to the stress and anxiety brought about by the pandemic. Podcast creator and host Dapo Bankole explained the rationale behind the project: “Rather than getting consumed by fear, we invited a group of amazing speakers to share actionable insights that will boost people’s confidence and help them thrive in the midst of this COVID-19 chaos.”

Aside from Bankole who served as moderator as well as resource speaker on IT entrepreneurship, the other invited guests were, in order of their sessions:

• Norman Poon – Gave pointers on How to Ace Virtual (phone and video) Interviews. Norman is a human resource professional with over 15 years of experience in banking, retail, health care, and technology.

• John Pagulayan – founder of the Freelancer Movement Tribe in the Philippines. He helps entrepreneurs convert more of their prospects to customers through email copy. He spoke about How to Create an Online Career Using Your Talents, Training, Life and Work Experiences.

• Dollie Freeman – Homeschool mum and Recurring Income Strategist who teaches content creators how to leverage a blog to build six-figure businesses & beyond. Her session was entitled Working Parents: The Secrets to Making This Stay-At-Home Season Work.

• Robert McKenzie – Award-winning speaker, trainer and coach with the John Maxwell Team who has a passion for helping others build a life of significance. Robert’s presentation was on How to Laugh In The Face Of Danger.

• Jess Huffman – Business coach and creator of the Entrepreneurial Mindset Masterclass. He began working with entrepreneurs, freelancers and creatives in 2000. His session’s topic was about Riding the Waves of Lock Downs as an Entrepreneur.

• Hiroko Nakao – Financial Empowerment Facilitator and Accredited Financial Counselor of Canada. Through her financial literacy work, she supports people living with mental illness and addictions. Her topic was about Finances – What to Do When You Don’t Know What to Do.

• Ehi Ade-Mabo – Mindset surgeon, coach and speaker helping leaders ascend to their version 2.0. Her presentation was about Protecting Your Mental Health and Developing Resiliency.

Rounding out the guest list is this writer who was invited to the opening roundtable about How to Thrive in the Chaos Caused by COVID-19, representing the media perspective as co-founder of the Barangay Canada media project ( which this column is affiliated with.

Among the key insights shared in that discussion were:
1. Controlling one’s reaction to the situation
2. Focusing on things within one’s control
3. Making the most of one’s time when staying home
4. Re-inventing one’s self by learning new skills

The event was hosted on Hopin (, a new online video conferencing platform. Describing itself as “the first all-in-one live online events platform where attendees can learn, interact, and connect with people from anywhere in the world,” Hopin enabled participants to engage in virtual networking during the event. As resource speakers went about their presentations on a virtual main stage, participants were able to roam around and check out virtual booths where they can interact with event partners or exchange contact information with other participants.

For those who missed the event, Bankole stated that the audio recordings will soon be available for download via SoundWise, a free app on the App Store and Google Play Store. Interested parties can visit the Immigrant Life website for announcements about this.

Kris Ontong is an awardee at the 2019 National Filipino-Canadian Heritage Event. He is the presenter of Barangay Manitoba on Facebook, and is the Vice President of the Eastern Manitoba Broad Alliance for Cultural Enrichment (EMBrACE)