top of page

265: Forge Deeper Connections & Live Your Purpose - Jean Oelwang, Virgin Unite

On Air with Ella - podcast episode 265


Jean Oelwang discovered that Deep Connections are at the center of most great achievements. Through her research, she explains how to build deep connections and purpose based on the wisdom of 60 of the greatest partnerships of our time, including Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter, Ben and Jerry, Desmond and Leah Tutu, and many more.

You need to take the spotlight away from your own personal feelings if you really want to understand what someone else is thinking and why. - Jean Oelwang

In this episode, she's sharing the daily practices that successful partnerships use to stay in sync, and the tools that allow them to disagree respectfully and productively.

We're talking about:

  • How hyper-individualism is causing fear and division

  • What does it mean that “we are lacking shared meaning?”

  • How do Deep Connections help you find your purpose?

  • How Jean came to the realization the path to living a meaningful life is through the Deep Connections that we nurture with each other

  • Principles that build mutual respect, including:

    • Managing conflict - “harnessing friction”

    • Why we want to be "Legos," not jigsaw pieces

    • “Positive Amnesia”

    • Focused listening

    • Disagreeing is fine, disrespecting is a killer

    • “What if the other person is right?” exercise

    • Bids for attention

    • Going ALL IN


Jean is the founding CEO and President of Virgin Unite.

Over the last 17 years, she has worked with partners to lead the incubation and start-up of several global initiatives, including: The Elders, The B Team, The Virgin Unite Constellation, and The Branson Centres of Entrepreneurship. She also played a key partner role in the incubation of many other initiatives such as The Audacious Project. Jean also served as a Partner in the Virgin Group leading their people strategy. She was the joint CEO of Virgin Mobile in Australia prior to starting Virgin Unite

Jean has been on the TED and TEDx stages as a host and speaker and has been the recipient of several awards including the Bernie Glassman Trailblazer Award, FilmAid Philanthropic Leadership Award, and the Gerry Susman Sustainability Award.


  • @PlusWonder - Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

  • @JeanOelwang - Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn


JOIN ME! Click for details...

Questions? Contact me

Follow me on Instagram

xxoo Ella


bottom of page