Shabnam Mogharabi

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Shabnam Mogharabi is an entertainment entrepreneur, author, and journalist with more than 15 years of leadership experience in media and storytelling. She is a lifelong student of positive psychology, a freelance documentary film producer, and an expert on how to create socially impactful and entertaining content. 


With actor Rainn Wilson, Shabnam co-founded SoulPancake, the inspiring entertainment company behind beloved video series such as Kid President and My Last Days. Under her tenure, SoulPancake amassed 10M social media fans and nearly 1B video views on its daily positive videos about human connection. The company eventually had a successful exit to the social impact film studio Participant.


It was in espousing the values of SoulPancake that she believes in - the importance of joy, hope, purpose, and gratitude - that Shabnam found a calling as a public speaker. Today, she shares her uplifting, vulnerable message on how to harness the power of joy at dozens of conferences and events a year. 


Before SoulPancake, Shabnam was an award-winning journalist and editor and one of the youngest winners of the Jesse H. Neal Award (the Pulitzer Prize for B2B journalism). She has worked as a contributing writer, editor, and stringer for several publications, including People, Pool & Spa News, Sunset, and HuffPost. She is a New York Times bestselling author with "SoulPancake: Chew on Life’s Big Questions". 


Shabnam is a Henry Crown Fellow and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network. She is on the advisory board of Seed & Spark; an industry advisor for USC’s Digital Media program, and on the board of directors for the national nonprofit Tahirih Justice Center. 


Shabnam received her B.A. in journalism and business administration from the University of Southern California and her Master’s in media from Northwestern University. She resides in Los Angeles with her husband and son. 


Speaking Topics - 


How to Harness the Power of Joy 


We are more distracted, lonelier, and anxious than ever in history. And the past few years have only exacerbated this mental health crisis. In today’s world, embracing the power of joy is an act of rebellion. In this insightful, interactive session, entertainment entrepreneur and storyteller Shabnam Mogharabi will share practical tips and easy-to-implement learnings from her work creating uplifting and inspiring video content about what it takes to truly bring more joy into your life both personally and professionally. Shabnam believes that joy is more than an emotion; it’s a propelling and powerful force for good. In this keynote, she will show attendees how to harness the power of positive psychology to shift their perspective away from toxic positivity to a meaningful mindset change.


Learning Outcomes: 


  • Understand why joy is a state of mind, not an emotion
  • Discover a matrix of tools to help you create a more psychologically positive response to events in your life 
  • Learn methods for practicing gratitude and vulnerability in your day-to-day interactions and relationships
  • Gain specific insights and inspiration to overcome the hardwired “anxious” voice in our brains


Know Your Why, Know Yourself


Every day we are bombarded with messages that a life without purpose is a life without direction and meaning. Companies are being urged to stand for something to survive. The pressure is on - personally and professionally. It seems that knowing your purpose unlocks your superpower. But what if you don’t know what that purpose is… or how best to find it? In this personal development session, entrepreneur Shabnam Mogharabi pulls back the curtain on the purpose myth to reframe what it means to know yourself. By pulling lessons from her own experience and her time leading a purpose-driven entertainment studio, SoulPancake, Shabnam will help audience members figure out their personal “why” and develop a personal plan to fulfillment by investing in our basic human need to be of use. 


Learning Outcomes: 


  • Discover how the world’s best leaders think about their purpose
  • Learn how to unlink your “why” from the “what” that you do every day 
  • Understand and engage in a helpful framework for defining your purpose 
  • Engage in a strategy around being more “useful” as a path to fulfilling your purpose


Storytelling That Sticks


A society is influenced by and reflected in its stories. As individuals, and as marketers, understanding the art and science of storytelling can be a powerful personal and professional tool. Storytelling can play an important role in your company, meetings, and cultures, as well as in helping your business spread ideas and engender brand loyalty. In this keynote presentation, entertainment entrepreneur and producer Shabnam Mogharabi will offer insights into how and where to leverage storytelling as a marketing tool, what powerful moments lead to the strongest stories, and how to find opportunities for storytelling to impact your internal teams. Leveraging real-world examples, case studies, videos, and interactive exercises, she will give attendees the tools they need to tell memorable, impactful, and effective stories.


Learning Outcomes:


  • Discover tips and tricks for becoming a better storyteller
  • Understand the 4 EPIC moments that lead to the most memorable stories
  • Learn when and how to leverage storytelling as a marketing loyalty tool
  • Gain insights into the power of stories for building stronger team cultures

Shabnam Mogharabi's Experiences

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