Founder of Third Culture Kid Global, TedX speaker, community builder.
Jedidiah is an entrepreneur working on her venture Third Culture Kid Global dedicated to raising awareness of – and connecting – third culture kids. She’s a Third Culture Kid herself; she was born in Manila, moved to Guangzhou at the age of 3, Beijing at the age of 7, Hong Kong at the age of 18 and London at the age of 20. She’s attended six schools in total, five of those international.
She loves leading multicultural teams, networking and building communities. She enjoys building things up from scratch. She has a knack for building relationships and maintaining them. She is also a big fan of innovation, especially in relation to technology and her interests include constantly learning through unconventional ways, especially through travel and culture.
Jedidiah recently left Entrepreneur First where she was working on a venture in the AI HR industry to pursue her passion for third culture kids.
How can we build more inclusive communities?
By being accepting of individuality regardless of the differences that come with it from person to person. Inclusive communities can only start when a large body of people believe in accepting similar ideas. Therefore to have more inclusive communities, people need to instil a new way of thinking that involves being open to differences and change.
Why do you care about diversity?
Imagine a world where we only cared about one colour: red. Without blue or yellow, we wouldn’t be able to create other colours such as orange, green, purple etc. I care about diversity because I believe it is the foundation of creativity, and without creativity there would be a lack of imagination or innovation in this world.
What inspired you to start your current journey?
I was born in Manila but I grew up in Guang Zhou, Beijing, Hong Kong and London. I went through depression a couple of years ago after moving toHong Kong from Beijing, where I attended an international school full of third culture kids – people who have lived somewhere else for a longer period of time than their parents’ passport countries. Because of my upbringing, I never considered Philippines my home. In Hong Kong, for the first time, people started asking me where I was from and where “home” was. It was the first time I realised I didn’t have a simple answer to that question, and started to realise my lack of sense of belonging due to my upbringing and having moved around a lot.
So I talked to my best friend about it. She is also a third culture kid and at the time, she relocated back to Sweden (her home country) after having lived in Beijing and NYC for most of her childhood all the way to 18. When I asked her how she felt about it, I found out she felt the same way I did: she didn’t know where she belonged, and didn’t feel like she fit in her own home country.
Eventually I asked my other third culture kid friends about how they felt and I started to hear loads of stories. I decided to put these stories up on a blog to let other third culture kids read these stories in the hopes that they would feel a sense of belonging through them, and so that they wouldn’t feel like they were the only ones in the world who were feeling the way they did.
After reading all of these stories and having found a sense of belonging through them, I decided I wanted to help other third culture kids feel the same. To do this, I decided to not stop at posting stories on a website: I created third culture kid communities on Instagram, Facebook, Youtube, and Slack.
Who is your role model?
I have many!
- My mom: she taught me the true meaning of empathy and to always be kind;
- My dad: he taught me my work ethic and to never complain about work and to strive to learn more;
- Angelina Jolie: she’s an actress that managed to build a massive platform where she has chosen to promote good, i.e. helping refugees.
What is one thing you wish you knew five years ago?
I was always good with people, such as leadership, making people see and believe in their own potential and building communities. But I never realised it at the time and I wish I had because then I’d probably have done more of it by now.
Another thing I wish I knew was the importance of maintaining what I call “self-habits”. These are the things one likes to do on a daily basis but can often forget to do or decide not to do in order to do other things such as work, etc. For a while, I had stopped taking care of my well being due to wanting to work and produce as much as I could in short periods of time. In that process, I gained weight, became unhappy, had high stress levels and I was emotionally unstable. It is so much better now as I make it a point to focus on myself, but it would have helped to get a head start 5 years ago!
What is your advice to a young person starting their career or entrepreneurial journey?
- Mistakes are wins if you learn from them.
- You will fail many times. You need to be able to be ok with failing over and over and over and over again.
- Only do it if it is what you LOVE to do. Otherwise it is likely that you’ll end up wanting to give up on whatever it is before you can achieve it.
- Don’t forget the people who help you along the way and don’t forget to help others along your journey too.
- You are always wrong until you prove yourself right.
- Don’t complain about what you are doing. If you start complaining, that is the biggest red flag that you don’t love what you do. See point 3.