Jessica Buchanan | Kidnapping Survivor, Rescued by SEAL Team VI, New York Times Bestselling Author, voted one of the 150 Most Fearless Women Who Shake the World

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Jessica Buchanan

Kidnapping Survivor, Rescued by SEAL Team VI, New York Times Bestselling Author, voted one of the 150 Most Fearless Women Who Shake the World

Jessica Buchanan
Featured Keynote Programs

Change is Your Proof of Life

Change is an inevitable part of the human experience- whether we have chosen that change, or the change has chosen us. According to studies conducted by BetterUP, we are SIX times more likely to demonstrate strong resilience in the middle of a life-changing event if we can identify our own autonomy and choice in the middle of that change.

Through sharing epic moments of her unbelievable 93-day captivity which led her to making a “proof of life video” and then ended in her miraculous rescue by SEAL Team VI, Jessica allows the audience into her experience, by showing them how she accepted life’s most important invitation (and how you can too!): to become a collaborator with change.

Jessica shows her audience how to create the strategies they need to survive and thrive no matter what life challenges they are facing. 

The Audience will leave with:

  • A Renewed mindset on how to collaborate with inevitable change 
  • Tools to empower them to make change work for them, not against them
  • Practical steps for reclaiming control in important areas of life when things feel like they are spinning out of sight

Jessica’s unique perspective derived from her life experiences will empower the audience to uncover their 'WHY' as they accept this invitation which will most definitely guide them toward their life’s purpose. 

Impossible Odds
A Story of Strength and Survival

In this keynote, Jessica moves audiences from all backgrounds with the details of her 93-day captivity in the Somali desert, with how she managed to survive regular torture, starvation, and threats on her life, from a gang of pirates who wanted a 45-million-dollar ransom demand for her freedom.

If there is one thing Jessica understands, it is the impossible, as it doesn’t get much more impossible than being a woman, surrounded by armed men, who want tens of millions of dollars for your freedom, and living through the ordeal. 

Jessica, a teacher by profession and a humanitarian at heart, is a gifted storyteller who is able to lay out practical tools she used during her captivity in a way that can also be applied in one’s everyday challenges. Jessica will invite her audience to focus on their choices embedded within life’s options and call them to gratitude, all while demonstrating how one can find a commitment to purpose, even in the darkest moments of our lives. 

Jessica’s unwavering faith and ability to believe in hope are highlighted in her emotionally powerful retelling of a miracle of all miracles: Her successful rescue that took place on January 25, 2012 by The US military’s most elite special forces, SEAL Team VI.  

Jessica’s keynote offers her listeners the opportunity for real transformation as they take inventory of the goodness in their lives, are inspired and motivated to turn their pain into purpose by realizing no hardship is impossible to overcome.

Opting to Choose
How to Choose Opportunity in the Impossible

Most of the time, when faced with difficulties, we feel we are backed into a corner, with no options. We will say to ourselves and to everyone around us, “I had no choice!” In this keynote presentation, Jessica breaks down the semantic differences between the state of OPTIONS as opposed to CHOICES, and through her dynamic teaching and storytelling, will show her audience that while they may have few options, they ALWAYS have a choice.

Jessica will walk her audience through five choices she made during captivity and illustrates how they too, can choose to find the opportunity in the impossible.

  1. Choose to listen: to the prompting of life and our gut.
  2. Choose to start: our circumstances don’t get the final say- we do.
  3. Choose a higher thought: reframe the impossible into an opportunity
  4. Choose to grow: are you the victor or the creator of your life?
  5. Choose gratitude above all else: what you appreciate, well, appreciates!

With each step, Jessica highlights her objective with examples of how she identified her choices when she had zero options during her 93-day captivity. This particular message can be broken down into a workshop format with corresponding companion guides and workbooks.

Deserts to Mountaintops
The Journey to Reclaiming My Voice

This keynote is crafted specifically for female audiences, and draws from Jessica’s latest bestselling book: Deserts to Mountaintops: Our Collective Journey to (re)Claiming Our Voice, an anthology of 25 women’s stories of how they have journeyed from their own desert and overcome incredibly daunting circumstances to reach their own mountaintops.

In this keynote, Jessica will offer her audience:

  • Tools for honing their intuition in every area of their lives
  • Real life examples that drive home the life and death situation that not listening to their intuition can cause
  • Exercises that will bring them into greater self-awareness and alignment into what they want for their future
  • Feelings of empowerment that will bring them to decisions more quickly, ultimately getting them to their next steps in an effective and efficient ways

Kidnappings, Ransoms, and the Security Sector

This keynote is specifically designed for the audience who works in the security space. With Jessica’s unique background in the INGO (International Non-Governmental Organizational) space combined with her professional training as a teacher, she is able to share lessons learned from before, during, and after her kidnapping experience to enable aid organizations and companies of all sizes and sectors to learn from her captivity account as both a cautionary tale and a story of survival success.

In this presentation, Jessica will offer her audience:

  • Practical takeaways and lessons learned from the unique perspective of a former hostage
  • An unforgettable and critical illustration of the importance of an organization’s Duty of Care
  • A renewed sense of purpose as to their WHY in supporting their mission
  • A commitment to their own personal security, and listening to their gut
  • An actual security checklist they may use prior to visiting project locations at home and abroad

For obvious reasons, personal security is one of Jessica’s greatest passions and a topic that needs to be spoken about more. Because of her unique and firsthand experience as a hostage, Jessica offers organizations and security companies an extremely unique model that brings their security lessons to life. Jessica’s concept connections to her real life experiences leave an unforgettable impression on any staff, and will inevitably leave them feeling more empowered to manage their own personal safety, ultimately creating a successful company culture that people feel safe working with.  

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Jessica Buchanan

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