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“Partnering” by Jean Oelwang

Tangible lessons from 65+ of the world's most remarkable partnerships.


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February 14, 2022

Jean Oelwang

Jean is the Co-Founder of Plus Wonder, a not-for-profit initiative she was inspired to set up due to her deep and long-standing passion for the power of partnerships of all kinds.

She spent two decades with partners to lead the incubation and start-up of several collaboratives global initiatives, including The Elders, The B Team, The Carbon War Room, Ocean Unite, The Caribbean Climate Smart Accelerator, 100% Human at Work, 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.

She is also the founding CEO and President of Virgin Unite, a non-profit foundation set up to unite people and entrepreneurial ideas, Jean has helped corporations put the wellbeing of people and the planet at their core. She’s worked with more than 25 Virgin businesses across 15 industries to help embed purpose in everything they do. She also served as a Partner in the Virgin Group leading their people strategy.  

Prior to Virgin, Jean spent 18 years working in six continents to start and help lead mobile phone companies in South Africa, Colombia, Bulgaria, Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia and the US. She was the joint CEO of Virgin Mobile in Australia before starting Virgin Unite.  

Jean has long explored the overlap of the business and social sectors, including working for the Foundation for National Parks and Wildlife in Australia. She’s also worked in numerous volunteer roles, such as a year-long stint as a VISTA volunteer where she worked with and learned from homeless teens in Chicago. 

Jean holds a number of Advisory Board roles, including The Elders, The NewNow, the Sara Blakely Foundation and sits on the Boards of Rocky Mountain Institute, The Caribbean Climate Smart Accelerator, Ocean Unite, Ocean Elders, Penn State Board of Visitors, AID Live, Unite BVI Foundation and Just Capital. She is also a B Team leader.

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