Online star Jay in Forbes 30 under 30

Online star Jay in Forbes 30 under 30

Award-winning vlogger, filmmaker, online personality and former monk Jay Shetty (OE 1999–2006) has now been named in the 2017 Forbes European 30 Under 30.

The influential magazine’s 30 under 30 lists recognise people aged under 30 who are seen as the brightest, most innovative game-changers in their industry, and Jay certainly fits the bill in the media category: since launching his Facebook channel in 2016, his wisdom videos have garnered over 150 million views and gained more than half a million followers globally.

Jay has a daily show on HuffPost Live #FollowTheReader, where he has interviewed the likes of entrepreneurs Russell Simmons and Tim Ferris, and Deepak Chopra, author and prominent figure in the New Age movement. The show has a daily audience of 1 million. He says his aim is to “share wisdom at the pace we want entertainment and make wisdom go viral”.

Jay has, to say the least, had an interesting journey since leaving QE and going on to Cass Business School in London, from which he graduated with a first-class degree in Management Science.

Yet he retains great fondness for his School. “I have great memories of my time at QE: I think QE has some interesting memories of me!  I want to personally give a huge thanks to two teachers who had a big impact on my growth.

“The first is Mr Buckeridge [Stephen Buckeridge, Head of Art]. A phenomenal teacher and life mentor – without even knowing it. He was always making me think more deeply about my art work and what it meant and stood for, and he really helped me express myself and articulate creatively. His ability to challenge me and get the best out of me has really helped me mentally since that time.

“The second is Mr Ryan [David Ryan, Assistant Head]. He tolerated all my immature tendencies, helped me grow without judging me, and supported me through some of the most formative years of my life. He was always a champion, supporter and advisor.

“I also loved playing rugby for our School A team and, of course, the public-speaking classes changed my life,” he added.

Inspired to make a difference in the world, at 22 Jay went to live as a monk in India. Then for three years, he travelled the world, during which time he helped build a sustainable village and create food programmes.

Wanting to ‘pay forward’ what he had learnt, Jay began sharing his experiences as a monk in universities and the world’s largest corporations, including EY and Nasdaq.

At the same time, he noticed that the world was rapidly going digital, so Jay went on to become professional services company Accenture’s social media coach for executives, working in online branding and digital strategy.

His talent was spotted by Huffington Post founder Arianna Huffington, who made him the Host of HuffPost Lifestyle in New York.

He has been invited to give keynote speeches at leading companies, including Google, Facebook and HSBC, about finding purpose, harnessing collaboration and driving change. Jay won the ITV Asian Media Award for Best Blog 2016 and came third in the Guardian Rising Star Award in 2015.

Jay advises several well-known brands on spotting and nurturing new talent, with the emphasis on helping people find a purpose and use for their passions in the workplace.