Joe Danis has spent over 20 years of his life working to improve the world around him. For Joe, inspiration lies in fostering strong communities while empowering others to experience the power of community and contribution firsthand.
It was during his time as a student at the University of Winnipeg when Joe found he had a responsibility as an individual to contribute to the world around him. While studying International Development and Conflict Resolution, he was chosen to participate in a service learning program in Bangladesh. While the education benefits were clear, he was also amazed how the experience shaped him as an individual – learning more groundedness and empathy for global communities.
After graduating, Joe became the Director of Housing and Student Life at his alma mater, and took special interest in providing others similar learning opportunities he had. As Joe’s career shifted to the University of Manitoba, he created Praxis, an initiative to promote community outreach, service learning and social justice among University of Manitoba students. In 2005, he received the University of Manitoba Outreach Award for his development and implementation of Praxis. Through his initiatives, he has created several successful service learning programs in countries such as Bangladesh, El Salvador, Ecuador and Costa Rica. Joe also created several local initiatives at the University including the Reading Buddies program which connected university students with children in Winnipeg’s core. This program received the prestigious City of Winnipeg’s Mayor’s Award for Volunteerism.
Over the years, Joe has received a multitude of opportunities to speak candidly on his passions as they relate to the importance of contribution, connection, and compassion. He speaks to the value of leadership, innovation, and purpose as avenues to building healthy and diverse communities and successful teams. Joe has since identified his calling to be ‘connecting people to experiences and opportunities’. Humbled by his experiences across the globe and throughout his career, Joe still maintains that critical reflection must be a part of the human experience in order to ensure continuous personal growth and instill a true sense of connection to the communities he serves.
Joe is currently the Vice-President of Student Affairs & Organizational Development at Campus Living Centres and resides in Cambridge, Ontario, Canada with his wife Pam and their two children Maya and Luc.