Nirrimi Firebrace is an award-winning Australian photographer and writer who catapulted into the public eye when she was just a teenager because of the unique way she shares her story through photos and words online.
Shortly before recording this conversation, Nirrimi lost her brother to suicide. After realizing she didn’t have many photos of the two of them together, Nirrimi decided to give back to others — even in the midst of her grieving — by photographing others with their loved ones.
Nirrimi runs a popular blog called Fire & Joy, where she shares both heartbreaking and beautiful stories of her life. As a photographer she’s shot for Netflix, American Apparel, First Aid Kit, and Zelda Williams.
This episode originally aired in July of 2016.
In 2015 when protests broke out in Baltimore in response to the death of Freddie Gray, photographer and activist Devin Allen was one of the first photographers on the scene to share his photos with the world.
His photos were quickly shared by celebrities like Rihanna and Beyonce and one of his most iconic photos landed on the cover of TIME magazine. Since then, it’s been a crazy year for him. Under Armour hired him to tour with Steph Curry around Asia shooting photos, Pope Francis was gifted a book that included some of his work, and he had some of his photographs shown at the Smithsonian.
And now over a year after his rise to fame, Devin is helping change his community and the way it’s perceived for good.
As founder of International Justice Mission, Gary Haugen fights the chronically neglected global epidemic of violence against the poor. While a member of the 1994 United Nations team investigating war crimes in Rwanda, Gary Haugen’s eyes were opened to the appalling extent of violence in the developing world. Upon his return to the US, he founded International Justice Mission, an organization devoted to rescuing victims of global violence including trafficking and slavery. Today, IJM is responsible for rescuing more than 45,000 people from slavery and other forms of violence and helped local authorities arrest more than 3,500 suspected slave owners and other criminals.
Gary has been recognized by the U.S. State Department as a Trafficking in Persons “Hero” – the highest honor given by the U.S. government for anti-slavery leadership. His work to protect the poor from violence has been featured by Foreign Affairs, The New York Times, the New Yorker, Forbes, the Guardian, and NPR. He is the author of several books, including Good News About Injustice and, most recently, The Locust Effect: Why the End of Poverty Requires the End of Violence.
In this conversation, Branden and Gary go behind the curtain and dive deep into the story International Justice Mission, lean into the power of systems that care for the individual, and explore the idea that joy is the oxygen behind doing hard things.
At 28 years old, Scott Harrison had it all. A top nightclub promoter in New York City, his life was an endless cycle of drugs, booze, models on repeat. But 10 years in, he was unhappy and morally bankrupt. Walking away from everything, Harrison spent the next 16 months on a hospital ship in West Africa and discovered his true calling. In 2006, with no money and less than no experience, Harrison founded charity: water.
Today, Scott Harrison’s work at charity: water has mobilized over one million donors around the world to fund over 28,000 water projects in 26 countries that will serve more than 8.2 million people with clean drinking water. Scott has also been recognized on Fortune's 40 under 40 list, Forbes’ Impact 30 list, and was ranked #10 in Fast Company's 100 Most Creative People in Business.
In his return for a second conversation on the podcast, Branden and Scott dissect his newest book Thirst: an inspiring personal story of compassion, redemption, second chances, and the transformative power within us all.
Founding Omaze with his business partner Matt, CEO and co-founder Ryan Cummins is responsible for the online platform known for raising hundreds of millions of dollars for charity by raffling once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Today, Omaze is breaking the traditional model of charity and creating more good than ever before.
Chances are you've seen an Omaze video, although you may not have realized what company was behind it. Whether it’s blowing up tanks with Arnold Schwarzenegger, watching the series finale of Breaking Bad with its stars, hanging out with Iron Man, or making a cameo appearance in the new Star Wars film, each campaign is making charity go viral — now responsible for working with 150 charities in 175 countries.
In his lifetime, Ryan Cummins has worked with influential change-makers through Live Earth, talking with 120 Nobel Prize and Fields Medal winners, MacArthur Genius Grant recipients, and Pulitzer Prize winners.
In this conversation, Branden and Ryan dive deep into the origin of Omaze, the intersection of philanthropy and storytelling, and the power of living for something bigger than yourself.