How the Change.org Founder and a Filmmaker Knew They Wanted to Change the World

The founder of Change.org and an Oscar-winning filmmaker speak about the pursuit of truth

For Ben Rattray, the founder of Change.org, the moment his life changed was when his younger brother came out as gay. For Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, an Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker from Pakistan, it was when she was a young girl and drove through a poor neighborhood on the way to school in the morning.

“If you speak the truth, I will stand with you, and so will the world,” Obaid-Chinoy said her father told her years later about writing about what she saw.

TIME brought together Obaid-Chinoy and Rattray, both former TIME 100 honorees, as part of a new video series that sparks conversation between pioneers in different fields.

Watch More: Arianna Huffington and a NBA Star on Why Sleep Is Crucial to Success

Their discussion ranged from how they both got their start to the best way to inspire others to take action for a cause, and even to Obaid-Chinoy’s footwear at this year’s Academy Awards, where she won for Documentary (Short Subject).

“I went onstage to accept my Academy Award wearing flip-flops,” she said. “My mother, she’s like, who wears flip-flops to accept their Academy Award?”

Your browser is out of date. Please update your browser at http://update.microsoft.com


Dear TIME Reader,

As a regular visitor to TIME.com, we are sure you enjoy all the great journalism created by our editors and reporters. Great journalism has great value, and it costs money to make it. One of the main ways we cover our costs is through advertising.

The use of software that blocks ads limits our ability to provide you with the journalism you enjoy. Consider turning your Ad Blocker off so that we can continue to provide the world class journalism you have become accustomed to.

The TIME Team