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.
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?”