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

1 minute read

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.

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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?”

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