Restoring forests and lives from the ground up in Mozambique.

Nearly nine years ago I got an unsolicited email in my inbox addressed from Mozambique.

It was right after I graduated university, left my first modeling agency and started my first company focused around environmental communications. It wasn’t the typical “I am a God-fearing individual who is the sole survivor of a recent flood and is in need of $4,000 to get help” email that was bypassing rudimentary SPAM filters and filling up our inbox around that time. This one was charmingly forthright and inviting. I’m glad I saved it after all these years. Here’s what it said…

These conversations will clear your mind and open up your heart.

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Back in February 2013, I started phoning a few friends to see if they would be open to having a more intimate conversation to share some of the more meaningful aspects of their life. Much to everyone’s amazement, the conversations became both cleansing and spiritually uplifting. Themes around facing one’s own fears and inadequacies topped the list; having meaningful relationships – whether it be with friends, intimate partners, or even one’s own children – also emerged; and even re-evaluating life in the face of death – whether it was one’s own near-death experience or the passing of a loved one, eventually found its way into conversation. My friend Paul and I ended up filming near three dozen memorable conversations and decided that we’ll continue to do more. Here’s some of what we found…

SRO Conversations #026: Talking Trash with Tom Szaky

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In the 26th episode of SRO Conversations, waste entrepreneur Tom Szaky talks trash with Summer Rayne and Paul America. From dropping out of college in order to start a “worm poop” company, Tom now runs an international business collecting 150 different types of waste in 23 countries.

SRO Conversations #025: Dan Richfield: Achieving Freedom Off-the-Grid

In the 25th Episode of SRO Conversations, Dan talks about his time building Earthships – self-sustaining homes whose headquarters are in Taos, New Mexico; starting his company in Brooklyn from the ground up; manufacturing in urban centers; and how to practically go off-the-grid.

SRO Conversations #024: Jonny Dubowsky: Create Music & Heal the Earth

Jonny Dubowsky may have appeared on shows like The Today Show and The Late Show with Conan O’Brien rocking out with his band Jonny Lives! but that doesn’t take away from the fact that this rocker is serious about the environment. Jonny converses about permaculture, ancient composting techniques, and even belts out a few new tunes on the 24th episode of SRO Conversations.

SRO Conversations #023: Lisa Linhardt: The Art & Discipline of Jewelry Design

In the 23rd episode of SRO Conversations, Lisa Linhardt, the Founder and Creative Director of Linhardt Design, a custom and ready-made jewelry gallery located New York City, discusses the art of jewelry creation and the discipline around design. “I think it’s become a quick culture,” she says. “We’re used to making things quickly” but that may be why the artisan nature of design is more highly appreciated.

Simon Sinek: Who do you turn to when you need help?

In the 22nd episode of SRO Conversations, best-selling author Simon Sinek of Start With Why talks about the themes around his second soon-to-be-released book, Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t. In this edition, he opens up to who he turns to for advice and help in time of need.

Simon Sinek: How to gain critical mass to change pre-existing systems

In the 22nd episode of SRO Conversations, best-selling author Simon Sinek of Start With Why talks about the themes around his second soon-to-be-released book, Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t. In this edition, he reveals his passionate plea for businesses today. “I don’t want to drive the conversation. I don’t want to add to the dialogue. Why doesn’t someone do something one day? I want people to f*cking act. I’m tired of driving the conversation and adding to the dialogue.”

Simon Sinek: We’ve raised a generation on dopamine

In the 22nd episode of SRO Conversations, best-selling author Simon Sinek of Start With Why talks about the themes around his second soon-to-be-released book, Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t. In this edition, he discusses about how the youth of today want to make an impact, but have trouble concentrating on doing one thing well since they are addicted to “every bing, buzz, beep or flash” of their telephone.

Simon Sinek: Businesses never see their competition coming

In the 22nd episode of SRO Conversations, best-selling author Simon Sinek of Start With Why talks about the themes around his second soon-to-be-released book, Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t. In this episode he talks about competition in business. “They play a finite game in an infinite scenario,” he attests. “It’s always the small start-up that tips the applecart.”