Its been an amazing journey building a team of individuals and organisations who are working together to create a more inspired world. Founding Directors, Chris and Mike thought interviewing and writing a profile piece on one another, rather than writing our own, might be the most interesting way of getting to know just who is behind this business…
(above: co-founders Chris Campbell and Mike Worsman)
Chris Campbell – Co-Founder/Director/Journalist
Written by Mike Worsman
First uttering the phrase ‘what about creating a positive news website’ on 16 May 2010, Chris Campbell, was the ember that sparked the idea that is Our World Today.
Chris brings a unique set of skills and experiences to the role of Director and Journalist, having travelled extensively, owned his own company and worked in various media and humanitarian organisations.
To say Chris has the skills to produce an online news website is an understatement, having worked with Channel Nine in post-production and operations, the ABC in TV and news editing and having owned his own corporate movie making/web development company. On top of this he has completed an undergraduate degree in Communications and Media Management and post-graduate degree in Journalism.
Though born and raised in Adelaide, Chris’ most influential experiences have been his sometimes Bear Grylls like ventures to the four corners of the globe, including seven months in Africa. Coupled with his work for the Australian Refugee Association this has given Chris a unique perspective on the world, by allowing him to absorb such a vast array of knowledge and ideas about humanity.
All of this has fuelled a great fire in his belly - an unrelenting passion and motivation to make a difference in the world. But Chris, like many, wondered how to best use his skills and enthusiasm to create real and positive long lasting change? Through his study and experiences, Chris quickly came to realise that mainstream news plays a significant role in the way society is influenced, and the way people think. Coupled with a belief that ‘your thinking obviously has an effect on your life, and consequently as a whole, the actions of the world’, Chris’ mind began to swell with ideas about how to use this knowledge for good. From filming us canoeing the length of the Great Barrier Reef to raise awareness, to shooting a documentary about refugees or an expose on fair trade… ideas were a plenty, but all were a band-aid fix.
Chris had bigger dreams, and so his mind continued to tick, until…
I recall discussing the fact that news was confronting society with such a negative view of itself, it was hard not to be overwhelmed and think ‘it’s too hard to make a difference’, when mid-discussion Chris suddenly turned to me with an inquisitive smile and said ‘what about a positive news website’…
And so it was - an idea that would change his and my life forever. But why Chris settled on this idea is perhaps the most telling thing about him.
Chris often talked about the ability to walk up to and have a conversation with anyone in the streets in countries he has visited, ‘from Malawi, Cambodia, Tanzania or Kenya, the people are not fearful and are always happy to talk or help’. They have not been tainted by the sensationalised and stereotyped images of others, which is something he said most Western news creates. If everyone could see the good in the world and realise that deep down we’re all working for the same thing – happiness – Chris believes barriers of fear (race, religion, wealth etc) would be broken and this would allow the world to come together as a community. Perhaps then he said we might feel comfortable enough to come together and talk about the issues we all face. A necessary step if we are to solve them.
Using a project he started at the Australian Refugee Association (ARA) as an example, Chris said he has seen great things be achieved by bringing communities together. Chris’ ‘Homework Club’ project started out with him helping a few refugee students with their homework on a Saturday morning. Since its inception in late 2009, Chris said the project has grown exponentially and now has two fully functional clubs. But he said this is only thanks to the huge number of volunteers coming on board to help teach what has become hundreds of children. Notably, he said one man who ended up helping him run the club, initially indicated that ‘he didn’t know he could volunteer and help people like this’, because ‘in his community they didn’t have volunteers’. From this experience Chris gained a great passion to show people how easy it is to help and the benefits of altruistic behaviour. By creating a news website that aims to promote the good happening in the world, Chris hopes to inspire humanity to think ‘wow, I could make a difference’, and feels that if Our World Today can connect with enough individuals, the flow of a new mind set will slowly sweep across society.
After much research into the infectious nature and psychology behind how positivity and emotions spread, Chris knows he is on a path that will see him achieve his goal of creating real and positive long lasting change in the world.
Personally, I see Chris as a man that truly feels for those less fortunate and with every breath he is aiming to make the lives of others that bit better. With a heart of gold and a mind of wisdom to guide his every sentence and discussion, speaking to him is a breath of fresh air. He is innovative and creative, and ultimately the reason you are reading this website, but more than anything else he is someone everyone should meet.
Mike Worsman – Co-Founder/Director/Journalist
Written by Chris Campbell
In a world where the news can often be overwhelming, leaving you thinking ‘what could I possibly do to help’, change is in the air.
It has been the dream and passion of Mike Worsman since early 2010, and now, this dream is turning into reality.
Having a 1% chance of being conceived and 50% chance of being stillborn, due to his Mum having an IUD in place, it is not hard to see why he has long held a philosophy of making the most of his life. From travelling around Australia as a child, to hearing the tales of his parents who have taught in remote communities and recently fostered a child, it is education through life experience that has allowed Mike to think in a free way.
Born and raised in Adelaide, Mike moved with his family to country Queensland at age 12 for three years, before moving back to Adelaide to complete high school and university, where he studied Journalism.
After graduating in late 2007, Mike worked as a reporter with WIN TV Riverland, before returning to Adelaide and taking up a role as Media and Communications Officer for the Royal Adelaide Hospital. Between all of this he has run his own small video production company and worked for The Wilderness Society as a Membership Campaigner.
Having worked on both sides of the media, Mike has a well-rounded view into how this industry works. This, together with his own world experience, having travelled throughout Asia and South America, has given him the ability to see the world of news in a new light.
Regularly catching up with Mike over a few beers, I would often listen to him talk about the impact of media on society, and his frustrations with its negative trends. But all was not in vain, with this old cultural tradition (a beer and a yarn at the pub with a mate) delivering the idea that would change both his and my life…
I remember sitting at a bar, considering the role of the media in society. It was an idea pondered for some weeks, we were entering interesting conversation. For Mike he always knew there was something more, a feeling inside that unconsciously told him he was bound for something outside of the 9-5 life. Each time we met we revealed more, slowly unravelling our minds, unconsciously getting closer to an answer – and thus the reason or purpose for being here. It was then that our concept was born.
While on the surface the idea was to create an online news website with a focus on positive stories, we knew the concept reached far beyond this.
Surrounded by a health system full of amazing and inspirational stories, Mike understands how many good and inspiring people there are in the world. Mike has been personally inspired by these heroic stories, and realises the impact these people could have on society, if their stories were shared with others through the media. However he also knows the challenge of getting these stories into the media, and this is part of the reason for setting up Our World Today.
For Mike it is about producing stories that can impact that world, and make it a more interesting, enjoyable and better place to live.
Mike is truly unwavering in his commitment to Our World Today, delivering every task with precision and a professional stamp of pride and passion, he works around his full-time hours to achieve his dream. It may have been an idea of thought from me, but without Mike such a concept would have never made its way from imagination to reality. Mike has the years of experience in the industry behind him, and is ready for his next challenge. He is a truly inspirational individual, and shares an extremely inspiring view of the world.
Personally, I think it is Mike’s simple passion for life that makes him who he is – whether playing amateur AFL footy, turning a blank canvas into a reflection of his inner most thoughts or spending a relaxing afternoon in the garden, he has an uncanny zest for life. As well as this he has an extraordinary view and passion for the world, and certainly holds the determination and enthusiasm to help make our world a happier and more positive place, not only for today, but for future generations.