Images: Global Populace 

Story Highlights

Kellie Kreiss, co-founder of Global Populace, sets out to tell stories that encourage an exchange of ideas

Global Populace – a platform for sharing stories of impact and raising money for Non-Profit Organizations

Kellie Kreiss, West Coaster and Co-Founder of Global Populace, spent the last few years engaged in global studies and Latin American Social Development while pursuing journalism in hopes to mobilize people through an exchange of ideas and dialogue. Kellie wants to empower others through writing, which is so refreshing to hear for us at Conscious Magazine because we truly believe stories matter, they are important, and they can make a difference.

Kellie’s passion for stories is represented in her mission with Global Populace, which is to change the way people look at volunteering and fundraising – one story at a time.  For Kellie, the concept of volunteering and fundraising in today’s society has been misrepresented as some of the programs do not meet the needs of the community they are provided to, therefore, making it unattractive to get involved. This is where Kellie and Global Populace come in – they want to make the experience more empowering for everyone involved.

Keep reading to find out how a documentary trip to Southeast Asia inspired Global Populace, and how she and her partner, Robb, are moving out of the discovery phase and getting ready for their first beta test Storytellers.

Q | Tell us about yourself and how do you want to make a difference in the world?
I’m originally from the East San Francisco Bay Area and moved to Santa Barbara, California to study Global Studies and Latin American Social Development at the University there. Since graduating, I’ve been pursuing journalism and writing both professionally and freelance.

I’ve always been deeply in love with writing, and I want to find any and every way possible to empower and mobilize people through a constant exchange of ideas and an open dialogue. I strongly believe that in order to really empower each other, we must first be able to speak with each other – and writing is a great way to invite vast audiences together in one place. So, if there is anyway that I see myself making a difference in our world, it is through the pursuit of impactful, purposeful writing.

Q | We know you and your team at Global Populace are building a platform that invites aspiring storytellers to document stories of impact abroad for free. Can you tell us more about that and what sparked the vision behind GP?
My partner, Robb, and I have been dreaming about Global Populace for about 2 years now. It started when we took a documentary trip to Southeast Asia with the goal of showing the ways in which grassroots groups were working to benefit the needs of their own communities in big ways. And after working in Myanmar, Thailand, and Cambodia over 4 months, we realized that we wanted to do more than just tell these stories – we wanted other people to find them too. So we’ve been creating a platform where anyone who loves sharing stories of impact can raise money for a NGO of their choice and, as a reward, a GP Brand Advocate will match their funds to help pay for their trip to document the impact made by that money. We’re changing the way people look at volunteering and fundraising – one story at a time.

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Q | Why is Global Populace important for changing the conversation in today’s society?
The concept of volunteering and fundraising has become incredibly misrepresented and skewed in today’s society – from the growing popularity of potentially exploitative “voluntourism” packages to the building of structures and programs that do not meet the needs of the community they are provided to – and as a result it’s becoming increasingly unattractive, not to mention unaffordable. Global Populace wants to change this, by making it a more empowering and uniting effort for everyone involved.

Q | Any new projects coming up for Global Populace that we should know about?
Right now is a really exciting time for Global Populace – we are finally nearing the end of what we’ve been calling our “discovery” phase and are getting ready to send out our first beta test Storytellers. We still have some preliminary outreach to do, but are excited to see where the next few months will take us. We see so much potential in the relationships that are currently being formed, and are excited to start getting more people involved.

Q | We know you are about to launch a column on, why is that important to you?
This column is like a dream – ever since Robb and I returned from our documentation trip in Southeast Asia I’ve been looking for the perfect place to share not only my own stories, but the stories that I was told by the people we worked with while we were there. The accomplishments that these youth driven organizations are making are awe-inspiring and I think that we could all learn so much from their determination as well as take steps to unite with them and support their efforts from here – by continuing the conversation, and mirroring such efforts in our own communities. Impactful change needs to start from the ground up – in our own local communities – if we want to see it begin to flourish on a global scale, and the groups we worked with are proving that.

Q | Anything else that you would like to add?
I believe that to create positive change, empowerment, and growth in our global community, we must first be able to listen to and then share each other’s ideas and stories – so we can continue to learn and grow together. And it is my dream, and the dream of the Global Populace team, to make that possible and more accessible on a global scale.

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From the Editor
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