How To Make Social Impact Simple With Pete Winn From Karma Pay

The first time I met Pete we’d been talking for about five minutes when he told me that “basically what we’re trying to do is educate every child on the planet.” He told me that a lack of education in 2018 is a problem that just shouldn’t really exist and that in order to fix that problem KarmaPay was setting out “to raise around 20 billion dollars a year.” Within twenty minutes of knowing the guy, I’d been blown away. Here was an entrepreneur that had looked at a global problem that didn’t make sense, actually researched what it was going to take to fix it and then committed to facilitating the change he wanted to see in the world. That’s when Karma Pay was born.

Part of what I think makes Pete’s business model so fascinating is the almost completely frictionless simplicity with which it allows every day people to make a social impact. Once you’ve downloaded the app and connected your payment method, you can literally start contributing to universal education without changing a thing about your every day life. That’s because KarmaPay essentially works by replacing bank terminals at places conscious consumers already love to shop. Places like cafe’s, green grocers, cellar doors, hairdressers and more.

When you pay with Karma Pay the fee that would ordinarily go to the bank, is sent via block chain to charities like Classroom of Hope instead. Which is just the first step of Pete’s mission to build a world where every financial transaction has a verifiable social impact.

I believe humans always have an inclination to do good when they can, but oftentimes the barriers to entry overpower the desire to do social good. Cost, lack of trust, security, confusion with payment methods, a complicated sign up process, ongoing direct debits, budgeting and all sorts of other reasons come up for why someone might not be able to give as often as they’d like. That’s why the presence of a social enterprise like Karma Pay, providing a solution for how to make social impact simple, is so valuable to us in 2018. The business model is built around fitting in around our lives rather than forcing us to adapt to it. Something that I think all social entrepreneurs could learn from.

During our ninety minute conversation I went deep with Pete on all of the things that I think make him a great entrepreneur. We explore his values, his childhood, his ability to bring on cofounders and get them to take ownership over the idea, remark-ability marketing, credibility sausages, his favourite books, brands and more. This is one you don’t want to miss.

Looking for something specific? Check out the show notes below:

2:26 – Why does a 34 year old entrepreneur with a wife and two kids choose to live in a retirement village?

6:52 – Discussing the IRL revolution and the “Buy Nothing Movement” a hyper local community gifting program designed to help you meet your neighbours.

  • Search “Buy Nothing _____________” and your suburb on Facebook.

10:41 – The opportunity to maximise your social posts organic reach through Facebook Groups.

12:51 – The best parenting advice he’s ever received and why kids don’t seem to like being inside.

14:26 – Unpacking the freedom that lies in realising that: “It’s all made up.”

21:00 – What parts of his childhood he considers most formative in creating the values that he lives by today.

25:00 – The “it almost makes too much sense” proposition of Karma Pay.

26:50 – Social enterprises using remark-ability and word of mouth marketing inspired by Who Gives A Crap

30:00 – Karma Pay’s first partner cafe and where you go to pay using Karma Pay.

32:02 – How to overcome the challenge of attracting top grade talent to boot strapped businesses.

38:20 – How important is it to be picky with who you work with in a social enterprise.

39:28 – Why coffee was the right product to launch the business with and the importance of conscious consumers.

43:50 – Exploring how to get the right balance in your co-founding team.

51:50 – How to empower co-founders into claiming ownership over the company and using values to safeguard the decision making process in your company.

57:00 – Pete Winn’s recipe for building your very own “Credibility Sausage“.

1:03:00 – Why Pete is doing an online course with Oxford Business School learning about Blockchain.

1:13:09 – Pete’s most gifted or recommended books?

1:17:00 – What piece of advice have you received that has sculpted part of the way you live your life now?

1:19:10 – Why Ironman was the first brand that Pete’s Son became aware of?

1:23:45 – What are two purchases under $100 that have made the most positive impact on Pete’s life?

1:26:11 – Why Cory Doctorow and Leo Babauta from Zen Habit’s philosophy of gifting their work under creative commons is a marketing strategy that attracts buyers.

1:27:29 – Explaining Block Chain using zero technical language at

CafeMyrtle Ivy Cafe

You can follow Pete on Twitter @Pete_Winn or just search ‘Pete Winn’ on Linked In.


Mike Drysdale

6 thoughts on “How To Make Social Impact Simple With Pete Winn From Karma Pay

  1. Awesome podcast!
    Just wondering if it’s just me,… or if the volume of each voice is really different? I’ve turned my speakers right up but can’t hear Pete’s voice that well.

    1. Hi Karen, unfortunately it was bad direction by me on the day. Some parts are better than others but occasionally Pete was just sitting too far away from the mic. Really appreciate the feedback though, glad you gave it a listen.

    2. Appologies! If there was a video of the room you’d see I’m kicking back in the chair and wandering around barefoot through the 2+ hours we recorded! Next time I’ll know better to lean in to the mic!

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