Story Gatherings | Nashville, Tennessee

Branden Harvey on Staying Inspired

Kellyn Robison
Written by Kellyn Robison

Branden Harvey on Staying Inspired

I can’t believe we’re just barely over two months away from STORY 2016!  Seats at the CMA Theater here in Nashville are starting to fill up. It has been so much fun to talk to and meet so many of you in the STORY community about the vision for where STORY is headed. If we haven’t had a chance to connect, please just get in touch.

This past week we did a local STORY gathering in Chicago, along with some meet ups in the suburbs. This week, we’re headed to the west coast for a gathering on Tuesday night in the city of dreams. Remember, these gatherings are free, so if you or a friend is in the area, be sure to spread the word.

I recently reached out to our friend, Branden Harvey to ask a few questions about what keeps him inspired. Branden is a storyteller who is focused on telling stories about the good all over the world. Whether through his Goodnewsletter, his Sounds Good podcast, or his infamous snapchat or instagram campaigns for global brands, he’s not only doing innovative and creative work, but it’s meaningful and is making a difference.

Here’s Branden…


What 3 creative works have you encountered lately that have left you inspired?

1. The Purpose Hotel Kickstarter by Jeremy Cowart. Jeremy is a celebrity photographer and humanitarian and just launched his newest idea: a hotel that allows you to change the world while you sleep. I’m constantly inspired by the way Jeremy takes big ideas and turns them into a reality, and it’s been incredible to see this come to life. (Watch the video for my cameos!)

2. A book titled, “Where’d You Go Bernadette” by Maria Semple. I just got back from vacation in Northern Idaho, and I spent an entire week sitting on the dock in the sun reading. I rarely prioritize reading fiction, but my brilliant book-loving wife recommended it and I ended up loving it. It’s mysterious, funny, and based in Seattle.

3. This ad from Samsung called “The Anthem”.  Samsung created a beautiful song that combined national anthems from around the world. Honestly, I got a little bit choked up thinking about unity and togetherness. Of course it’s just an ad, but it’s absolutely worth a watch (or two).

What other innovative storyteller in your same vein of work is inspiring you in the way he or she tells stories online?

This last week on my podcast, I got to have a conversation with Australian photographer and artist Nirrimi Firebrace. Nirrimi has lived a life of beauty and heartbreak and what inspires me most is her ability to make an impact in other people’s lives despite the pain in her own life. After her younger brother committed suicide three months ago, Nirrimi realized she didn’t have any amazing portraits with him. She decided to offer free photoshoots to people to make sure that doesn’t have to happen to other people. Her work will inspire you.

When you hit a creative block and need to be inspired, what’s your go-to source of inspiration?

My big creative block antidote is podcasts. I try to find a podcast I haven’t heard before from a person that’s lived a totally different life than my own— and tune in for a few hours. Sometimes over the course of a week or two. I find that this helps give me a different perspective on things and a new way to approach my own work. Two podcasts I’ve loved lately that inspired me are Intelligence Squared and Code Switch.

In closing, what is something people assume about you regularly that isn’t true?

People assume it takes me forever to do my hair, but I can put my little swirl together in about 9 seconds flat. 🙂


For more inspiration, consider joining world-changing creatives and storytellers like Branden at STORY 2016. It is truly fuel for the creative class, and I promise you’ll leave this year’s conference ready and prepared to do your best work ever. Get your ticket here.

Kellyn Robison
Kellyn Robison

VP of Everything at Istoria Collective.