Rainn Wilson’s Media Company Makes Stuff That Matters [Q&A]

Up close and personal with SoulPancake’s CEO & Chief Creative Officer.

May 23, 2016
SoulPancake's core staff (left to right): Rainn Wilson, Shabnam Mogharabi, Golriz Lucina, and Devon Gundry

SoulPancake's core staff (left to right): Rainn Wilson, Shabnam Mogharabi, Golriz Lucina, and Devon Gundry

While Rainn Wilson’s character on The Office, Dwight Schrute, doesn’t have much of a sense of humor, his company SoulPancake is a laugh a minute - with a good doing edge. The company produces media - mainly video - on "big think" topics such as spirituality, creativity, religion, arts, and philosophy. Along with his core team - Shabnam Mogharabi, Golriz Lucina, and Devon Gundry - Wilson’s goal is simple. To make stuff that matters. In this week’s 10 Good Questions, SoulPancake’s CEO and Chief Creative Officer talk to Goodnet about what exactly that means.

1. What is your position?

Shabnam Mogharabi: CEO
Golriz Lucina: Chief Creative Officer

2. What is your organization’s mission?

Mogharabi: SoulPancake is a media company that seeks to create inspiring, meaningful entertainment about the human experience. Basically, we spread joy by making stuff that matters.
Lucina: Our mission is to create meaningful content that appeals to the do-ers and dreamers, artists and activists, entrepreneurs and innovators. Our content is unapologetically authentic because we know the importance of stamping out prejudices, shaking up stigmas, and tackling the truth.

3. Who inspires you?

Mogharabi: Personally, my mom. I am continuously blown away by her capacity for love, patience, and selflessness. Professionally, my team. I am amazed by what our small family of creative, passionate, joyful doers is able to accomplish every single day.

4. What is the best part about your job?

Mogharabi: The letters, emails, and messages we get from fans. Every day, we hear from individuals whose lives are affected by a piece of content we made. I remember one handwritten letter from a 14-year-old girl who had a traumatic childhood and wasn't sure what she wanted out of life, but watching our videos gave her a sense that there is hope and opportunity out there, even for her. I can't ask for better moments than that.

5. What is your go-to song these days?

Mogharabi: I have recently been listening to a lot of Madcon, but then with the news of Prince's passing, his music ("I wanna be your lover" is one of my favorites) has been on repeat.
Lucina: I can't stop listening to 'When Doves Cry' - in fact, I'll be listening to Prince all month.

6. Do you have a simple trick that can make someone else feel good instantly?

Mogharabi: DANCE PARTIES. It is impossible to feel anything but happiness when you're dancing.
Lucina: I'm into spontaneous bursts of affection and song.

Shabnam Mogharabi and Golriz Lucina

Mogharabi and Lucina get in front of the camera (SoulPancake)

7. Gym or yoga?

Mogharabi: Neither. I prefer being outdoors, so hiking is my jam.
Lucina: Yoga

8. What was your last Google search?

Mogharabi: So boring -- the pros and cons of in-house vs. outsourced HR services. If that doesn't say 'first time entrepreneur' I don't know what does!
Lucina: Honestly? I looked up how to cut 'curtain bangs'. On the side, I love cutting hair.

9. Books or movies?

Mogharabi: Books. I am a journalist by training, so I love the power of the written word. And even though I'm in the film and video business, I find there is nothing as compelling as what our individual imaginations are able to create from the stories found in a good book.
Lucina: Both have inspired, entertained and changed me. But if I had to pick, I'd go with books.

10. What do you want Goodnet users to know about your organization?

Mogharabi: SoulPancake is a place to find inspiration. You will be entertained. You will feel joy. And you may do the ugly cry (for which we apologize in advance). But ultimately, we want our fans to leave feeling a little more connected to their human experience. Follow us @soulpancake.

As well as managing Goodnet.org, Elana writes happy headlines with a particular focus on yoga, meditation and family matters. She has a background in online journalism and web content.

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