How Did WorldPix Form?

Sealing the deal. WorldPix is formed!

Sealing the deal. WorldPix is formed!

Paul Lynch and Ryan Plakonouris are co-founders of WorldPix. They met on a safari, became friends and are now committed to this cause. Here is their story.

[1994] Since high school, Paul has felt a strong calling to do mission work or outreach in impoverished nations. He used to do mission trips every summer, mostly to Honduras.  In the process of doing these trips and being exposed to people with great needs, he decided to become a physician. This would give him the opportunity to go back some day and provide medical care. This would be his dream that carried him through college. The foundation for giving was set.

[2007] In the first year after the launch of Arizona Pain Specialists, Paul realized, with his schedule, it would be difficult to do medical outreach. Instead, he decided to use his company to help organizations that already existed, mostly local. So, he started giving 5% of his company profits. This started satisfying his need to give back.

Along the way, Paul got interested in photography. OK, obsessed would be a better description. He and his wife, Janne, would travel around the world and quickly realized that some of the most beautiful places in the world were also some of the poorest. Whether it is Rwanda, Kenya or South Africa they would see this tremendous beauty and then also this extreme poverty, chaos, strife, war, and disease.

[2012] Janne kept thinking that the beauty of a country is its natural resource. She would lament to Paul, “we go in and take all these pictures and leave nothing in return.” Paul and Janne brainstormed about the idea of taking beautiful pictures in a country and then selling them, giving back the money to the country.  Inspired and excited, he quickly registered WorldPix.org and then waited for the right time.

[2015] Paul went on safari in Africa with a professional guide and photographer, Ryan Plakanoris, where they hit it off immediately. Believing that Ryan was a kindred spirit, Paul told him of his idea. Ryan was immediately all over it, wanting (or needing)  to do this, in total agreement, and have been having similar thoughts. After the safari, Paul went back to the U.S. and Ryan back home to South Africa. The idea had been set.

While Paul got back to work at his clinics, Ryan worried that the idea would be lost. He has run many safaris and seen people who were excited by Africa during the safari, but lose interest once they returned home. He did not want this to happen to Paul. So Ryan began the process of pestering Paul, often citing, “this needs to happen!” Convinced, Paul returned later in the year to Africa (Maasai Mara, Kenya) and decided it was time. He and Ryan spent the next eight days in the back of a safari Landy discussing how to make this work.  WorlPix was officially born on September 1, 2015.

 

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