Unless you’ve been living under a rock here at Intent Blog, you’ve heard the big news. The Chopra family is preparing to launch its own YouTube channel, The Chopra Well, in July of this year. We’re talking the likes of a full-fledged television network… available for free online! High quality shows on health, spirituality, wellbeing, and god knows what else. It’s pretty huge.
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As the newest member of the Intent team, I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know Mallika and her family over the past few months, and I must say… the vision for this project has impressed even me, the most reluctant Youtuber. Mallika, Gotham, and Deepak — in their own unique ways — are three people who are wholeheartedly committed to improving personal and societal well-being, and this channel is natural extension of that intent. I got a chance to chat with the three brains behind the Chopra Well about their vision for the channel.
Here’s the interview:
Chelsea Roff: Mallika, as founder of Intent, you’re a bit of a pioneer in the field of new media. How do you think Youtube is changing the way we share information in the digital age?
Mallika Chopra: YouTube is completely changing how we consume entertainment. My daughter, Leela, who is 7 no longer really watches television. She likes to watch Popeye and cartoons on YouTube in the mornings. She knows she can watch them when she wants, where she wants.
I feel so honored and lucky to be able to participate in this venture with YouTube to create The Chopra Well. For more than 10 years, people have approached my father about building a channel around him (and I have tried this myself – some may remember MyPotential!) But launching a cable channel is very expensive. I so admire and applaud what the Oprah Winfrey Network is doing, and we will support their efforts. For us, though, launching The Chopra Well in partnership with YouTube is grassroots and entrepreneurial and fits with our overall family dynamic.
CR: Gotham, you’ve mentioned before that the unifying theme in the various jobs you’ve had over the past several years is storytelling. Why is it important to you to tell stories?
Gotham Chopra: Stories are how we define ourselves. The stories we tell about ourselves are the lens through which we see the world. The history of human civilization is a story, and I think mythology reveals great truths about ourselves, who we aspire to be, and how we understand the world around us.
CR: Deepak, You said in the video that this channel will provide an opportunity to reach “critical mass.” What did you mean by that?
Deepak Chopra: I believe that if we reach a tipping point or “critical mass” of people undergoing personal transformation that it will translate into social and planetary transformation. My goal is to reach 100 million people who can be the change they want to see in the world, in the words of Mahatma Gandhi, so that we can move in the direction of creating a more peaceful, just, sustainable and happy world.
There are now several demographic studies showing that when a certain percentage of the population — which could be as small as 1% or at most 3% — start to enact a particular pattern of behavior, then everyone around them start to join in that behavior. Great brands know this. Marlboro reached critical mass. Coca Cola reached critical mass. Apple has just recently reached critical mass, and Microsoft in the past reached critical mass. So critical mass has functioned up until this point in creating brand value.
I would like to use critical mass to promote wellbeing. Wellbeing includes not only physical, mental, an spiritual wellbeing, but also social, community, and financial wellbeing. They’re all connected. And we have data to prove it. If you improve the wellbeing of a person, you improve the wellbeing of a society. At an individual level, we know it works. Now I want to do it on a collective level as well.
CR: Mallika, you do a lot of speaking and writing about being a mom. What do your daughters think about the new Chopra Well? Will they have any input on the content you’re creating?
MC: My kids take real ownership of my projects which I love. For example, when we decided to relaunch Intent.com, I showed them the first designs and they hated them. My younger daughter actually started to cry. It took me by surprise that she felt so connected to what we had been building. So, we reworked the design and both of them love the new one. I’ve set a somewhat challenging precedent.
They love the idea of The Chopra Well. Again, I’ve shown them the concepts as we develop them, and last night we had a crew shooting in my house (a no cost location which helps the budget) so they feel very engaged. When I showed them this trailer, they thought I looked and spoke funny and am too serious! (Moms will always be not cool enough for their kids right!?) They thought Gotham Mamu (what they call Gotham) was funny, and that Nana (my dad) was funny too because no one understands him.
I think my role with Chopra Well is to provide a younger voice, a sort of irreverent voice, a voice that questions some of the authority of my father and challenges some of his thoughts and philosophies. And, to some degree, I think I can be a voice to some for the skeptics out there… to generally raise our game.
CR: Sorry, I could help myself with the picture. Everyone, watch the video above for context. 🙂
DC: I like to watch what my friends are doing on Youtube, for example I follow Lady Gaga, 50 Cent, and Tara Stiles. I also watch anything that is of significance and trending in the world. A little while back there was a video of a thirteen-year-old girl who spoke at the UN that got something like 20 million views. It was very inspiring. Those are the types of videos I watch on Youtube.
See? I told you it’s going to be good. Subscribe to the Chopra Well now to stay updated with the latest videos.