October 22, 2018


Scott Harrison: transformation, finding meaning, and taking on the global water crisis (EP.25)

‘I’m going to fight for clean water and be potentially the most effective doctor that the world has ever seen, if I can get hundreds of millions of people the most basic need for health.’ —Scott Harrison

by Peter Attia

Read Time 15 minutes

In this episode, Scott Harrison, founder of charity: water, discusses his radical personal transformation from club promoter with substance abuse problems to a humanitarian, successful CEO, and one of the happiest people Peter knows.


We discuss:

  • How Scott and Peter met [3:45];
  • Scott’s tragic family story that shaped his life and altered his trajectory [8:00];
  • High school years, rebellion, and music [30:30];
  • Life as a club promoter, drug use, soul-searching, and a change of heart [41:30];
  • Mercy Ships [1:15:00];
  • The amazing transformations of Mercy Ships and the parallels to his own transformation [1:28:00];
  • Leveraging the art of storytelling to raise money and awareness while fighting temptations to fall into his previous life [1:33:30];
  • Discovering the water crisis that led to charity: water [1:46:45];
  • How the lack of trust in nonprofits can cripple charities [1:54:00];
  • The four pillars of charity: water that helped it overcome the stigma of nonprofits and become successful [2:01:00];
  • Where to learn more about Scott’s work and charity: water [2:12:30];
  • Scott’s book recommendations [2:14:30]; and
  • More.


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