626. Nipun Mehta

Nipun MethaNipun Mehta is the founder of ServiceSpace, a global community at the intersection of technology, volunteerism, and the gift economy. Most recently, ServiceSpace’s pandemic response has showcased the unique beauty of its global ecosystem. Nipun has catalyzed a global social movement of community builders grounded in their localities and rooted in practices for cultivating love, nonviolence, selfless service, and compassion. The ecosystem has reached millions, attracted thousands of volunteers, and mushroomed into numerous community-based service projects as well as inspiring content portals. ServiceSpace harnesses the collective power of networks and our deeper interconnectedness to create a distributed social movement founded on small, local individual acts of kindness, generosity, and service that ignite shifts in individual and collective consciousness. Nipun was honored as an “unsung hero of compassion” by the Dalai Lama, not long before former U.S. President Obama appointed him to a council for addressing poverty and inequality in the US. Yet the core of what strikes anyone who meets him is the way his life is an attempt to bring smiles in the world and silence in his heart: “I want to live simply, love purely, and give fearlessly. That’s me.”

In his mid-twenties, Nipun quit his job to become a “full-time volunteer”. One of his most formative experiences was a walking pilgrimage across India, with his wife of six months, whose profound lessons also became the subject of his widely-read address at UPenn commencement. Over the last twenty years, he has addressed thousands of gatherings around the world, speaking next to wide-ranging leaders from Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak to author Elizabeth Gilbert to civil rights legend John Lewis. Germany’s OOOM magazine named Nipun one of the Top 100 Most Inspiring People of 2020.

See links to these ServiceSpace websites at the bottom of their website.





And for some of Nipun’s talks and articles, visit his personal website.

Discussion of this interview in the BatGap Community Facebook Group.

Transcript of this interview.

Interview recorded December 4, 2021.

Video and audio below. Audio also available as a Podcast.

YouTube Video Chapters:

  • 00:00:00 – Introduction to Nipun Mehta
  • 00:04:52 – An Unexpected Encounter on a Plane
  • 00:08:37 – Reunion with a Compassionate Monk
  • 00:12:00 – Inklings of Deeper Dimensions in Life
  • 00:16:20 – Meeting and Marriage Journey
  • 00:20:39 – The Meeting with Gauri and the Right Path
  • 00:24:51 – The Impermanence of Life and Leaving a Lasting Impact
  • 00:30:10 – Finding Your Inner Vows and Virtues
  • 00:35:13 – Living with Compassion and Inner Transformation
  • 00:40:10 – The Importance of Self-Reflection and Experimentation
  • 00:44:49 – Being an Instrument of the Divine
  • 00:49:33 – Letting Go of Outcome
  • 00:53:56 – Quality of Motivation and its Impact on Outcome
  • 00:58:23 – The Trap of Spiritual Detours
  • 01:02:44 – Sticking to Your Path and Avoiding Spiritual Traps
  • 01:07:25 – Causation vs. Correlation
  • 01:13:18 – Noble Friendships and Resilience
  • 01:18:11 – Functioning from a State of Oneness
  • 01:22:28 – Laughter as a Tool for Transformation
  • 01:26:56 – All Paths Lead to Deep Absorption
  • 01:31:51 – Acting Without an Agenda
  • 01:36:08 – From Websites to Acts of Service
  • 01:40:47 – The Power of Listening and Offering Food
  • 01:44:43 – Karma Kitchen: A Deeper Form of Transaction
  • 01:48:55 – Reframing Transactions and Trust
  • 01:52:33 – Wealth Inequity and the Future of Society
  • 01:58:01 – The Urgent Question of Inequity and Service
  • 02:03:33 – Building a Bigger Heart in Response to the World
  • 02:07:48 – The Story of the Little Sparrow
  • 02:12:21 – Peace and Compassion
  • 02:17:13 – Signing off and looking forward to future interviews