Episode Guide

The following episodes are currently available online. There are currently over 25 more recorded and waiting for release on a weekly schedule, so make sure to subscribe! Click on the name on the list below to toggle a short description + a link to the episode page with background information, show notes and transcription. 

In this short video, I explain what “Conversations With Extraordinary People”really is about, why I started the project, and what you can learn. 

Take me to the episode page

When Harold Mintz met Gennet Belay, a stranger to whom he had donated one of his kidneys some months earlier, he wondered how that kidney could have possibly fit inside her. He was a  6’5” tall man, and she was a “tiny” immigrant from Ethiopia, that had suffered for years and years due to an increasingly failing kidney… But then she showed him the site of the surgery, and there it was:  a little lump on the left side of her back, clearly visible under her skin – Harold’s giant kidney working perfectly inside its crowded new quarters of a person he never met before…

Harold was the first living person in America to donate an organ to a complete stranger, after a change in legislation allowed this for the first time ever.

But what kind of person would even do that? In this episode, Rob Konrad asks him this and other burning questions, like: Was he afraid? Did he want to meet the recipient after the surgery? What if someone in his family needed a kidney down the line?

Harold shares a deeply personal story of encounters and experiences that led him to an ethical revelation that prizes two things above all else: life and fun.

Watch the video of the conversation, read the show notes and the full transcript here: Take me to the episode page

When Christian Picciolini was 14 years old, he joined America’s first organized neo-Nazi white power movement and remained there for 8 years. He became a leader in the organization and recruited hundreds of others to join. He ran a record store specializing in music that promoted Neo-Nazi ideology and committed countless acts of violence and hate.

And then…. he changed his life.

This is the story of how Christian lost everything to radicalization, and then rebuilt his life on an entirely new foundation: make good happen.

That is Picciolini’s personal mission statement, and today he works to help people of all ages disengage from extremist organizations on both ends of the political spectrum.

In this episode of Rob Konrad: Conversations, Christian shares the powerful story of what drove him to join the movement and what eventually led him to leave, and how he regained his sense of purpose in the process.

Watch the video of our conversation, get the show notes and full transcript here: Take me to the episode page

On the first day of high school, Mirna Valerio went to hockey practice – and suffered. She was larger than the other players, and a lot less fit. Her coach, instead of telling her she was no good, encouraged her to keep going – and that’s why today Mirna is an ultramarathoner, speaker, author, and the 2018 National Geographic Adventurer of the Year.

The name of Mirna’s first blog, “Fat Girl Running”, describes exactly who she is – a body-positive larger woman who lives to run (and when she can’t do that anymore, surf). In this episode of Rob Konrad: Conversations, Mirna tells Rob about the challenges she’s overcome to become a professional runner, the bullying she’s endured because of her body type, and the gratitude and compassion she’s discovered through changing her life and living her dream.

And – she believes that anyone can do the same, without so much as jogging around the block.

Watch the video of our conversation, get the show notes and full transcript here: Take me to the episode page

As one of the earliest Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Heavyweight Champions, former King of Pancrase and Thai Boxer, Bas Rutten has faced some pretty tough opponents.

But none challenged him as much as his personal struggles, from chronic illness and bullying as a kid, to beating an opioid addiction, to strange happenings in his family home.

In this episode Bas tells Rob Konrad a rollicking tale of learning to swing through trees, standing up to bullies, knocking many people out, coming out tops at a high school reunion, being a grandfather, and finding his way back to his faith.

And he also happens to have some inspiring life advice to share….

Watch the video of our conversation, get the show notes and full transcript here: Take me to the episode page

When Jessica Cox was born without both arms, her parents didn’t grieve. In fact, her father has never shed a single tear over his daughter’s life-altering disability. Instead, Jessica’s parents challenged her to be great.

And that’s exactly what she did. Jessica is the world’s first, and only, licensed pilot without arms who flies unmodified airplanes with her feet. She is a motivational speaker who has inspired hundreds of thousands of people to overcome their own challenges and to find positivity and strength through their struggles. In addition to all that, she is a Taekwondo black belt, has received a personal blessing from the Pope, a scuba diver and a parachuter.

In this uplifting episode of “Rob Konrad: Conversations”, Jessica tells Rob all about how she came to see her physical limitations as an opportunity to bring hope to others. You’ll discover how she cultivates fearlessness and uses her T.H.I.N.K principle to tackle seemingly impossible challenges.

She’ll also answer a burning question many people are dying to ask her: if she could choose to have arms, would she want them?

Watch the video of the conversation, read the show notes and the full transcript here: Take me to the episode page

The first time Jamie Pool died, he was wearing a suit.

That suit turned out to be the difference between his cardiac arrest going unnoticed by passers-by, and him getting medical help that would save his life. Jamie suffers from a heart condition called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, an often undetectable, but fairly widespread, genetic disease that causes unpredictable cardiac arrests.

Today Jamie copes with his illness through the use of a subcutaneous device called an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) – essentially a defibrillator machine that is permanently attached to his heart. But over the last decade, Jamie experienced dying nine times – four of which happened on consecutive Thursdays!

In this episode of Rob Konrad: Conversations, Jamie talks to Rob about near-death experiences, his thoughts on the afterlife ,coincidences that feel supernatural, and having astonishingly good luck. He tells rob what it feels like to die, and how he finds meaning in life without religious belief, and without being able to plan a future with any certainty.

Watch the video of the conversation, read the show notes and the full transcript here: Take me to the episode page

“How do you become a pickpocket?”

Bob Arno, a Swedish-born American entertainer, author, and criminologist gets asked this a lot.

And if you had the chance to ask him yourself, in person, he would have your wallet long before you had your answer (you would get it back though).

Recounting his journey from a career on stage as a comedic magician to using his expertise to help Europol crack down on crime syndicates, the “Pickpocket King” tells Rob Konrad everything he’s learned about the psychology of thieving.

In this episode, Bob shares fascinating insights into the mindsets of thieves and victims, different varieties of street crime around the world, and how to spot – and get along with – street criminals. Plus, you’ll hear about a special wallet he’s had stolen and returned over 150 times, and a house visit to a genuine Mafioso. Join the conversation, now!

Watch the video of the conversation, read the show notes and the full transcript here: Take me to the episode page

Five years ago, shortly after giving birth to her son, Mason, Shanti Hodges put him in a baby carrier and went for a hike.

This was the beginning of Hike it Baby…  

Today Hike It Baby serves over 250 000 families and has over 300 branches around the world!

It is a worldwide outdoors community that connects families through hiking, and empowers new parents to pursue adventure with their newborns strapped to them.

In this episode of Rob Konrad: Conversations, Rob and Shanti talk about the profound impact Hike It Baby has had on families all around the world, and how Shanti grew the organization, in only five years, to a non-profit that has hundreds of thousands of community members across the United States, Europe, and Australasia.

Shanti shares about the unexpected challenges of explosive growth, society’s problem with “inside culture”, and the many benefits of dirt.

Click on the video above to listen to the episode – and join the conversation, NOW!

Watch the video of the conversation, read the show notes and the full transcript here: Take me to the episode page

Growing up, John Sevier Austin knew he was different from other kids.

But what he didn’t know was that he had an incredible gift.

One day John accidentally played a vinyl record backwards, and discovered not only that he quite liked listening to music backwards, but that he also found it pretty easy to sing along. This was the beginning of his long journey to becoming “Backwords Dude”, a YouTube sensation famous for being able to speak backwards – which is not the same as just spelling backwards – perfectly.

In this episode of Rob Konrad: Conversations, John tells Rob all about this journey and all the personal and social struggles it involved, and how an astonishingly late diagnosis with Asperger’s syndrome helped him to overcome feelings of worthlessness and loneliness.

Watch the video of the conversation, read the show notes and the full transcript here: Take me to the episode page

Dr Aubrey de Grey doesn’t just believe that ageing, and the suffering that comes with it, can be slowed down – he believes it can be undone altogether.

What’s more, he thinks we are merely a few years away from making the scientific breakthroughs that will enable the medical field to put an end to death related to ageing – for good.

His independently funded non-profit, the SENS Foundation, is at the forefront of radical research that combines the problem solving approaches of technology with geriatric medicine.

In this conversation he talks to Rob about his refusal to age gracefully, the biases of modern science, and why he won’t waste his time thinking about whether or not God exists. 

Watch the video of the conversation, read the show notes and the full transcript here: Take me to the episode page

There are ordinary teenagers… and then there's Laura, who at 13 years of age, ventured to become the youngest person to ever sail the planet – alone, without support boats or checkpoints along her way.

What followed was a lengthy legal battle that included Duch authorities, wiretaps, her parents losing custody over Laura and much more… but after a lot of media coverage and public outcry from people including Richard Branson, a Dutch court finally decided in her favor, and the record-breaking attempt finally began on 21 August 2010.

Laura successfully completed the solo circumnavigation in a 12.4-meter (40 ft) two-masted ketch called “Guppy”, arriving in Simpson Bay, Sint Maarten, 518 days later at the age of 16.

Watch the video of the conversation, read the show notes and the full transcript here: Take me to the episode page

DESCRIPTION COMING SOON

Watch the video of the conversation, read the show notes and the full transcript here: Take me to the episode page

Recorded and waiting for release (in no particular order!)

This episode has been recorded and is waiting for release – make sure to subscribe via email to never miss a new conversation and get exclusive content! 

This episode has been recorded and is waiting for release – make sure to subscribe via email to never miss a new conversation and get exclusive content! 

This episode has been recorded and is waiting for release – make sure to subscribe via email to never miss a new conversation and get exclusive content! 

This episode has been recorded and is waiting for release – make sure to subscribe via email to never miss a new conversation and get exclusive content! 

This episode has been recorded and is waiting for release – make sure to subscribe via email to never miss a new conversation and get exclusive content! 

This episode has been recorded and is waiting for release – make sure to subscribe via email to never miss a new conversation and get exclusive content! 

This episode has been recorded and is waiting for release – make sure to subscribe via email to never miss a new conversation and get exclusive content! 

This episode has been recorded and is waiting for release – make sure to subscribe via email to never miss a new conversation and get exclusive content! 

This episode has been recorded and is waiting for release – make sure to subscribe via email to never miss a new conversation and get exclusive content! 

This episode has been recorded and is waiting for release – make sure to subscribe via email to never miss a new conversation and get exclusive content! 

Not all episodes that have been recorded and are waiting for release are listed here – so make sure to subscribe via email to never miss a new conversation and get other exclusive content!