Matt Damon and Water.org co-founder Gary White are on a mission to solve the global water crisis

By: Gibson Johns

Water.org co-founders Matt Damon and Gary White are on a mission. By the year 2020, the pair is hoping to bring long-term clean water to 3.5 million more people in developing countries. But, beyond that, Damon and White want to make their generation the one that solves the global water crisis.

Part of the issue, as they told me during an interview at the Sundance Film Festival last week, is that Americans aren't familiar with the aforementioned crisis, despite the fact that it affects billions of people worldwide. To combat that ignorance to the lack of clean water access that riddles the lives of over 600 million people, Damon and White know that they have to "catch people where they are" in order to get their attention.

SEE ALSO: Sundance Film Festival 2017: Weekend 1 diary

And what's one of the most shared experiences that Americans regularly have? Drinking. Specifically, drinking beer.

That's why Damon and White so intelligently partnered with Stella Artois for the Buy A Lady A Drink campaign, which will help raise awareness about the global water crisis. Not only that, but it will also help provide wider access to clean water through the sale of limited-edition drinking chalices and direct donations to Water.org.

I caught up with Matt Damon and Gary White at Stella Artois' From Tap to Table event at the Sundance Film Festival to talk about setting ambitious goals, what some of their biggest struggles with the initiative have been and why the Sundance Film Festival is such a great place to spread their message.

See photos from the 2017 Sundance Film Festival:

89 PHOTOS
Sundance 2017: Celebrity sightings
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Sundance 2017: Celebrity sightings
PARK CITY, UT - JANUARY 22: Laura Dern attends the 'Wilson' Premiere on day 4 of the 2017 Sundance Film Festival at Eccles Center Theatre on January 22, 2017 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by C Flanigan/FilmMagic)
I Love Dick co-stars Kathryn Hahn and Kevin Bacon stopped by the Tim Tam photo wall together to take a polaroid photo in support of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. (Lovekin/Variety/REX/Shutterstock)
PARK CITY, UT - JANUARY 23: Actress Salma Hayek of 'Cast Change' attends The IMDb Studio featuring the Filmmaker Discovery Lounge, presented by Amazon Video Direct: Day Four during The 2017 Sundance Film Festival on January 23, 2017 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Rich Polk/Getty Images for IMDb)
PARK CITY, UT - JANUARY 21: Jennifer Beals and Chelsea Handler participate in the Women's March on Main Street Park City on January 21, 2017 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Mat Hayward/GC Images)
PARK CITY, UT - JANUARY 22: Actress Brittany Snow attends the Mosaic reception at the RAND Luxury Lounge during 2017 Sundance Film Festival at The St. Regis Deer Valley on January 22, 2017 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images for Rand Luxury)
PARK CITY, UT - JANUARY 21: (L-R) Dee Rees, Mary J. Blige and Carey Mulligan at the 'Mudbound' party in the Stella Artois Filmmaker Lounge during the Sundance Film Festival on January 21, 2017 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Rick Kern/Getty Images for Stella Artois)
After organizing a successful women’s march in Park City and still proudly wearing her march pin, Chelsea Handler continued the celebration on to TAO Park City. (Al Powers/Powers Imagery)

Jon Hamm was stunned by Google Home during his stop by the Variety Studio at Sundance Presented by Orville Redenbacher’s.

Credit: Andrew H. Walker/Variety/REX/Shutterstock

Actress Michelle Monaghan celebrating Sundance at the SPG Amex Late-Night Event at the St. Regis Deer Valley. Michelle Monaghan also tried her hand at magic with celeb magician Justin Willman at SPG Amex Late-Night Event (Saturday, January 21, 2017)

(Michael Simon/startraksphoto.com)

Nick Offerman stopped by the Tim Tam bar at The Variety Studio at Sundance.(Lovekin/Variety/REX/Shutterstock)
John Legend stopped by TAO Park City and enjoyed the new Magnum Don Julio 1942, while singing along to “No Problem” by fellow Chicagoan Chance the Rapper.  (Al Powers/Powers Imagery)
“Burning Sands” star Alfre Woodward was stunning in orange at the Wanderluxxe and SAG Indie hosted after party for the film’s premiere at the Sundance Film Festival where guests were treated to a performance by Common and Casamigos cocktails. (Michael Bezjian/Getty)
PARK CITY, UT - JANUARY 23: Actress Connie Britton attends AT&T At The Lift during the 2017 Sundance Film Festival on January 23, 2017 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Randy Shropshire/Getty Images for AT&T)
PARK CITY, UT - JANUARY 20: Aubrey Plaza at the 'Ingrid Goes West' party in the Stella Artois Filmmaker Lounge during the Sundance Film Festival on January 20, 2017 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Rick Kern/Getty Images for Stella Artois)
A few hours after the Broad City Season four preview premiered online, Abbi Jacobson warmed up at the Tim Tam bar. (Lovekin/Variety/REX/Shutterstock)
PARK CITY, UT - JANUARY 21: Actors Elizabeth Olsen (L) and Jeremy Renner attend the 'Wind River' premiere on day 3 of the 2017 Sundance Film Festival at Eccles Center Theatre on January 21, 2017 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by George Pimentel/Getty Images for Sundance Film Festival)
After the Women’s March in Park City, Utah a fired-up Chelsea Hander stopped by the SPG Amex/LATHQ Lounge.
PARK CITY, UT - JANUARY 22: Gretchen Rossi and Christina Milian attend EcoLuxe Lounge Ten Years at Sundance on January 22, 2017 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for EcoLuxe)
PARK CITY, UT - JANUARY 22: Actress Analeigh Tipton attends the Mosaic reception at the RAND Luxury Lounge during 2017 Sundance Film Festival at The St. Regis Deer Valley on January 22, 2017 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images for Rand Luxury)
PARK CITY, UT - JANUARY 22: Actor Armie Hammer attends the 'Call Me By Your Name' Premiere on day 4 of the 2017 Sundance Film Festival at Eccles Center Theatre on January 22, 2017 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images for Sundance Film Festival)
Jaime King was seen leaving her luxury Wanderluxxe house bundled up in a pink Prabal Gurung coat while promoting “Bitch” with Jason Ritter at the Sundance Film Festival. (Credit: James Bland)
Common took to the stage with a surprise performance for guests at TAO Park City where he performed hits such as “Go” and a remix to “Fade” as guests celebrated with Don Julio 1942. (Al Powers/Powers Imagery)
PARK CITY, UT - JANUARY 21: Valerie Urteaga poses for a photo in the Tone It Up Wellness Lounge during the Sundance Film Festiva on January 21, 2017 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Mat Hayward/Getty Images for Tone It Up)

Elijah Wood grabbed a coffee at the Tim Tam bar at The Variety Studio at Sundance, where he happily took a polaroid for the Tim Tam photo wall to support Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. (Lovekin/Variety/REX/Shutterstock)

PARK CITY, UT - JANUARY 22: Keanu Reeves and Carrie Preston at the 'To the Bone' party in the Stella Artois Filmmaker Lounge during the Sundance Film Festival on January 22, 2017 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Rick Kern/Getty Images for Stella Artois)
Aldris Hodge enjoying VIP Bottle Service with the new Don Julio 1942 Magnum at TAO Park City on January 21. (Al Powers/Powers Imagery)
Jack Black stopped by The Variety Studio at Sundance to promote the new film, The Polka King. (Lovekin/Variety/REX/Shutterstock)
PARK CITY, UT - JANUARY 21: Director Anthony Hemingway and executive producer John Legend attend The IMDb Studio featuring the Filmmaker Discovery Lounge, presented by Amazon Video Direct: Day Two during The 2017 Sundance Film Festival on January 21, 2017 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Rich Polk/Getty Images for IMDb)
PARK CITY, UT - JANUARY 22: Kaycee Stroh attends EcoLuxe Lounge Ten Years at Sundance on January 22, 2017 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for EcoLuxe)
PARK CITY, UT - JANUARY 21: Actor Jason Ritter attends EcoLuxe Lounge Ten Years at Sundance on January 21, 2017 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for EcoLuxe)
Jenny Slate entered The Variety Studio at Sundance and was delighted to see the Tim Tam bar, as she had just returned from a trip to Australia. (Lovekin/Variety/REX/Shutterstock)
Judy Greer, looking adorable in a brown, rimmed hat and a maroon jacket, stopped by the Tim Tam bar at The Variety Studio at Sundance to warm up with a cup of coffee. Before heading up to her interview, Judy quickly caught up with pal and Wilson castmate Laura Dern. (Lovekin/Variety/REX/Shutterstock)
Becca Tilley heads to TAO Park City where she enjoys Don Julio 1942 Magnum bottle service on January 21. (Al Powers/Powers Imagery)
Common took to the stage with a surprise performance for guests at TAO Park City where he performed hits such as “Go” and a remix to “Fade” as guests celebrated with Don Julio 1942. (Al Powers/Powers Imagery)
Diego Boneta parties at TAO Park City and enjoys Don Julio 1942 Magnum bottle service on January 21. (Al Powers/Powers Imagery)
PARK CITY, UT - JANUARY 23: Actor Jon Hamm of 'Marjorie Prime' attends The IMDb Studio featuring the Filmmaker Discovery Lounge, presented by Amazon Video Direct: Day Four during The 2017 Sundance Film Festival on January 23, 2017 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Rich Polk/Getty Images for IMDb)
PARK CITY, UT - JANUARY 22: (L-R) Brett Gelman, Judy Greer, Janicza Bravo and Shiri Appleby at the 'Lemon' party in the Stella Artois Filmmaker Lounge during the Sundance Film Festival on January 22, 2017 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Rick Kern/Getty Images for Stella Artois)
PARK CITY, UT - JANUARY 23: Actor Logan Lerman attends AT&T At The Lift during the 2017 Sundance Film Festival on January 23, 2017 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Randy Shropshire/Getty Images for AT&T)
PARK CITY, UT - JANUARY 21: TV personality Kendra Wilkinson from the series 'Kendra on Top' poses for a portrait in the WireImage Portrait Studio presented by DIRECTV during the 2017 Sundance Film Festival on January 21, 2017 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Jeff Vespa/WireImage)
PARK CITY, UT - JANUARY 23: Kimberly Steward (L) and Kerry Washington attend the 2017 Women at Sundance Brunch, co-hosted by Refinery29, DOVE Chocolate and the Sundance Institute at The Shop on January 23, 2017 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Phillip Faraone/Getty Images for Refinery29)
PARK CITY, UT - JANUARY 23: Kerry Washington speaks onstage during the 2017 Women at Sundance Brunch, co-hosted by Refinery29, DOVE Chocolate and the Sundance Institute at The Shop on January 23, 2017 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Phillip Faraone/Getty Images for Refinery29)
PARK CITY, UT - JANUARY 23: (L-R) Filmmaker Janicza Bravo, actors Shiri Appleby, Jon Daly, Judy Greer, Brett Gelman and Nia Long from the film 'Lemon' pose for a portrait in the WireImage Portrait Studio presented by DIRECTV during the 2017 Sundance Film Festival on January 23, 2017 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Jeff Vespa/WireImage)
PARK CITY, UT - JANUARY 23: Actresses Michelle Monaghan (L) and Elle Fanning (R) of 'Sidney Hall' attend The IMDb Studio featuring the Filmmaker Discovery Lounge, presented by Amazon Video Direct: Day Four during The 2017 Sundance Film Festival on January 23, 2017 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Rich Polk/Getty Images for IMDb)
Jaime King stopped by the Tim Tam bar at The Variety Studio at Sundance. (Lovekin/Variety/REX/Shutterstock)
PARK CITY, UT - JANUARY 23: Actors Amy Landecker, Salma Hayek, John Lithgow, Connie Britton, and director Miguel Areta of 'Cast Change' attend The IMDb Studio featuring the Filmmaker Discovery Lounge, presented by Amazon Video Direct: Day Four during The 2017 Sundance Film Festival on January 23, 2017 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Rich Polk/Getty Images for IMDb)
PARK CITY, UT - JANUARY 23: Actress Alfre Woodard attends AT&T At The Lift during the 2017 Sundance Film Festival on January 23, 2017 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Randy Shropshire/Getty Images for AT&T)
PARK CITY, UT - JANUARY 22: Actresses Elizabeth Olsen and Aubrey Plaza from the film 'Ingrid Goes West' poses in the Getty Images Portrait Studio presented by DIRECTV during the 2017 Sundance Film Festival on January 22, 2017 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Maarten de Boer/Getty Images)
PARK CITY, UT - JANUARY 22: Actor Danny Glover attends the HBO Documentary Films Party at Sundance 2017 on January 22, 2017 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for HBO)
PARK CITY, UT - JANUARY 22: Jacki Weaver attends the 'The Polka King' Premiere on day 4 of the 2017 Sundance Film Festival at Eccles Center Theatre on January 22, 2017 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by C Flanigan/FilmMagic)
PARK CITY, UT - JANUARY 22: Jenny Slate and Jack Black attend the 'The Polka King' Premiere on day 4 of the 2017 Sundance Film Festival at Eccles Center Theatre on January 22, 2017 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by C Flanigan/FilmMagic)
PARK CITY, UT - JANUARY 22: Nia Long at the 'Lemon' party in the Stella Artois Filmmaker Lounge during the Sundance Film Festival on January 22, 2017 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Rick Kern/Getty Images for Stella Artois)
PARK CITY, UT - JANUARY 22: Actress Lily Collins attends the 'To The Bone' Premiere on day 4 of the 2017 Sundance Film Festival at Eccles Center Theatre on January 22, 2017 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by C Flanigan/FilmMagic)
PARK CITY, UT - JANUARY 22: Actor Jack Black poses with the press at the 'The Polka King' Premiere on day 4 of the 2017 Sundance Film Festival at Eccles Center Theatre on January 22, 2017 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by George Pimentel/Getty Images for Sundance Film Festival)
PARK CITY, UT - JANUARY 22: Trevor Drinkwater and Geena Davis speak to a crowd at the Bentonville Film Festival Hosted Cocktails and Conversation event at Rock & Reilly's on January 22, 2017 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for for Bentonville Film Festival )
PARK CITY, UT - JANUARY 22: Actors Woody Harrelson (L) and Laura Dern attend the after party for Sundance Premiere of FOX Searchlights' 'Wilson' on January 22, 2017 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Todd Williamson/Getty Images for Fox Searchlight Pictures)
PARK CITY, UT - JANUARY 22: Actor Rob Morgan and actress/singer Mary J. Blige attend AT&T At The Lift during the 2017 Sundance Film Festival on January 22, 2017 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Randy Shropshire/Getty Images for AT&T)
PARK CITY, UT - JANUARY 22: Roxanne Shante (R) attends the 'Roxanne, Roxanne' party at the Acura Studio during Sundance Film Festival 2017 on January 22, 2017 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for Acura)
PARK CITY, UT - JANUARY 22: Lily Collins at the 'To the Bone' party in the Stella Artois Filmmaker Lounge during the Sundance Film Festival on January 22, 2017 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Rick Kern/Getty Images for Stella Artois)
PARK CITY, UT - JANUARY 22: Chloe Sevigny attends the 'Golden Exits' Premiere on day 4 of the 2017 Sundance Film Festival at Library Center Theater on January 22, 2017 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Sundance Film Festival)

The Walking Dead star, Logan Miller, posed in his cowboy boots and hat in front of the Tim Tam photo wall in support of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles at The Variety Studio at Sundance. (Lovekin/Variety/REX/Shutterstock)

PARK CITY, UT - JANUARY 22: Gigi Curtis and Barbara Kopple speak on stage at the 21st Outfest Queer Bruch At Sundance Presented By DIRECTV NOW at Grub Steak on January 22, 2017 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images for Outfest)
PARK CITY, UT - JANUARY 22: Actress Chante Adams attends the 'Roxanne, Roxanne' party at the Acura Studio during Sundance Film Festival 2017 on January 22, 2017 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for Acura)
PARK CITY, UT - JANUARY 22: Actors Kevin Bacon (L) and Kathryn Hahn from the series 'I Love Dick' pose for a portrait in the WireImage Portrait Studio presented by DIRECTV during the 2017 Sundance Film Festival on January 22, 2017 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Jeff Vespa/WireImage)
PARK CITY, UT - JANUARY 21: Recording artists John Legend (L) and Andra Day attend WGN America's 'Underground' Season Two Party, hosted by John Legend, at 2017 Sundance Film Festival on January 21, 2017 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images for WGN AMERICA)
PARK CITY, UT - JANUARY 21: Jurnee Smollett-Bell attends WGN America's 'Underground' Season Two Party, hosted by John Legend, at 2017 Sundance Film Festival on January 21, 2017 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by John Parra/Getty Images for WGN AMERICA)
PARK CITY, UT - JANUARY 21: Actress Laura Prepon attends the 'The Hero' premiere on day 3 of the 2017 Sundance Film Festival at Library Center Theater on January 21, 2017 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by C Flanigan/FilmMagic)
PARK CITY, UT - JANUARY 21: Actor Nick Offerman attends the 2017 Sundance Film Festival premiere of Hero, hosted at PepsiCos Creators League Studio on January 21, 2017 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Phillip Faraone/Getty Images for PEPSICO Creators League Studios )
PARK CITY, UT - JANUARY 21: Carey Mulligan at the 'Mudbound' party in the Stella Artois Filmmaker Lounge during the Sundance Film Festival on January 21, 2017 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Rick Kern/Getty Images for Stella Artois)
PARK CITY, UT - JANUARY 21: Dee Rees and Mary J. Blige at the 'Mudbound' party in the Stella Artois Filmmaker Lounge during the Sundance Film Festival on January 21, 2017 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Rick Kern/Getty Images for Stella Artois)
PARK CITY, UT - JANUARY 21: Actor Peter Dinklage speaks on stage during the Celebration of Music In Film on day 3 of the 2017 Sundance Film Festival at Festival Base Camp on January 21, 2017 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Jerod Harris/Getty Images for Sundance Film Festival)
PARK CITY, UT - JANUARY 21: Actress Aisha Tyler attends the Sundance Power Women's event at the Autograph Collection's The Retreat on January 21, 2017 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Jerod Harris/Getty Images)
PARK CITY, UT - JANUARY 21: Musician Hunter Hayes performs on stage during the Celebration of Music In Film on day 3 of the 2017 Sundance Film Festival at Festival Base Camp on January 21, 2017 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Jerod Harris/Getty Images for Sundance Film Festival)
PARK CITY, UT - JANUARY 21: (L-R) Aubrey Plaza and Elizabeth Olsen attends the Creators League Studio At 2017 Sundance Film Festival - Day 3 on January 21, 2017 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Jonathan Leibson/Getty Images for PEPSICO Creators League Studios)
PARK CITY, UT - JANUARY 21: Jill Bauer, Rashida Jones, and Ronna Gradus attend the Docuseries Showcase on day 3 of the 2017 Sundance Film Festival at Egyptian Theatre on January 21, 2017 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images for Sundance Film Festival)
PARK CITY, UT - JANUARY 20: O'Shea Jackson Jr. (R) and Matt Spicer at the 'Ingrid Goes West' party in the Stella Artois Filmmaker Lounge during the Sundance Film Festival on January 20, 2017 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Rick Kern/Getty Images for Stella Artois)
PARK CITY, UT - JANUARY 21: Actor Garrett Hedlund attends the 'Mudbound' Premiere on day 3 of the 2017 Sundance Film Festival at Eccles Center Theatre on January 21, 2017 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by George Pimentel/Getty Images for Sundance Film Festival)
PARK CITY, UT - JANUARY 21: Actor Matt Bomer attends the 'Walking Out' premiere on day 3 of the 2017 Sundance Film Festival at Library Center Theater on January 21, 2017 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for Sundance Film Festival)
PARK CITY, UT - JANUARY 21: Actor Rob Morgan attends the 'Mudbound' Premiere on day 3 of the 2017 Sundance Film Festival at Eccles Center Theatre on January 21, 2017 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images for Sundance Film Festival)
PARK CITY, UT - JANUARY 21: Recording artist Roxanne Shante is seen during the 2017 Sundance Film Festival on January 21, 2017 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Bryan Steffy/GC Images)
PARK CITY, UT - JANUARY 21: Actress, Elena Kampouris attends the 'Before I Fall' premiere during day 3 of the 2017 Sundance Film Festival at Eccles Center Theatre on January 21, 2017 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images for Sundance Film Festival)
PARK CITY, UT - JANUARY 21: Actor, Kian Lawley attends the 'Before I Fall' premiere on day 3 of the 2017 Sundance Film Festival at Eccles Center Theatre on January 21, 2017 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images for Sundance Film Festival)
PARK CITY, UT - JANUARY 20: Zoe Kazan and the cast of 'The Big Sick' participate in a live Q&A hosted by Stella Artois and Deadline.com in the Stella Artois Filmmaker Lounge at the Sundance Film Festival on January 20, 2017 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Rick Kern/Getty Images for Stella Artois)
PARK CITY, UT - JANUARY 21: Charlize Theron participates in the Women's March on Main Street Park City on January 21, 2017 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Mat Hayward/GC Images)
PARK CITY, UT - JANUARY 20: Actress Holly Hunter attends the 'The Big Sick' premiere during day 2 of the 2017 Sundance Film Festival at Eccles Center Theatre on January 20, 2017 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by C Flanigan/FilmMagic)
PARK CITY, UT - JANUARY 20: Actress Riley Keough attends the 'The Discovery' premiere during day 2 of the 2017 Sundance Film Festival at Eccles Center Theatre on January 20, 2017 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by C Flanigan/FilmMagic)
PARK CITY, UT - JANUARY 20: Billy Magnussen at the 'Ingrid Goes West' party in the Stella Artois Filmmaker Lounge during the Sundance Film Festival on January 20, 2017 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Rick Kern/Getty Images for Stella Artois)
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Check out my full conversation with Matt Damon and Gary White below:

This is your second year in a row having an event like this with Stella Artois at Sundance. What makes this such a great place to spread your message?

Gary White: The audience that we reach in Davos is one thing -- one end of the spectrum -- and the audience that we reach here is very different, but they're so plugged in. Obviously, you have a lot of Stella drinkers here and, hopefully, there will be even more after this as the Stella gets sold in bars, people buy chalices and bring a month's worth of clean water to somebody.

What's cool about it is how much thought [Stella Artois has] put into activating this. When someone buys the chalice, that's five years of clean water for some folks. And, what it does is, it helps us get to this goal that we have of [getting long-term clean water to] 3.5 million by 2020. That's just kind of a weigh station along the route to getting everybody access to clean water, and it's great when we can do this and scale it up to use platforms like this to reach even more people.

During the luncheon, you talked about how it's difficult even for adults in the United States to grasp the idea of needing clean water, because we're so used to having unbridled access to it. Seeing as it's difficult for adults, is there any way to convey this message to children, too?

Matt Damon: Well, I think it's very hard to get it across to little kids. It's kind of like when I was a kid, and I didn't clean my plate, and my mother would tell me that there were people starving in the world. That's a very tough concept for a child to digest and internalize. My generation was completely out to lunch on stuff like this, but the millennials are really aware of this stuff.

We were in Davos with Stella, and we went to them and just said, "Hey, why did you guys do this?! This is amazing! It's a really big deal for us, but is it because this matters this much to your customer base?" And they said, "Absolutely! People are aware of this issue, millennials are aware of this issue, and they'll support companies like this." They'll really vote you out of business with their pocketbooks, and that's really exciting. If the bottom line for Stella goes up -- if this campaign works and is successful for them -- that's great for us and everybody. We're really hopeful that this kind of activation works and that their consumer base responds, because it's really big for us.

How has Water.org changed from your initial idea of what it would be?

Gary White: It's evolved quite a bit! Initially, it came from this perspective of, "People need water, let's build wells and give the wells away." It was very much a subsidy, philanthropy-led approach, and what we've discovered over the years is that people are already paying a huge amount for water. They're paying these water vendors who come through their neighborhoods selling water, they're paying with their time because they're walking hours every day [to get the water] -- and the insight that we had was, "What if we could give people access to a small loan, so they could a water connection at their home and buy back all of that time?" Then they can pay back the loan and be really far ahead.

So, that was what we did with WaterCredit. The whole evolution of going into a new area where we could really scale with private capital and loan capital, so when those loans get paid, they get recycled and another person gets water. It's very different from straight charity, because we can really scale this up.

Matt Damon: And do a good thing for the world!

See photos of Matt Damon throughout his life:

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Matt Damon through the years
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Matt Damon through the years
Brendan Fraiser, Matt Damon, Randel Batinkoff and Guest at the Academy Theater in Beverly Hills, California (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)
Matt Damon (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)
Matt Damon (Photo by Jim Smeal/WireImage)
Matt Damon at the Radio City Music Hall in New York City, New York (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO -- Episode 1274 -- Pictured: (l-r) Actor Matt Damon during an interview with host Jay Leno on December 1, 1997 -- (Photo by: Margaret Norton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
Matt Damon during 55th Annual Golden Globe Awards at Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, United States. (Photo by SGranitz/WireImage)
BOSTON, : Oscar winning actor Matt Damon from Cambridge, Massachusetts, signs autographs prior to the Home-Run Derby during the 70th Baseball All-Star Week12 July, 1999, at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. The All-Star will be played 13 July between the American and National Leagues. (ELECTRONIC IMAGE) AFP PHOTO/Stephen JAFFE (Photo credit should read STEPHEN JAFFE/AFP/Getty Images)
368219 04: Actor Matt Damon stars as Rannulph Junuh in Robert Redford's The Legend of Bagger Vance, to be distributed domestically by DreamWorks. (Photo by David James/Newsmakers)
385569 20: (NO WHO WEEKLY) FILE PHOTO: Actor Matt Damon attends the world premiere of his new film 'All The Pretty Horses' December 10, 2000 at the Beekman Theater in New York City. A Rhodesian Ridgeback dog who resembles actor Matt Damon 'especially in the eyes' says his owner, participated in an audition for pets that look like celebrities February 15, 2001 at Universal Studios in Burbank, CA. The dog was one of several dozens pets competing for a video spot on 'Animal Planet Live', a new attraction at Universal Studios. (Photo by Robin Platzer/Liaison)
PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC - JANUARY 12: (Publicist approval required for ALL usages) Actor Matt Damon on the set during filming of 'The Bourne Identity' on January 12, 2001 in Prague, Czech Republic. (Photo by Daniel Smith/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 24: Matt Damon attends the European premiere of 'The Martian' at Odeon Leicester Square on September 24, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage)
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You talked a little bit about the struggle of getting people to donate without having to donate directly --- through the purchase of the Stella Artois chalices, for example -- because people aren't always willing to do that. Why does that struggle exist?

Matt Damon: Well, look: I think it's easier for people to donate to something that they can relate to. If you can personalize something for somebody, that's really one of the big hurdles we have had to clear historically. You know, if you're talking about something like AIDS or cancer, those affect all of us. We all have friends and family members who have been directly affected by things like that. So, it's easy to go, "Well, this makes me think of my friend, I want to donate to it."

What's harder is when you have something like [Water.org] that your donor has never met any of these people before and doesn't have this issue in common with them. That's why the film that they showed tonight is very helpful. Films like this are very helpful because, when she spoke and said, "I just want to grow my business and raise my kids," it's like...

We all know people like that.

Matt Damon: Yes, exactly! And suddenly she's just like me or the person that lives next door to me. And, you know, to answer your question: It has been a struggle for us.

Gary White: But, it doesn't have to be either or: It doesn't have to be just either making a straight donation on a website or coming at it from this route. Our website makes about 4 - 5 million dollars a year. It's about intercepting people where they are. If they happen to be in a bar, it's like, "Wow! I can buy a round of drinks, and we can buy somebody safe water?" And then you can go to the website and learn more about it. They're going to come back [after that]. It's about casting a wider net to catch people where they are and bringing them in to get them to know the crisis and understand how it can be solved.

You have also mentioned this goal of helping 3.5 million people by 2020. Do you also look beyond that, or are you focused solely on that goal right now?

Gary White: That's what great about the partnership with Stella. We're going to be out there getting water to people today because of these campaigns, and we can quantify that. But there's no way charity alone is going to solve this problem. It's just too big: 663 million people without water, 2.4 billion without sanitation. We've got to come up with innovations in order to make this happen. Not only does their funding help us to get water to people today, but it also helps us to find those new game-changing solutions like WaterCredit, because we've got to match this to the magnitude of the problem. That's the only thing that's going to allow us to be the generation that does solve this water crisis.

This interview has been edited and condensed.

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