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Adam Braun | PDA Speakers

Adam Braun

New York Times & Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author, The Promise of a Pencil, Founder, Pencils of Promise, Founder, MissionU

Coca-Cola, Kraft, and Great-West Life have all hosted New York Times and Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author Adam Braun and praised him as “The best speaker I’ve ever seen in the history of our company’s offsite events.” (Coca-Cola HBC); “The feeling was unanimous, the best speaker we’ve ever had at an offsite.” (Kraft Brands); “We all agreed that he…

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Full Bio

Adam Braun is a New York Times bestselling author and the Founder of Pencils of Promise, an award-winning organization that has broken ground on more than 525 schools around the world. As one of the nation’s leading speakers on purpose-based leadership and innovation, he has been featured as a speaker at The White House, the United Nations and the Clinton Global Initiative.

By the age of 31 Braun was already named to Business Insider’s “40 Under 40,” Wired Magazine’s “50 People Who Are Changing the World,” and was selected as one of the World Economic Forum’s first ten Global Shapers. In 2015 he joined a coalition to address global challenges with Kofi Annan, Desmond Tutu and several Nobel Peace Prize winners.

Braun began working summers at hedge funds when he was just sixteen years old, sprinting down the path to a successful Wall Street career. But while traveling abroad he met a young boy begging on the streets of India. When Braun asked him what he wanted most in the world, he simply answered, “a pencil.”

This small request became the inspiration for Pencils of Promise, the organization Braun would leave Bain & Company several years later to launch. Using his unique “for-purpose” approach, he meshed for-profit business acumen with non-profit idealism, proving that anyone can build a movement that matters. After leaving Pencils of Promise, Braun went on to co-found and serve as CEO of MissionU, a 21st century alternative to the traditional college experience that was named to Fast Company’s “Most Innovative Companies in 2018.” Braun served as Chief Operating Officer of WeGrow, a progressive elementary school under the WeWork umbrella.

Braun graduated from Brown University and is a highly sought after speaker at major conferences and Fortune 500 companies. With over 500,000 followers he is one of America’s most engaging entrepreneurs and in 2015 he received the nation’s most prestigious award for public service, the Jefferson Award.

His book The Promise of a Pencil: How an Ordinary Person Can Create Extraordinary Change debuted at #2 on the New York Times bestseller list and went on to become a #1 national bestseller. In the words of Sir Richard Branson, “For anyone with a big dream to change the world, this book will show you how to get it done.”

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    Topics

    The Future of Education

    The Future of Entrepreneurship

    Working With and Developing the Next Generation of Leaders

    Decoding the Future of Work

    For-Profit, For-Purpose: New Currency in a Borderless World

    The Importance of Being a Global Citizen

    Ordinary Person, Extraordinary Change: How to Affect the Masses

    The Alpha Effect: How Great Leaders Invest in Others

    Rethinking Education: Creating Learning Experiences with Intentionality

    Videos

    The Five Phrases That Can Change Your Life: Adam Braun at TEDxColumbiaCollege

    Promise of A Pencil | Adam Braun | Talks at Google

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