For-Profit, For-Purpose: New Currency in a Borderless World
Using his unique “for-purpose” approach, Adam Braun meshed for-profit business acumen with non-profit idealism and created a model now followed by a mission driven generation. Braun shares his experience as a model for how to get “unstuck,” outlining the key steps that can actively transform even the smallest ideas into a big reality. In this engaging journey-filled presentation, Braun explains the chances he took early on in his entrepreneurial journey, placing his bets on what he foresaw as an upcoming significant rise in the “profitable purpose,” which also harnessed the power of Millennials entering the workforce, and how together they realized that the most valuable currency we each possess is our commitment to a shared mission.
Developing 21st Century Leaders
As the Founder and CEO of MissionU, Adam Braun is shaping the next generation into private and public sector leaders. Partnering with groundbreaking startups from Spotify to Warby Parker, Braun is honing in on the specific qualities and skills that set revolutionary innovators apart from the pack, encouraging the next generation to step out of their comfort zone and into a future of self-discovery, passion, and purpose. In this talk, Braun shares what he learned shaping MissionU’s curriculum with the CEOs of the most innovative startups, what the jobs of tomorrow will look like, and how to prepare for them.
The Importance of Being a Global Citizen
Truly connecting with others around the world in meaningful ways is transformative and now realistically possible for individuals and businesses. Adam’s message of global citizenship and connecting with others is not only personally inspirational but also good for business. Organizations and individuals can take small steps to create successful and extraordinary impact at a global level, like Adam did when he turned $25 into more than 300 schools, serving more than 30,000 students around the world. Global citizens have a point of view that world's resources are shared and people are more alike than different, a philosophy enhanced by our technologically connected world. Adam shares inspirational and instructional stories of life as a global citizen.
Ordinary Person, Extraordinary Change: How to Affect the Masses
Adam Braun captivates audiences with his story of being an ordinary person, creating extraordinary change — something he believes everyone can do. In this inspirational presentation, Braun shares five key phrases that will serve as guideposts when facing the most challenging moments in our careers and lives. This talk takes your audience on an unforgettable and inspiring journey— sure to leave them buzzing and eager to consider the following questions with a new lens:
The Alpha Effect: How Great Leaders Invest in Others
While most think of an alpha leader as the dominant figure in every room, true alpha males and females in nature are only successful because of the empathy they display towards others in their tribe and the investments they make in strengthening each member of their pack. In this talk, Braun unveils the surprising traits of a new type of enduring leadership that focuses on collective team success and the exact tactics to make it happen. By explaining the best practices of the world's greatest alpha leaders in creating workplace culture, he unveils the actions you can take today to build teams that reach their greatest potential together.
Adam Braun and his groundbreaking new startup profiled on NBC’s Today Show
Purpose-driven entrepreneur Adam Braun finds innovative solutions for tough challenges. He saw a major problem in America’s system of higher education—the staggering amount of debt from student loans young adults must cope with—and devised a program to address it: MissionU, a “college alternative for the 21st century.” In a fascinating Today Show segment, Braun reveals MissionU’s revolutionary business model, where students pay zero dollars up front in tuition, and shares how he designed MissionU’s curriculum alongside startup power players such as Casper, Spotify and Warby Parker to ensure students are prepared for the jobs of the future. With a data-driven, business-minded approach to learning, Braun is grooming a forward-thinking workforce. Already internationally renowned for founding NGO Pencils of Promise and authoring New York Times #1 Bestseller The Promise of a Pencil, Braun inspires and empowers audiences to be change agents in their own lives. Hailed as “compelling, passionate, engaging” (American Association of Advertising Agencies); “powerful” (United Way of Westchester & Putnam); and “fabulous” (Pathways for Children); Braun’s fresh and innovative ideas resonate with every audience.Watch Adam Braun on the Today Show >>
Adam Braun’s MissionU makes headlines with Forbes, CNN, CNBC and more
New York Times Bestselling Author and Founder of Pencils of Promise, Adam Braun has been making headlines for founding his latest game-changing company: MissionU, a one-year college alternative. Heralded for his entrepreneurial spirit and innovative thinking, Braun’s recent launch of MissionU has been met with a flurry of media attention, including an article in CNNMoney on MissionU’s revolutionary business plan and vision, and an interview with Forbes Podcast on his journey from “backpacker to philanthropist.” Chock full of inspirational quotes and insight into what it takes to prepare students for today’s tech-based economy, Braun’s Forbes interview reveals his unique perspective and tremendous passion, one which he has shared with enthusiastic audiences worldwide.Listen to Adam Braun’s Forbes Interview Podcast >>
Entrepreneur Adam Braun launches his latest groundbreaking project
New York Times bestselling author and pioneer of the for-purpose industry Adam Braun has just launched his latest, groundbreaking project: MissionU, an alternative to the traditional college experience. With the same passion and sense of purpose that brought Braun tremendous success as the founder of Pencils of Promise—which has now helped build over 400 schools worldwide—Braun has taken a current, real world problem—the number of young people riddled with student debt—and developed a revolutionary solution. MissionU is a one-year college alternative that charges $0 in upfront tuition, and prepares students for today’s most competitive and innovative jobs. Founders and CEOs of game-changing companies like Warby Parker, Lyft, Bonobos, and Casper, as well as professors from elite universities and advisors to the United Nations, praise MissionU for its core principle of equal opportunity, and ability to shape trailblazing influencers across industries. Adam Braun has envisioned an educational model that resonates with the cutting edge of the business and academic world, and has an inspiring, fresh, and impactful message to share with audiences worldwide.Watch Adam Braun and industry leaders describe the power of MissionU>>
Adweek honors Adam Braun and Pencils of Promise with a Brand Award
Adweek recognizes the growth that Adam Braun brought to Pencils of Promise, applying for-profit marketing and development strategies to the for-purpose organization. Adweek says, "Not only has the organization managed to bring education to thousands of children in need, it has also made a name for itself as a nonprofit that's forward-thinking, always on the lookout for ways to employ the latest technology in its mission and its marketing efforts." Congratulations to Adam and the team at Pencils of Promise!Read more about Adweek's recognition of Adam Braun and Pencils of Promise >>
Adam Braun motivates audiences to action, receiving rave reviews at every event
Celebrated entrepreneur and leader of the for-purpose industry Adam Braun knows how to motivate people to powerful action and organizations who bring him to their events are seeing the difference. Companies like Coca-Cola, Kraft and Great-West Life have all hosted the New York Times and Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author, giving Braun the following praise: “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 is someone to watch over the next few years” (Great-West Life). The Founder of renowned non-profit Pencils of Promise, Braun’s story is how one young man turned $25 into more than 400 schools, serving tens of thousands of students worldwide and building a global community dedicated to making quality education a possibility for everyone. Braun’s remarkable story proves that anyone can take small steps to lead a successful and significant life, and his bestselling book, The Promise of a Pencil, is not just an awe-inspiring story but a sought-after guide on how to achieve goals through actionable and tangible steps. Braun brings this same mix of practical advice and bold inspiration to every engagement, empowering audiences to discover their next big idea and providing guideposts for a path forward. Named to Business Insider’s “40 Under 40” and Wired magazine‘s “50 People Who Are Changing the World” at just 31 years-old, and selected as one of the World Economic Forum’s first ten Global Shapers, Braun is universally heralded for his ability to cut through the noise and make a meaningful impact.Watch Braun's inspiring presentation: Creating Extraordinary Change in Life & Business >>
Adam Braun pens insightful Quartz op-ed on personal and professional success
Entrepreneur and leader of the for-purpose industry, Adam Braun wrote an insightful op-ed for Quartz highlighting what he’s learned in the time since he launched a new business and became a father. It’s been less than a year since Braun started MissionU—his revolutionary new startup that’s a 21st century alternative to college—and welcomed his newborn twins into the world, and during the process he’s learned a lot about work-life balance, productivity, and personal and professional contentment. In his refreshingly personal and thought-provoking op-ed, he provides actionable takeaways and advice on how to juggle competing priorities and find success both at work and at home. Braun was just in his twenties when he founded his first game-changing non-profit, Pencils of Promise, and now, as the Founder and CEO of MissionU, he’s tackling a different side of education. Most recently, he shared his powerful message on education, leadership and enacting positive change at the prestigious Qudwa Global Teachers Forum, where he received high praise: "Adam Braun [was] fantastic! The audience had such positive feedback about [his] session. I luckily had the chance to attend Adam's session and was very inspired by Mission U. I think its going to be such a life changing cause that will have tremendous impact on many students..."
Adam Braun profiled in Esquire
Esquire just ran a fascinating profile of Forbes "40 under 40" entrepreneur Adam Braun, sharing his insights on how to build an organization that successfully addresses big problems. As the Founder of two wildly-successful and groundbreaking social enterprises—Pencils of Promise, a non-profit that has built nearly 400 schools worldwide, and MissionU, a “college alternative for the 21st Century”—Braun has tremendous boots-on-the-ground experience and offers transformative lessons on innovative leadership, and how to fuel passion and problem-solving in any organization. A smash hit speaker for organizations from Microsoft to Kraft, Braun is hailed as “Fabulous! Engaging and inspiring!” (Pathways for Children); “The best speaker we’ve ever had at an offsite” (Kraft Brands); and “Compelling. Passionate” (American Association of Advertising Agencies). Esquire highlights how Braun's creative and revolutionary work offer tangible lessons and takeaways for any organization.Read Esquire's profile of Adam Braun
Global Citizens of the World Community: What and How Matters
As global community and global citizenship develops, The World Economic Forum identified new “Skills for the 21st-Century” including cultural awareness, adaptability and curiosity. These HWA Speakers are global citizens who are working to build the world community not only by what they do, but how they do it.Learn more about some HWA speakers inspiring global citizenship >>
Are You Looking for the Next Big Speaker?
What do Coca-Cola, Kraft, and Great-West Life have in common? They have all hosted New York Times and Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author Adam Braun: The Next. Big. Speaker. ADAM BRAUN is the Founder of Pencils of Promise and author of NYT Bestseller The Promise of a Pencil and he knows how to motivate people to powerful action. He engaged a rapt audience at the ASAE Springtime Expo recently and inspired many meeting planners to ask, “When can we book you for our next event?” Get motivated with this video clip from another home run event.
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Adam Braun fulfills meeting planners' most ambitious goals
The reason we continue to hear that Founder of Pencils of Promise and NYT Bestselling Author Adam Braun is a speaker who inspires people to action is because he knows that there is more to a great event, than the speech he gives on stage. A great event is about creating an experience for the audience and in order to do that, Adam takes the time in advance of the event to get to know the leadership team so that he can craft a speech that addresses their needs. A speech that is unique and focused on their ambitions for a great experience for their audience. Adam recently dropped by the HWA office for our first Facebook Live Video Chat and he shared this poignant message with meeting planners.Watch video >>
Adam Braun wins high praise once again
NYT Bestselling Author and Founder of Pencils of Promise ADAM BRAUN spoke at the 14th Annual United Way Leadership Summit and captivated the 600+ audience with a presentation that guests cited as "our best one to date." He received a standing ovation and his books sold out during his book signing meet and greet.Read more from the host >>
"Impossible" is a "Dare" not a "Declaration"
The word “impossible” should not be a declaration, it is a “dare.” In this motivational clip from New York Times bestselling author ADAM BRAUN, he shares an inspiring quote from the late Muhammad Ali about overcoming the impossible. Adam knows what it means to pursue something that was deemed impossible, but he succeeded because he did not pursue his goal with passion, he pursued it with purpose, and purpose exists deep inside you and will make the difference in your success.Watch video >>
Bite-Sized Inspiration on Leadership from Adam Braun
New York Times Bestselling Author and Founder of Pencils of Promise ADAM BRAUN knows that the key to any organization's success is its culture and he is a leader who inspires people to action. From taking $25 to grow a dream into an award-winning organization, to reaching new heights in fundraising, to getting the most from the Millennial generation, and much more, Adam Braun offers incredible lessons on leadership.Read Adam's Illuminating Posts...
Adam Braun: Lessons on How Ordinary People Create Extraordinary Change
Speaking to an engaged crowd at ASAE’s 40th annual Springtime Expo, the largest one-day show in the meetings industry, New York Times Bestselling Author and Founder of Pencils of Promise ADAM BRAUN presented an outstanding session on work-life lessons illustrating how any “ordinary” person can take small steps to create a successful and extraordinary impact.Find out how Adam is inspiring audiences...
Where Do Big Dreams Begin? Q&A with Pencils of Promise Founder Adam Braun
New York Times Bestselling Author and Founder of Pencils of Promise, ADAM BRAUN is one of the nation's leading speakers on purpose-based leadership and innovation. Read his thoughts on keeping the humble spirit of a start-up, how every person can play a meaningful role in a movement, and the keys to a phenomenal internal culture.Read the conversation with Adam...
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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 400 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 he 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.
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.”