The Future of Education
As the Founder of Pencils of Promise, Co-Founder of MissionU, and Chief Operating Officer at WeGrow by WeWork, Adam Braun has reshaped the landscape of education in profound and diverse ways. At Pencils of Promise he and his team have built more the 525 schools worldwide. At MissionU, a 21st-century higher education company teaching hard and soft skills for the new economy, Braun provided a debt-free alternative to higher education and pioneered remote learning for workforce development. While at WeWork, Braun developed unique strategies to educate full family ecosystems, from early childhood through adult lifelong learning.
Braun’s work is deeply rooted in accessibility, innovation, purpose, and the transcendent power of quality education. In his informative and compelling remarks, he draws on his diverse range of experiences to provide a unique and forward-looking perspective on education at many levels. He reveals what he’s learned at the helm of innovative and internationally heralded education programs, how to inspire and impact the next generation of students, and how to build educational opportunities infused with passion, strategy and intention. An early adopter of remote learning (he was building Zoom classes back in 2016 with MissionU) Braun also provides tactical insight into distance learning and how it can be effective and educational.
The Future of Entrepreneurship
From Pencils of Promise to MissionU to WeWork, Adam Braun has learned the ins and outs of how to grow an innovative business-- and the obstacles and challenges that come along the way at each step of the journey. From Founding Pencils of Promise in his 20s with just one $25 deposit, to joining WeWork when it grew from 4,000 to 14,000 in 15 months, Braun's seen first-hand the unique tactics and tools to achieve unprecedented growth, team-wide breakthroughs, and industry disruption.
In these illuminating remarks he provides actionable lessons on how to harness the very best of entrepreneurialism, while simultaneously preparing yourself for the uncertain. He details with uncommon insight, humor and clarity the concrete steps organizations and individuals can take to succeed in the decade ahead.
Working With and Developing the Next Generation of Leaders
The largest transfer of power and wealth in the history of our global workforce is happening in the next five years, and it's the transition to Millennials controlling the largest share of our global economy. Adam Braun has been at the forefront of this transition as a national leader shaping and inspiring the next generation of leaders. As the Co-Founder and former CEO of MissionU, Braun partnered with groundbreaking startups from Spotify to Warby Parker, to hone 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 compelling talk, Braun shares what he’s learned working with members of Gen Y and Gen Z, and the unique tools, tips and tactics to help organizations across industries best engage with, understand, and support the workforce of tomorrow.
Decoding the Future of Work
When the Today Show visited Adam Braun, they referred to his work at MissionU as "mind-blowing" and CNN called it "perfect." Fast Company named MissionU one of the “World’s Most Innovative Companies of 2018”. Braun’s work disrupting higher education and his daily conversations with leading CEO's give him unique insights into how new technologies and trends are changing our jobs and daily lives. In this eye-opening talk, he details with uncommon insight, humor and clarity the concrete steps we can take as companies and individuals to succeed in the decade ahead.
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.
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.
Rethinking Education: Creating Learning Experiences with Intentionality
As the Founder of Pencils of Promise and Co-Founder of MissionU, Adam Braun has reshaped the landscape of education in profound and diverse ways. From building nearly 500 schools worldwide, to providing a debt-free alternative to higher education, Braun’s work is deeply rooted in accessibility, innovation, purpose, and the transcendent power of quality education. In this unforgettable talk, he reveals what he’s learned sat the helm of forward-thinking and internationally heralded education programs, how to inspire and impact the next generation of students, and how to build educational opportunities infused with passion, strategy and intention.
Adam Braun on using business as a force for good
ADAM BRAUN knows how to motivate people to powerful action. The Founder of Pencils Of Promise, Adam Braun’s story is how one young man turned $25 into nearly 500 schools, serving 100,000 students around the world, and built a global community which is well on its way to achieving its goal of making a quality education a possibility for everyone. Adam's book, The Promise of a Pencil, did not become a New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller just because it was a great story; it became a sought-after guide for achieving goals and dreams. 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. In his engaging journey-filled presentations, 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 and Gen Z entering the workforce, and how together they realized that the most valuable currency we each possess is our commitment to a shared mission. As Kraft raved after their engagement with Braun: "The feeling was unanimous, the best speaker we've ever had at an offsite."
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 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 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.”