“A leader amongst an emerging generation of change makers who are proving that every person can be a force for positive change.”—Ann Veneman,
Former Executive Director of UNICEF
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 250 schools around the world. In recent years he has been 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. He has also been a featured speaker at The White House, United Nations and Clinton Global Initiative.
Braun began working summers at hedge funds when he was just sixteen years old, sprinting down the path to a successful Wall Street career. He started his college career as a Division 1 basketball player, 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 start with just $25 on his twenty-fifth birthday. Using his unique “for-purpose” approach, he meshed for-profit business acumen with non-profit idealism and in doing so created a leading organization in the global education space, proving that anyone can start a movement that matters.
Braun graduated from Brown University and is now a frequent speaker at conferences, colleges and Fortune 1000 companies. He avidly engages with his social media following of over 500,000 people and currently resides in New York City. 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 is available in bookstores nationwide.