“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 350 schools for children in poverty around the world. In 2015, he served as the Director of the Global Education Platform, an initiative conceived by the UN Special Envoy for Global Education to accelerate breakthroughs in learning innovation.
He has been featured as a speaker at The White House, the United Nations and the Clinton Global Initiative. He has also 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 original ten Global Shapers.
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 start with just $25. 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 500 companies. He avidly engages with his social media following of over 750,000 people 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.