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Adam Braun On Lightning Moments, Reimagining Education & Blazing A Life of Purpose

By March 26, 2017January 26th, 2024No Comments

True self discovery begins where your comfort zone ends.”

Adam Braun

It’s no secret that aspects of our current education system are at best antiquated, at worst broken. Whether it’s quality education in the developing world, properly training people to meet our rapidly changing workforce needs or the crippling student loan debt that onerously burdens millions of young people, we’re long overdue for some systemic upgrades.

This week’s guest has devoted his life to tackling these problems.

A young man with a bright future, Adam Braun graduated from Brown and threw himself headfirst into a burgeoning career in finance when an extended backpacking trip across the developing world forever changed his perspective. Inspired by a sense of purpose and a call to service, in 2008 Adam walked away from Wall Street to launch Pencils of Promise – a for purpose philanthropic endeavor with the mission of building schools in countries across the world. A massive success, Pencils of Promise is responsible for over 400 new schools to date, distinguishing itself as one of a handful of charitable organizations that has fundamentally changed how we think about and practice philanthropy and giving.

Named to Forbes’ 30 Under 30 List, Business Insider’s 40 Under 40 List, and Wired’s Smart List of 50 People Changing the World, Adam chronicles his remarkable journey in The Promise of a Pencil*, a powerful story of awakening and action that demonstrates how one person can make a huge difference in a short period of time. Debuting at #2 on the New York Times Bestseller list and going on to becoming a #1 national bestseller, it’s a favored read among business leaders and can even be found on many a college syllabus.


Today finds Adam embarking a new chapter, taking on higher education with an ambitious new start up called MissionU – a for-profit for purpose, venture-backed organization that presents a compelling alternative to traditional college by sending students into the workforce debt-free.

This is a great conversation about Adam’s journey to entrepreneurial success. It’s about the current state of education, the business of education, and the innovative path forward. It’s a conversation about self-awareness, integrity and lightning moments. But mostly, this is a conversation about the transformative power of leading a meaningful life of service fueled by purpose.

I applaud Adam’s commitment to dream big and solve huge problems. A special human, I promise you will be captivated by the extraordinary story behind it all.

I sincerely hope you enjoy the exchange.

Peace + Plants,


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Check out Adam’s #1 Best Selling Book:The Promise of a Pencil: How an Ordinary Person Can Create Extraordinary Change*

Background, Context & Reference

Notable People Discussed in today’s podcast

 Related Podcasts You Might Enjoy

Thanks to Jason Camiolo for production, audio engineering, show notes and interstitial music; Shawn Patterson for graphics. Theme music by Ana Leimma.

*Disclosure:Books and products denoted with an asterisk are hyperlinked to an affiliate program. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.

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