“True self discovery begins where your comfort zone ends.”
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,
Join us for our next retreat in Italy, May 20-27 — for info visit: plantpowerworld.com
Thanks to this week’s sponsors:
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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
- Connect With Adam: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram
- For Purpose: Pencils Of Promise
- Book: The Promise of a Pencil: How An Ordinary Person Can Create Extraordinary Change*
- Start Up: MissionU: a tuition-free college alternative for the 21st Century
- Entrepreneur: Pencils of Promise Is Giving Nonprofits a Hard-Nosed Entrepreneurial Facelift
- Fast Company: Lessons From A Guy Who’s Changing The World One Pencil At A Time
- Mashable: 5 Steps for Starting and Funding a Social Good Enterprise
- TIME Magazine: Meet the 30 Under 30 Judges
- Forbes: 30 Under 30: Education
- Semester At Sea: a multi-country study abroad program on a ship, emphasizing global comparative study
- Inside Edition: special report on the rogue wave that hit Adam’s ship in 2005 [VIDEO]
- Documentary: Baraka*: 1992 documentary film directed by Ron Fricke
- Book: The Artist’s Way*: International best-seller on the subject of creativity by Julia Cameron
- CNBC: Start-up partners with Lyft, Spotify to help young people skip college and land high-paying jobs
- USAToday: How I became the founder of Pencils of Promise and CEO of MissionU: Adam Braun
- EdSurge: MissionU Says It Can Replace Traditional College With a One-Year Program
- FastCompany: This College Alternative Only Makes Money If You Make A Salary
- Forbes: Adam Braun Shares The Personal Challenges He’s Overcome To Build Pencils Of Promise To Great Success
- HuffPo: Articles By Adam Braun
Notable People Discussed in today’s podcast
- Ezekiel Emanuel: Oncologist, Bioethicist and senior fellow at the Center for American Progress
- Ari Emanuel: Talent agent, Co-CEO of William Morris Endeavor entertainment and media agency
- Rahm Emanuel: 44th Mayor of Chicago, Former White House Chief of Staff under President Barack Obama
- Susan Wojcicki: Technology executive and CEO of YouTube
- Anne Wojciki: Founder of 23andMe
- Scooter Braun: talent manager best known for discovering Justin Beiber
- Carol Dweck: Professor of Psychology at Stanford University, Author of Mindset
- Gary Vaynerchuk: 4x New York Times bestselling author, speaker serial entrepreneur & podcast guest
- Jessica Lahey: N.Y. Times / Atlantic writer & author of The Gift of Failure*
- Dan Pink: author of five best-selling books about work, management, and behavioral science
- James De La Vega: New York City visual street artist and muralist
- Malcom Gladwell: Author, staff writer for New Yorker Magazine and host of Revisionist History
Related Podcasts You Might Enjoy
- RRP #178: Doing Good Better With William MacAskill
- RRP #217: Gary Vaynerchuk Works Harder Than You Do
- RRP #247: The Art of Non-Conformity With Chris Gillebeau
*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 Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
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