Adam Braun is a New York Times best-selling author and the Co-Founder & CEO of MissionU, a college alternative for the 21st century. He previously founded Pencils of Promise, the award-winning organization that has built more than 400 schools around the world.

By the age of 32 he had been featured as a speaker at The White House, the United Nations and the Clinton Global Initiative. In recent years he has also been named to Business Insider’s 40 Under 40, Wired Magazine‘s 50 People Who Are Changing the World, and was one of the World Economic Forum’s original ten Global Shapers.

Braun founded PoP with just $25 while working at Bain & Company in 2008. Using his unique “for-purpose” approach, he developed a new framework that has been featured on CBS, Forbes, FastCompany, etc. and adopted by for-profit and nonprofit leaders across dozens of industries.

Braun graduated magna cum laude with a triple major 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 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 Best Seller list and went on to become a #1 national best-seller.




Using his unique "for-purpose" approach, Adam Braun meshed for-profit business principles with non-profit idealism and created a model now followed by a mission-driven generation. Adam shares his model as a guide to transform even the smallest ideas into reality. As he takes us through his entrepreneurial journey, Adam discusses the rise of the "profitable purpose" and the importance of this idea with millennials, and how he came to realize the most valuable currency we possess is our commitment to a shared mission.


As the grandson of a Holocaust survivor, Adam has known the importance of living life to your fullest potential through the lessons his "Ma" taught him. With over 57 million children worldwide with limited to no access to any education—let alone quality education—Adam has made it his life mission and work to extend educational opportunities to those who would otherwise be failed by the systems currently in place. Adam unveils his epiphany moment that led him to leave the helm of Pencils of Promise to create MissionU, an alternative to higher education. With a focus on the importance of finding true purpose in your work, Adam shares stories and insights into how the world is expanding with individuals looking to live life with both an educational foundation and meaning.


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, Adam 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.


With a life changing moment that began with a young boy begging on the streets of India to building over 400 schools globally in the last five years, Adam's journey to find his calling is nothing short of inspiring. In this presentation based on his best-selling book, Adam shares five key phrases that serve as guideposts when facing the most challenge situations in our lives and careers. With personal anecdotes and shareable insights, Adam will give you the tools to make your own life a story worth telling.


In the case of Adam’s keynote address, “perfect” is applicable... humble, intelligent, purposeful, kind, and disarmingly humorous.
— St. Bonaventure University