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Adam Braun is the Founder and CEO of Pencils of Promise, a nonprofit organization that
has broken ground on more than 80 schools around the world and delivered over 3
million educational hours in its first four years. PoP was founded with just $25 in October
2008 using what Braun describes as a “for-purpose” approach to blending nonprofit
idealism with for-profit business principles.
Braun’s passion for international education was ignited when he traveled to over fifty
countries in his early twenties. He graduated magna cum laude from Brown University,
previously worked at Bain & Company, and was recently named to Wired’s Smart List:
50 People Who Will Change the World.

This speech was given at TEDxColumbiaCollege in November of 2012, on the campus of Columbia University in the City of New York.

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)