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Adam Braun
Adam Braun is the Founder & CEO of Pencils of Promise.

Pencils of Promise is a leading nonprofit organization that has broken ground on more than 150 schools across Africa, Asia and Latin America and delivered nearly 10 million educational hours in its first five years. PoP was founded with just $25 using what Braun coined as a "For-Purpose" approach to blending nonprofit idealism with for-profit business principles.

Braun began on the path towards a career in finance, but met a young boy begging on the streets and asked him what he wanted most in the world. The answer- "A pencil." Braun then backpacked through 50+ countries to deeply understand the state of global education and develop a best-practice model to help local communities organize and educate their children.

Braun now speaks often on global education, finding one's passion and purpose, youth empowerment, international development and the intersection of the nonprofit and for-profit spaces. He graduated magna cum laude from Brown University, previously worked at leading consulting firm Bain & Company, was selected as one of the first ten World Economic Forum Global Shapers and has been featured at the United Nations, Clinton Global Initiative, Google Zeitgeist and Wired Magazine’s 2012 Smart List of 50 People Changing the World.

Entries by Adam Braun

What If the Greatest Innovations in Education Exist Where You Least Expect Them?

(0) Comments | Posted December 11, 2013 | 3:54 PM

Click here to watch the TEDTalk that inspired this post.

As a kid, I was obsessed with learning new things. I knew that education was the one thing that lifted my family out of poverty over several generations, and when I read Viktor Frankl's Man's Search...

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A New Generation's Voice

(0) Comments | Posted October 8, 2013 | 9:16 PM

On Oct. 9, 2012, members of the Taliban boarded a school bus and shot 15-year-old Malala Yousafzai in the head and neck as she returned home from school. Targeted because of her advocacy for education and women's rights in Pakistan, Malala immediately became a symbol for the 57 million children...

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The Importance of #IamMalala on November 10th

(0) Comments | Posted November 8, 2012 | 10:18 AM

On November 10th, the first "Malala Day" will be marked by UN Special Envoy for Global Education Gordon Brown traveling to Pakistan to present over 1 million signatures to Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari, calling for a plan to enable education for its nearly 5 million out-of-school children. While this...

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Made With Pencils

(7) Comments | Posted November 30, 2011 | 10:21 AM

My journey began with a single pencil.

While traveling through India in 2006, I asked a boy begging on the streets, "If you could have anything in the world, what would you want?" and he answered me with two words:

"A pencil."...

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A Semester at Sea

(0) Comments | Posted September 23, 2011 | 1:53 PM

There was a clear sense of unease in their every interaction. Their eyes darted too quickly, looking not at each other but instead past one another.

That mix of nervous anticipation and unbridled excitement reminded me of freshman orientation, but for the hundreds of students aboard the MV Explorer...

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Three Months Later -- Learnings from the Greg Mortensen Controversy

(19) Comments | Posted July 22, 2011 | 12:54 PM

In October of 2008, like so many who will read this article, I found myself engrossed by Greg Mortensen's bestselling book Three Cups of Tea. It was while reading Mortensen's story that I founded Pencils of Promise to combine my experiences on-the-ground in the developing world with the...

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