John Wood

Former Executive at Microsoft Corporation ; Founder and Board Co-Chairman of Children's Non-Profit Organization

Fee Range?: $25,000 - $30,000
Traveling From: New York

Biography
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At age 35, inspired by visit to a dilapidated Nepali primary school with an empty library, John Wood left an executive career track at Microsoft to build one of the fastest-growing non-profits in history. In just 13 years and from a standing start, » Read Full Bio

At age 35, inspired by visit to a dilapidated Nepali primary school with an empty library, John Wood left an executive career track at Microsoft to build one of the fastest-growing non-profits in history. In just 13 years and from a standing start, Room to Read has opened 1,675 schools and more than 15,000 libraries across ten developing countries. What’s more, Room to Read is on track to meet an audacious goal: reach 10 million ofthe world’s poorest children by 2015.

Today, John’s real-world business acumen and drive to change the world have made him an inspiring and sought-after speaker with universal appeal. Since “giving up the money and the perks” of his former career, John has helped millions of children who have lost the lottery of life. John leverages what he learned in the business world to massively scale social change, and likes to say “we run Room to Read with the heart of Mother Teresa and the scalability of Starbucks.” Astonishingly, the organization did indeed open more libraries in its first decade than Starbucks did coffee shops.

John’s role in building one of the fastest-growing non-profits in history has earned him broad acclaim, including a nod as one of Goldman Sachs’ 100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs of 2013. He is a five-time winner of Fast Company’s Social Capitalist Award, and was named one of Time Magazine’s “Asian Heroes” – the only non-Asian ever to win the honor. John has been recognized as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum and a Henry Crown Fellow at the Aspen Institute, and sits on the advisory board of the Clinton Global Initiative where he’s spoken three times. He’s also received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Tribeca Film Festival, and appeared with Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn in the award-winning documentary “Half the Sky.”

John has received three honorary doctorates, teaches at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education and NYU’s Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, and has built a 370,000-strong following on Twitter.

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Speaker Programs (Click on each program to view the description)

Leaving Microsoft to Change the World (Inspiration)
John's first-person account of following his passion, and the lessons learned in doing so. It is a popular "inspiring close" or "bring people to their feet" dinner speech at corporate, industry, and education conferences.
Getting Out of Your Comfort Zone (Sales/Leadership)
John first delivered this speech at a Microsoft sales conference. With sales reps facing an increasingly competitive and ever-changing economy, Microsoft's sales leadership team requested that John speak about "what's possible when a committed person dares to take risks and leave their comfort zone".
Leadership Lessons from the Front Lines of Social Change (Leadership/Change)
Leadership is a subject on which John lectures at leading business schools, including University of Chicago, Harvard, Kellogg, Wharton and Stanford. In this presentation, John highlights the leadership lessons that can be learned from the front lines of social change. This is an increasingly popular topic amongst corporations, universities, and membership organizations.

Topics

  • Speakers for Educators (John help children across the developing world break the cycle of poverty through the power of education)
  • Technology
  • Top Executive

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Books

More Information

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