"The Promise of a Pencil" Talk-About

Presenting a CNY "TalkAbout" on 20 March, 7pm, at the Union Square Barnes and Noble...

A Lecture by Adam Braun, "The Promise of a Pencil: How Ordinary People can Accomplish Extraordinary Things."


Adam Braun is the Founder of Pencils of Promise, an award-winning nonprofit organization that has built more than 150 schools across Africa, Asia and Latin America and delivered over 12 million educational hours in its first four years. PoP was founded with just $25 using Braun’s unique “For-Purpose” approach to blending nonprofit idealism with for-profit business principles. In 2012, he was named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 List.

Braun began his career in finance, until he met a young boy begging on the streets and asked him what he wanted most in the world. The answer- “A pencil.” He then traveled through 50+ countries to focus on educational systems and eventually left a dream job at Bain & Company to launch Pencils of Promise.

Braun 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, Mashable’s Innovation Index and Wired Magazine’s 2012 Smart List of 50 People Changing the World.

This is a free lecture. We will convene at a local café after the event to discuss Braun's ideas.


About the Moderator:  Laurence Mailaender works in the technology industry, doing research aimed at improving wireless systems. He has a PhD in Electrical Engineering, and spent 12 years as a researcher in Bell Labs. Currently he develops advanced communication and GPS-geolocation systems for customers in various agencies of the U.S. Government.

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  • Andrea

    Good talk but not a real meet up; no chance to interact with others who attended the meet up

    March 20

    • Laurence M.

      Hi Andrea. Sorry you didn't manage to find us. Five of us had a very interesting discussion after the event. You did have my cell number and could have tried to reach me. But it's true once we were upstairs it was very crowded and noisy so things were difficult. Anyway, hope you will join us another time.

      March 21

    • Andrea

      Laurence, I saw many of the group at the talk but had no way of knowing that folks were going to meet up after and if so, where. I think it might have been a good idea if the after plan had been decided beforehand. Just a suggestion. Andrea

      March 21

  • Bill

    The lecture was very disappointing, the conversation after was good.

    1 · March 21

  • A former member
    A former member

    Enjoyed the post-lecture discussion. Nice company!

    1 · March 21

  • Laurence M.

    At Nook sign now

    March 20

  • Bill

    Went to the Nook sign, nobody was there. Keeping an eye out for Lawrence.

    March 20

  • Sherri S.

    It's 6:40. Where are you?

    March 20

  • Yuliya

    Sorry, can't come tomorrow.

    March 19

  • A former member
    A former member

    If a spot opens for this, I'd love to attend.

    March 19

    • A former member
      A former member

      Really was looking forward to this...but will be stuck at work later than planned. Hope to make it to the next one.

      March 20

    • Conversations New Y.

      Thank you for the update. Hope you can make the next one.

      March 20

  • Laurence M.

    OK, here is the plan. The lecture is at 7 but let's meet at 6:30 so we can get good seats. At B&N, walk to the back of the first floor and we'll meet at the "Nook" sign. Lecture is on 4th floor. I may ask a few of you to go up and hold seats for the rest. By 6:45 we will move upstairs. If you are running late or don't see the group, text me at[masked]-9825. Laurence.

    2 · March 19

  • A former member
    A former member

    Looking forward to tomorrow. Where are we meeting at B&N? This is my first meetup. Thanks

    1 · March 19

  • Yen

    Sorry, can't make it because of family emergency.

    March 19

  • Richard P.

    Wish I could attend this lecture but have a competing Toastmasters meeting. Is there a way to get a summary?

    March 14

    • Laurence M.

      Richard, check out pencilsofpromise.org and watch for Adam's book which is being released in a few days. Please join us next time!

      March 15

  • A former member
    A former member

    Schedule conflict

    March 15

  • A former member
    A former member

    Again, thank you so much for scheduling something downtown!!!

    January 29, 2014

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