About Marc Kielburger

Marc kielburger walking through a crowd of peopleMarc kielburger with richard and holly branson

Marc Kielburger stands at the forefront of social change as a visionary movement builder, an innovative social entrepreneur, and a master in crafting enduring legacies. With over three decades of experience, he has been instrumental in guiding organizations, foundations, and influential figures towards actualizing their purpose-driven goals.His expertise has aligned with renowned global corporations like Microsoft, Unilever, Walgreens, and Allstate, fostering impactful social initiatives.

Marc's collaborative efforts with eminent personalities, including Oprah Winfrey, Richard Branson, and Sheryl Sandberg, have resulted in transformative legacy projects. As a celebrated author, Marc, alongside Holly Branson from Virgin Group and his brother Craig Kielburger, penned the international bestseller "WEconomy." This guidebook serves as a blueprint for integrating purpose into personal careers and business models. Among his literary contributions, Marc has written 11 other books, including the New York Times bestseller "Me to We: Finding Meaning in a Material World," solidifying his role as a thought leader in purpose-driven living and corporate responsibility.

Marc's Impact

The youth empowerment events began in 2007 as a way to highlight the achievements of young people who were making a difference, and to help inspire a generation of youth to become more globally aware and civically engaged.

“These events were a way to honor and inspire young movement builders. There has always been recognition for young people who excel in academics or athletics, but there was nothing to celebrate the achievements of youth giving back to their communities. In just over a decade, the events led to students performing over 40 million volunteer hours for causes they cared about,” Marc says.

Featuring high-energy, motivational performances and speeches from major celebrities (e.g. Prince HarryJennifer AnistonWill FerrellMagic Johnson, and Selena Gomez) the annual events highlighted students’ community and global service achievements throughout the year and helped to inspire the thousands of audience members to keep working on social causes of their own choosing.

“There’s always been recognition for young people who excel in academics or athletics, but there was nothing to celebrate the achievements of youth giving back to their communities”.

Beyond the entertainment stars of the day, the events also featured powerful voices, from youth activists like Malala Yousafzai to inspirational leaders like His Holiness the Dalai LamaMikhail GorbachevElie Wiesel, and Dr. Jane Goodall. 

Tickets to the events could not be purchased; instead, they had to be earned. Students secured their seats by taking one local action (e.g. collecting food for homeless shelters) and one global action (e.g. doing a fundraiser to support educational programs in the developing world) throughout the school year. 

The events were designed to be “cause-inclusive”, meaning educators and students could work to identify the social cause that resonated most with them and work to make an impact on that specific issue.

In 2015, ABC began airing the events across North America in prime time, attracting millions of viewers on TV and online. Since the first event in Toronto in 2007, there were over 130 youth empowerment events in the United States, Canada, and the UK, hosting and honoring approximately 1.5 million young people.

A social enterprise is a purpose-driven business that focuses, primarily, on delivering social missions and creating impact rather than just profits. It can generate funds for charity, create meaningful employment, offer programs, or raise awareness for philanthropic causes. 

By using innovative business strategies, social enterprises address major social and environmental challenges, often exceeding what traditional charities can achieve. They forge strong partnerships with the business sector, using corporate networks to amplify their impact.

In 2010, Marc and his team founded a social enterprise that empowered underserved rural communities globally through the sale of artisan products and Fairtrade coffee and chocolate, lifting families out of poverty. 

By using innovative business strategies, social enterprises address major social and environmental challenges, often exceeding what traditional charities can achieve.

Artisanal products were sold through major retailers, often allowing customers to see directly how their purchase made an impact. Under the innovative model, which began with just 20 artisans, women who once spent their days fetching water, farming, and doing whatever they could to survive and support their families were able to follow their dreams as entrepreneurs and artists. 

Partnerships were established with artisans in Kenya and Ecuador, empowering women to build a brighter future for themselves, their families, and communities. Women were able to earn twice as much as what is considered a fair wage in their country without giving up their traditional way of life. In total, over 1,500 jobs were created for women.

The operation also offered small-business training for marginalized women to further develop a source of income to support their families, empowering female artisans in Kenya and Ecuador with financial literacy skills. 

Purpose-led travel is a modern approach to discovering the world, guided by a deeper mission or intention beyond simply sightseeing. 

This style of travel allows individuals to connect with social or environmental causes they are passionate about, give back to communities and actively participate in creating positive change. It could involve volunteering for community development projects, participating in conservation efforts, or contributing to educational initiatives. Purpose-led travel benefits the communities and environments being visited while also offering travelers a profound sense of fulfillment.

Marc, an expert in this field, has designed and coordinated purpose-led travel operations in Africa, Asia and South America for over two decades. He and his team have welcomed high-profile guests like The British Royal Family, Martin Luther King III, Nelly Furtado, Holly and Sir Richard Branson, Natalie Portman and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.

In a world that is increasingly polarized, culturally immersive travel promotes respect, empathy, and a sense of unity among people with diverse backgrounds from across the globe.

With immersive, culturally rich destinations in Kenya, India, and Ecuador, visitors are guided in understanding, respecting, and connecting with the local culture, people, and heritage of the destination. Travelers take part in local rituals, learn traditional crafts or skills, and cook and share meals with local residents. In doing so, travellers gain a deeper appreciation for the destination's uniqueness and richness. 

This form of travel not only enriches the traveler's own journey but also contributes to the preservation of cultural heritage by supporting local artisans, traditions, and economies. It allows travelers to break down stereotypes, challenge assumptions, and celebrate the shared humanity that binds us all together.

Marc’s ability to create impact on a massive scale, combined with his natural gift for oration, helps audiences connect with their own inner passions while he provides them with the motivation and tools to launch or grow their own social movements.

With a deep understanding of the intricacies of social dynamics, Marc has a rare ability to connect with people from all walks of life, igniting their enthusiasm and empowering them to become agents of positive change.

Marc’s speeches are a masterful blend of storytelling, data-driven insights, and heartfelt conviction that draw on his three decades of experience in launching and building world-changing movements. From starting a global children’s charity as a teenager, to being the driving force behind multiple, innovative social enterprises, to his experiences sharing the stage with dynamic leaders and entertainers around the world, Marc shares compelling narratives that highlight the power of collective action. 

Marc’s speeches are a masterful blend of storytelling, data-driven insights and heartfelt conviction that draw on his three decades of experience in launching and building world-changing movements.

Through his engaging speeches, workshops, and seminars, Marc empowers his audiences with the tools they need to overcome challenges, navigate complexities and sustain momentum in the long journey of movement-building. 

Marc underscores the importance of authenticity, resilience and strategic thinking in movement-building. Whether speaking to a room of budding activists or C-suite corporate leaders, Marc’s speeches not only ignite a fire within his audiences, but also equip them with an action plan to mobilize communities, spark conversations and effect tangible change. 

Learn more about Marc at MARCKielburger.com

Featured book

WEconomy book cover
WEconomy is an international bestseller and a respected guidebook for the next evolution in business. Written by Craig Kielburger, Marc Kielburger and Dr. Holly Branson with a forward by Sheryl Sandberg and an Epilogue by Sir Richard Branson, WEconomy provides a compelling overview that embedding purpose at the heart of your career and in your business one of the smartest things you can do. WEconomy is full of tangible life examples and has been used as a guide for companies like Facebook, Hearst and KPMG.
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