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John Wood on Creating Room to Read by John Wood

John Wood on Creating Room to Read

by John Wood


Title Details

Running Time
50 Min.


John Wood stops by the Googleplex for a conversation with Susan Wojcicki. You can find out more about Room to Read at www.roomtoread.org. John's book is available in the Google Play Store at this URL: http://goo.gl/T2bEc

From the publicist: What's happened since John Wood left Microsoft to change the world? Just ask six million kids in the poorest regions of Asia and Africa. In 1999, at the age of thirty-five, Wood quit a lucrative career to found the nonprofit Room to Read. Described by the San Francisco Chronicle as "the Andrew Carnegie of the developing world," he strived to bring the lessons of the corporate world to the nonprofit sector—and succeeded spectacularly.

In his acclaimed first book, Leaving Microsoft to Change the World, Wood explained his vision and the story of his start-up. Now, he tackles the organization's next steps and its latest challenges—from managing expansion to raising money in a collapsing economy to publishing books for children who literally have no books in their native language. At its heart, Creating Room to Read shares moving stories of the people Room to Read works to help: impoverished children whose schools and villages have been swept away by war or natural disaster and girls whose educations would otherwise be ignored.

People at the highest levels of finance, government, and philanthropy will embrace the opportunity to learn Wood's inspiring business model and blueprint for doing good. And general readers will love Creating Room to Read for its spellbinding story of one man's mission to put books within every child's reach.

About the Author: John's career at Microsoft spanned 1991 to 1999, where he ran significant parts of Microsoft's international business, as the Director of Marketing for the Asia-Pacific Division, Director of the Internet Customer Unit for Microsoft Australia, and Director of Marketing for Microsoft Australia.

In 1998, John took a vacation that changed his life. Trekking through a remote Himalayan village, he struck up conversation with a schoolteacher, who invited John to visit his school. There, John discovered that the few books available were so precious that they were kept under lock and key - to protect them from the children! Fewer than 20 books, all backpacker cast-aways, were available for more than 450 students.

What started with a simple email requesting friends donate used books has grown into Room to Read, an award-winning non-profit that over the past eleven years has established over 12,500 libraries, donated and published 10 million books, built over 1,500 schools, and supported more than 13,500 girls so they can graduate from secondary school with the skills they need to succeed. In total, Room to Read has impacted the lives 6 million children.

John strives to bring the lessons of the corporate world to the non-profit sector. Room to Read combines his passion with the discipline of a well-run global company. He has been described by Fast Company Magazine as "all heart, all business."

John has received countless honors for his work, including recognition as a "Young Global Leader" by the World Economic Forum and as one of Time Magazine's "Asian Heroes." He has also been selected as a "Young Global Leader" by the World Economic Forum and is a Henry Crown Fellow at the Aspen Institute. The Public Broadcasting Corporation (PBS) named him one of "America's Great Leaders" and he was selected by Barron's as one of the "25 Best Givers" in 2009 and 2010, ranking 11th and 9th on the list, respectively.

Room to Read has won UNESCO's 2011 Confucius Prize for Literacy recognizing excellence and inspiration in the literacy field. It is a five-time winner of Fast Company Magazine's Social Capitalist Award, a recipient of the Skoll Foundation Award for Social Innovation, and a recipient of Draper Richards Fellowship for social entrepreneurs. For fiscal efficiency, Room to Read has been awarded Charity Navigator's highest 4-star rating for sound fiscal management for 5 years in a row.

John holds a Bachelors of Science, magna cum laude, from the University of Colorado, and a Masters of Business Administration from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University. He lives and works in New York, NY.

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