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Peter Thum

Founder, Ethos Water, Founder and CEO, Liberty United & Recognized Social Entrepreneur
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Biography

A pioneer who has used his keen entrepreneurial skills to build three businesses founded on advancing a social mission, Peter Thum is a leader in creating businesses that do good while doing well.

As the founder of Ethos™ Water, Thum turned his idea of getting clean water to children into a successful social venture that was acquired by Starbucks, that has changed an industry, generated millions of dollars and changed hundreds of thousands of lives. In building a brand, a business and a self-funding philanthropic engine directly connecting consumption to a related social mission, Thum forged new ground and created a model that others have followed.

Thum co-founded and is the CEO of Fonderie 47, an organization that is taking AK-47s from war zones in Africa, turning them into watches, jewelry and accessories with proceeds funding weapon destruction in war-torn regions of Africa, destroying over 45,000 assault rifles to date. More recently, Thum founded and is the CEO of Liberty United, which recycles illegal guns from American cities into jewelry that funds programs to reduce gun violence and give children opportunities to learn and play.

Thum also serves on the boards for several companies and organizations focused on service, including the Global Fund for Human Rights, the Center for Human Rights Leadership at Claremont McKenna College, the Dean’s Council of the NYU Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, and Impossible to Possible Ultra-Athletic Adventures. Thum is a Board Director of The Fund for Global Human Rights, and an adviser to FEED Projects.

Thum holds an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and a BA in government from Claremont McKenna College. From thriving in a competitive business environment to showing the importance of finding your passion in life, Thum inspires audiences with his remarkable story of seeing wrongs in the world and using his drive and business acumen to right them.

Topics

Leading Forward: Social Responsibility in the Corporate World

As corporations play an ever-expanding role in our lives, it is now more imperative than ever before that they take the steps necessary to improve the lives of their employees, their consumers, their communities and of society at large. A dedicated social entrepreneur who has successfully established businesses that are driven by a social mission of helping those in need, Peter Thum delivers lessons on the importance of corporate social responsibility from which any organization can learn and benefit. From ethical branding and leveraging philanthropy, to emboldening a corporate message, to building a culture where giving back is a standard operating procedure, Thum helps companies of all sizes to understand the steps they need to complete to put social responsibility at the core of their mission and performance.

Are You Seeking Out Deeply Moving Experiences?

Countries all over the world are experiencing a water crisis. Millions of people in developing countries lack clean and safe drinking water. As the founder of Ethos™ Water, Peter Thum turned his idea of getting clean water to children into a successful social venture that has changed an industry, generated millions of dollars and changed lives. Thum talks through his eight-year odyssey starting in the townships of South Africa, to brokering an acquisition by Starbucks, and finally running Ethos today as an international brand and social movement. Thum’s story is one of passion, perseverance and success. His story motivates people to dream big and turn thoughts into action. He takes audiences on a tour of the world and shares the importance of addressing the world water crisis, how to build a brand from the ground up and the personal upside of working toward the common good.

Successful Social Entrepreneurs

Peter Thum discusses his work since 2009 to reduce the impact of assault rifles in Africa and to reduce gun violence in the U.S.A. He tells the story of starting the brands Fonderie 47 and Liberty United, which transform illegal guns and bullets into high-end jewelry, watches and other accessories. His companies have funded the removal and destruction of over 45,000 assault rifles in Africa and funded not for profits working to reduce gun violence and helping provide at-risk children opportunities to learn and play safely in America’s most dangerous communities.

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