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Sir Richard  Branson

Sir Richard Branson

Global Entrepreneur & Founder, Virgin Group Ltd.

Biography

Even though lately the world seems to be filling up with billionaires, Sir Richard Branson remains a rare bird. When he is not ballooning around the world, astronaut training, or breaking world records, he’s setting the example for going green in big business, convening world councils to combat global suffering, and teaching people how to get rich – and give back. Even rarer-still, is a billionaire who is actually excited to share his secret formula, and help everybody else live a successful life too. That is what sets Branson apart, he is a 1%-er who gives 100% to others…very rare indeed, and certainly not an opportunity to be missed. Read More >

Richard Branson is the face, spirit and entrepreneurial mastermind behind Virgin, one of the world's most dynamic brands. Credited as one of the world's greatest brand-building visionaries, Branson has expanded his company into many diverse sectors, from travel to telecommunications, health to financial services, and music to leisure. There are now more than 100 Virgin companies worldwide, employing approximately 60,000 people in over 50 countries. Branson’s unconventional style of living is only a part of his undeniable talent for beating impossible odds in business and in life – a talent he is thrilled to share.


Crediting "fun" as his guiding life principle, Branson is also known for his cheeky, yet inspiring, world record attempts, including being the first to fly a hot air balloon across the Atlantic. Proving that one can "have fun while making a fortune," he has become revered for his unconventional management style and uncanny ability to motivate his employees. Branson has also made it part of his mission to support global causes. With the help of Nelson Mandela he started The Elders, a group of eminent global leaders who come together to "promote peace building, help address major issues of human suffering, and promote the shared interests of humanity." He is also the founder of the Carbon War Room, which works to increase the effectiveness of climate change efforts that are already underway.


The format of his enlightening, entertaining and some would say prophetic presentations, are ironically akin to the fireside chats of old. In them, he gets up close and personal with his audience – candidly and humorously sharing the real life experiences and inspiring visions that has brought him such unyielding success. As one might guess, his speaking style on stage is off the cuff, no-holds-barred, and no question is out-of-bounds. He is completely at ease and approachable, as he is quite confident that the knowledge he has to share is priceless. Like his many adventures and record-breaking attempts, he likes to “just have fun with it” with an inviting energy that audiences eat up. Listeners to Branson find themselves getting some of the best financial and personal advice they have ever gotten, delivered by a fun-loving billionaire who wants nothing more than to see others succeed as well – both in business, and in life.


Richard Branson is one of the world’s most colorful iconoclasts and one of the most requested and outspoken speakers on the APB roster. Famous for his daring entrepreneurial style, he oversees one of the world’s most popular brands – equally attributing his success to surrounding himself with good people – again setting the example that it is possible to having millions, and modesty, in the same lifetime. Today, Branson offers audiences a personal example of what they can achieve by incorporating a little fun and risk into their own business. It is also important to remember that Sir Richard was not born a billionaire – nor a knight. He started with the same motivation and potential as you, or any other entrepreneur out there, with the courage to jump into the deep end of life with an open mind, and a full heart. Read Less ^

Speaker Videos

Living Life to the Fullest

Branson Accepts His Lifetime Achievement Award

Speech Topics

A Fireside Chat: Screw Business as Usual – How to Have Fun, Do Good & Make Money

In this personal, approachable and moderated fireside chat-like forum, Branson imparts the life lessons he learned and chronicled in his book, Screw Business as Usual. “Over the last few decades as I’ve started up one exciting business after another, I thought that life and work could not get any better. In preparing this presentation, I’ve realized that we’ve really been on a practice run, getting ready for the greatest challenge and opportunity of our lifetime. We’ve got a shot at really pulling together to turn upside down the way we approach the challenges we are facing in the world and look at them in a brand new entrepreneurial way. Never has there been a more exciting time for all of us to explore this great next frontier where the boundaries between work and purpose are merging into one, where doing well, really is good for business.” Richard Branson Read More >

In Screw Business as Usual, Branson reveals his innovative and inclusive vision for the future. He aims to redefine capitalism, and flip it on its head– to evolve our values and switch from a just profit focus, to the focus of the future which will be on people, communities and the planet, and as one of the most successful businessmen in history, corporations will just have to trust that it is in their best interest to include the interests of their customers and communities. It is no longer considered counterintuitive in business to be compassionate. Read Less ^

A Fireside Chat: Business Stripped Bare – Adventures of a Global Entrepreneur

Richard takes the audience on an insider journey into the gambles and gambits of Branson entrepreneurship. Referencing and reflecting on his book, In Business Stripped Bare, (the biggest business publication of 2009) Sir Richard Branson shares the inside story of his journey into unprecedented entrepreneurship and reveals the incredible truth about his most risky, brilliant and audacious deals. Citing examples and experiences from his book, Business Stripped Bare: Adventures of a Global Entrepreneur audiences will discover why Virgin tried to take on one of the world's biggest superbrands, how Virgin Mobile USA holds the record as the fastest company in history to generate revenues of over one billion dollars (faster than Microsoft, Google and Amazon) and how Richard is the only person in the world to have succeeded in building eight billion-dollar companies from scratch – and in eight different sectors. Read More >

Combining key advice with candid stories of Virgin's greatest achievements, as well as some of its setbacks, Richard truly inspires audiences with his one-of-a-kind compendium to success in business and in life. Whether you are an executive, an entrepreneur or are just starting out, Branson strips business down to its core and chronicles the steps it takes for you to succeed. Read Less ^

A Fireside Chat: Screw It, Let’s Do It – 14 Lessons on Making It to the Top While Having Fun & Staying Green


“Throughout my life I have achieved many remarkable things. In Screw It, Let's Do It, I will share with you my ideas and the secrets of my success, but not simply because I hope they'll help you achieve your individual goals. Today we are increasingly aware of the effects of our actions on the environment, and I strongly believe that we each have a responsibility, as individuals and organizations, to do no harm. I will draw on Gaia Capitalism to explain why we need to take stock of how we may be damaging the environment, and why it is up to big companies like Virgin to lead the way in a more holistic approach to business.” – Sir Richard Branson Read More >

In his book, Screw It, Let's Do It Branson looks to the future. In this chat, Richard will explain how he is taking his business, and his inspirations, to the next level in some of the newest and most crucial areas, such as launching Virgin Fuels. Yet even when entering markets as influential and impactful to our future as fuel, Branson always reminds us to “have fun with it” in keeping with his contemporary and cavalier attitude. One of his favorite quotes embodies this spirit perfectly: “The brave may not live forever – but the cautious do not live at all!” Read Less ^

A Fireside Chat: Losing My Virginity – How I’ve Survived, Had Fun & Made a Fortune Doing Business My Way

Branson’s book, Losing My Virginity is an outrageous opus of one of the most audacious and genius business minds of our time. Since naming his business after the amount of business experience he started out with – Virgin, Branson has re-written the rulebook for success – creating a group of companies with a global presence, but no central headquarters or management hierarchy, and minimal bureaucracy. Read More >

In this fireside chat, Branson describes how and why many of his companies were started in the face of entrenched competition. He realized that being too big can actually be the reason you fail. Branson capitalized on the advantage of being flexible and free to improve on existing big businesses even when the “experts” said, "Don't do it." However, in typical Branson style, he found golden opportunities in markets in which customers have been slighted or underserved, where confusion reigns, and the competition is complacent. Today, Richard Branson represents the new model of the businessman – one who is free-thinking, daring, hardworking, and who lives life to the fullest. Losing My Virginity is a portrait of a successful, balanced life, dappled with rich and colorful stories including:

  • Crash-landing his hot-air balloon in the Algerian desert, yet remaining determined to have another go at being the first to circle the globe
  • Signing the Sex Pistols, Janet Jackson, the Rolling Stones, Boy George, and Phil Collins
  • Fighting back when British Airways took on Virgin Atlantic, and successfully suing this pillar of the British business establishment
  • Swimming two miles to safety during a violent storm off the coast of Mexico
  • Selling Virgin Records to save Virgin Atlantic
  • Staging a rescue flight into Baghdad before the start of the Gulf War

In this fascinating exchange, you will hear the ultimate tale of personal and business conquest from a man who combines the business acumen of John D. Rockefeller, with the promotional prowess of P. T. Barnum. Read Less ^

Books & Media

Books

Screw Business as Usual

Connect with Sir Richard Branson