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Peter Thum        

Founder of Ethos Water; Social Entrepreneur

As the founder of Ethos Water, Peter Thum turned his idea of getting clean water to children in the developing world into a successful social venture. 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 could follow. Over the course of six years, he led Ethos to become a national brand in the US and to raise more than $6 million in humanitarian water grants and help over 420,000 people worldwide. Ethos was acquired by Starbucks in 2005 and Thum stayed on through to 2008, managing Ethos and serving as a director of the Starbucks Foundation.

More recently, Thum co-founded and is the CEO of Fonderie 47, an organization that is taking AK-47s from war zones in Africa and turning them into jewelry, watches, and accessories with proceeds going towards two missions in war-torn regions of Africa: weapon destruction programs and youth leadership programs. It has destroyed over 34,000 assault rifles in African conflict zones. He also is CEO and founder of Liberty United, which recycles illegal guns from American cities into jewelry that funds programs to reduce gun violence.

From thriving in a competitive business environment to showing the importance of finding your passion in life, Peter Thum inspires audiences with his remarkable story of seeing wrongs in the world and using his drive and business acumen to right them.

Speech Topics

Ethical Branding & Corporate Responsibility

Are You Seeking Out Deeply Moving Experiences?

Deeply moving experiences lead to meaningful moments and happiness. In his thought-provoking presentation, Peter Thum shares his personal journey of how he was inspired to seek out, and accomplish, his own success and fulfillment, while ultimately helping others. He stresses that everyone can achieve these moments through caring about the world and striving to make a difference.

The Imperative to Reduce Gun Violence

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, which have funded the removal and destruction of over 34,000 assault rifles in Africa and fund not for profits working to reduce gun violence in American communities.

The Ethos Water Story: The Keys Behind Successful Social Entrepreneurialism

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.

Leading Forward: The Role of 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.


Interview With Ethos Water Founder Peter Thum on His New Venture
Peter Thum is no stranger to philanthropy and entrepreneurial success. As the founder of Ethos Water, he raised more than $7 million in humanitarian water ...

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