Sam Davidson Headshot
Report a problem with this profile
[email protected]

Sam Davidson  

Speaker, Author and Social Entrepreneur Helping People Discover Their Life's Work

Fresh out of college and needing a job, Sam quickly climbed the ranks at a multi-national hotel company, being promoted to management in less than 90 days, overseeing staff and and a sizable departmental budget at just 23-years-old. Wanting his day job to mean more, he began searching for work in the nonprofit sector.

After a stint in the nonprofit world, where he specialized in starting and implementing new programs, his budding entrepreneurial spirit led him to co-found Cool People Care in 2006. He currently serves as the company's president, managing its rapid growth (Cool People Care has raised more than $125,000 for charities with its merchandise line).

Since then, Davidson has gone on to start three more companies, the most recent of which are Batch and Onward. He has also helped other organizations and companies develop messaging strategies aimed at the next generation.

In 2007, Sam wrote his first book, "New Day Revolution: How to Save the World in 24 Hours." In 2010, "50 Things Your Life Doesn't Need" hit store shelves, which helps people find their passion and begin to live a life full of it. He followed that up a year later with "Simplify Your Life: How to de-clutter and de-stress your way to happiness."

Sam is a sought-after keynote speaker and conference leader. Recent speaking engagements have included The YMCA of the USA's General Assembly, The International Institute for Education's Foreign Fulbright Program, Toastmaster's International Annual Convention, and The Young Nonprofit Professional Network.

He also appears frequently on TV, in print, and on radio as a resource and expert when it comes to Generation Y, philanthropy, social entrepreneurship, and community leadership. Recent interviews and appearances have included The USA Today, Minnesota Public Radio, Forbes, and Vocalo. In 2011, The Chronicle of Philanthropy named Davidson one of the Top 10 New Nonprofit Voices.

Sam has been married for nine years. He lives in the heart of Nashville, where he grew up (but never thought he'd end up post-college). A successful week for him looks like spending lots of time with his wife, daughter, parents, and sisters.

And now, he spends most of his time helping students and world-changers make the most of their leadership experience, whether in college, in the workplace, or at home. That's why he tells stories, both on this site and when on stage. Sam believes that when we each have a chance to tell our stories, we have an opportunity to motivate others to follow. Leadership often starts with a story before it ends in a commitment.

Says Sam, "I know that at heart, we're all looking to make an impact, to leave our mark on the world by writing our legacy on the hearts of others. And whether you're a student, entrepreneur, leader, dreamer, parent, or artist, I bet you have a big idea or are trying to solve a big problem. In that quest, we often start to sacrifice the things we care about and need the most: time with family, friendships, recreation, artistic expression, and our own sanity."

All of these experiences - from working for a nonprofit to wanting to be a fantastic father - inform what he writes about.

Speech Topics


What My Second Grade Girlfriend Taught Me About Leadership

While in elementary school, Sam Davidson learned enough life lessons to help him get to where he is today. A leading advocate of Social Entrepreneurship and servant leadership, Sam understands that student leaders have a core story to tell. Sam offers practical tips for students looking to grow a following, shape an organization, and recruit others to care about whatever fuels their passions. Funny stories from second grade shape the core ideas for Sam’s discussion of values-based leadership, and students leave more confident about their abilities to make a big impact on their campus and in their communities. Hilarious and meaningful, this keynote leaves everyone inspired to start their own projects and make their campus (and their world) a better place. This program is suitable for any leadership event and has special resonance for any group seeking a community service focus.

Cool People Care: Saving the World with Your Day Job

Everybody wants a great career, but more and more, people want to make a difference, as well. Today’s students care deeply about their planet and their communities, and they are committed to doing whatever they can – large or small – to make sure their time on the planet makes it a better place.

The good news is that most anyone can make a living while also making a difference.

Sam Davidson, founder of the organization Cool People Care, knows the ups and downs that come with building a “make a difference” career. A leading advocate of “Social Entrepreneurship,” Sam knows how students can make big change through their line of work, their talents, and their interests. Today’s college students have a high level of civic engagement, and they have a desire to make a positive impact in their communities. Sam shows them that you don’t have to drop out and fly halfway across the planet to make a difference, anymore. Every young leader can plan their careers, shape their involvements, and set their goals in a way that puts their desire to “make a difference” into actual ACTION.

In this keynote, Sam introduces students to the concepts surrounding “Social Entrepreneurship,” demonstrating how leaders of all talents and resources can engage their talents for the benefit of others. An inspiring leadership keynote, Cool People Care will motivate your audience to think big.

Better. Together.

A positive Fraternity and Sorority Life keynote address, Better. Together. discusses how and why Greek organizations can be forces for positive change—both for current members and for the larger university community.

Drawing on funny stories from his own college experience, Sam blends humor and meaningful suggestions for ways that any Greek organization can become better by working together with those inside and outside of their particular chapter. As a former president and membership education director in his fraternity, Sam offers practical and proven ideas that any member of a Greek organization (and not just its elected leaders) can use to make his or her chapter better. Best of all, these ideas can then be used so that the chapter as a whole can improve its own campus or community. This program is suitable for Greek weeks or when your community needs the right blend of entertainment and inspiration to achieve greater things than ever before.

Sam is willing to tailor some of the applications of this message based on your Greek community’s needs, whether it’s a focus on how to create healthy rivalries, a greater concern for risk management or the motivation needed to achieve academic success.

College is an Experience, Not an Event

So many students today view college as an event – something to check off a list before moving on to the next thing. In this energetic talk for new student audiences, Sam Davidson shows students how they can get the most out of their time in college. Combining hilarious stories and practical advice for a life after college “that matters,” Sam inspires students to seek out new opportunities and to focus on out-of-the-classroom opportunities along with their success in the classroom. Sam is genuinely funny, and his approach is highly entertaining. Students are encouraged to increase their involvement in campus organizations while they begin exploring and shaping amazing careers waiting for them only a few years later. Sam is a perfect choice your new student orientation or first-year-experience program.

Related Speakers View all


More like Sam