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Sir Richard Branson      

Founder of Virgin Group

Sir Richard Branson is founder of the Virgin Group. The brand began in 1970 as a mail order record retailer and record label which went on to sign household names from the Sex Pistols to The Rolling Stones. Branson's Virgin brand grew rapidly during the 1980s, as he set up Virgin Atlantic airline and expanded the Virgin Records music label. Today, Virgin is one of the world's most irresistible brands and has expanded into diverse sectors such as air and rail travel, leisure and hospitality, telecommunications, health and wellness, and space travel in 50 countries, with revenues of $24B.

Sir Richard has challenged himself with many record breaking adventures, including the fastest ever Atlantic Ocean crossing, a series of hot air balloon journeys and kite-surfing across the English Channel. He has described Virgin Galactic, the world's first commercial spaceline, as "the greatest adventure of all."

Since starting the youth culture magazine, "Student," at age 16, Sir Richard has found entrepreneurial ways to provoke positive change in the world. In 2004, he established the non-profit foundation, Virgin Unite, to tackle tough social and environmental problems and to make business a force for good. Initiatives include The Elders, a group of independent leaders that tackles global humanitarian issues, Carbon War Room, which mobilizes capital, innovation, expertise and entrepreneurs to advance climate change efforts, and Branson Centers of Entrepreneurship in South Africa and Jamaica.

Branson's twitter handle, @richardbranson, was named Britain's most influential person on Twitter. He is also LinkedIn's most followed influencer. In addition, he maintains a daily blog with more than 11.5M followers across five social networks.

Sir Richard was awarded a knighthood for services to entrepreneurship. He lives on Necker Island with his wife Joan and has two children, Holly and Sam. In January 2016, Forbes listed Branson's estimated net worth at $5.2 billion.

Speech Topics


A Conversation With Sir Richard Branson

Sir Richard Branson is one of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs and his Virgin Group is one of the most recognized lifestyle brands, trusted and enjoyed by many millions of people. Now, in his trademark charismatic and honest style, Richard shares the inside track on some of his greatest achievements over forty years in business as well as the lessons he has learned from his setbacks. In this interview format presentation, tells the story behind the launches of his Virgin brands, including conquering new frontiers in space with his Virgin Galactic.

He also shares his thoughts on the changing face of the global economy and how businesses worldwide need to work together to tackle environmental challenges and invest in the future of our world. Combining invaluable advice with remarkable and candid inside stories, Branson is a dynamic, inspirational and truly original guide to success in business and in life.

  • Screw Business as Usual

  • Business Stripped Bare: Adventures of a Global Entrepreneur

  • Screw It, Lets Do It: 14 Lessons on Making It to the Top While Having Fun & Staying Green

  • Losing My Virginity: How I've Survived, Had Fun & Made a Fortune Doing Business My Way

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.

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.

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

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!”

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.

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.

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

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.

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