BCA is excited to announce the June 10th Hospitality Breakfast guest speaker, Founder of Room to Read, John Wood. John Wood is the founder and board cochair of Room to Read, an organization that seeks to transform the lives of millions of children in developing countries by focusing on literacy and gender equality in education. At age 35, Wood left an executive career track at Microsoft to form Room to Read. The business acumen honed there, combined with his passion to change the world, makes Wood a unique and inspiring speaker with universal appeal.
Wood’s award-winning memoir, Leaving Microsoft to Change the World: An Entrepreneur’s Odyssey to Educate the World’s Children, tells how he raised over $200 million from a “standing start” to develop one of the fastest-growing nonprofits in history. The book was described by Publishers’ Weekly in a starred review as “an infectiously inspiring read.” Translated into 20 languages, it is popular with entrepreneurs, philanthropists, and educators alike, and was selected by Amazon.com as one of the Top Ten Business Narratives of 2006 and voted a Top Ten Nonfiction title of 2006 by Hudson Booksellers. The book was also featured during Wood’s appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show and the resulting “Oprahs Book Drive” with Room to Read raised over $3 million from viewers.
Wood’s latest book is entitled Creating Room to Read: A Story of Hope in the Battle for Global Literacy. This sequel tells the story of how the organization has successfully tackled next steps–including “scaling beyond my wildest dreams” while maintaining integrity and raising money in a collapsing economy. Kirkus Reviews calls it “an absorbing personal account of a remarkable achievement.”
Today, Wood focuses full-time on long-term strategy, capital acquisition, public speaking, and media opportunities for the organization. Wood also teaches at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and New York Universitys Stern School of Business and serves on the Advisory Board of the Clinton Global Initiative.