Craig Kielburger is a social entrepreneur, New York Times best-selling author, and syndicated columnist.
He co-founded Free The Children in 1995 when he was 12-years-old. Today, he remains a full-time volunteer for the organization, which has become the world’s leading youth-driven charity. What began as a group of kids working out of a garage now has more than 1.7 million young people involved in its programs.
Free The Children provides comprehensive service-learning programs in North America, including its We Day celebrations attended annually by more than 100,000 students from 3,000 participating schools who earn their entry through service activities. Internationally, the organization works in eight developing countries providing a holistic and sustainable development model, including education, health care, food security, clean water, and alternative income programs. Free The Children programs include the construction of more than 650 schools and school rooms, and its health and clean water initiatives have empowered more than one million beneficiaries.
Alongside his brother Marc, Craig is also the co-founder of Me to We, an innovative social enterprise that advances a new vision of philanthropy by providing socially conscious products and experiences that support the work of Free The Children. Half of Me to We’s annual net profit is donated to Free The Children, while the other half is reinvested to grow the enterprise and its social mission. Me to We provides sweatshop-free and organic clothes, as well as life-changing international volunteer trips, leadership training programs, a speakers bureau, and accessories handcrafted by women artisans in developing countries.
Craig holds a degree in peace and conflict studies from the University of Toronto and is the youngest ever graduate of the Kellogg-Schulich Executive MBA program. He is the author of ten books.
His latest is a humorous look at life in the developed world, and our daily opportunities to make a positive contribution, entitled,My Grandma Follows Me on Twitter...and Other First World Problems We’re Lucky to Have.With his brother, Craig writes “Global Voices,” a weekly column about the pressing issues of our time, syndicated in various newspapers including the Vancouver Sun, Halifax Chronicle Herald, Calgary Herald, Edmonton Journal, and Winnipeg Free Press. The Kielburgers also write a bi-weekly advice column on addressing social causes in the Globe & Mail called “Brainstorm.” They are also weekly contributors to The Huffington Post.
Craig has been awarded 13 honorary doctorates and degrees, and has received The Order of Canada, The Roosevelt Freedom Medal, and the World Children’s Prize for the Rights of the Child. His work has been featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show, 60 Minutes, as well as National Geographic, TIME, and The Economist.