FORA Economy

Season 2006 Episode 0830

Leaving Microsoft to Change the World

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Leaving Microsoft to Change the World
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Leaving Microsoft to Change the World: An Entrepreneur's Odyssey to Educate the World's ChildrenIn 1998, John Wood was a rising executive at Microsoft when he took a vacation that changed his life. What started as a trekking holiday in Nepal became a spiritual journey, and then a mission: to change the world one book and one child at a time. So upon returning from holiday, John did what most of us can only dream of doing: he walked away from millions to do "more". Over the next five years he would make the unlikely marriage between Microsoft business practices and the world of non-profits to create Room to Read, an organization that has created a network of over 2,000 schools and libraries (with over one million books) throughout communities in Southeast Asia and India. Room to Read is now one of the fastest growing, most effective, and award-winning non-profits of the last decade. The program is a three-time winner of Fast Company Magazine's Social Capitalist Award, a recipient of the Skoll Foundation Award for Social Innovation, and a recipient of Draper Richards Fellowship for social entrepreneurs.John's career at Microsoft spanned 1991 to 1999, where he ran significant parts of Microsoft's international business, as the Director of Marketing for the Asia-Pacific Division, Director of the Internet Customer Unit for Microsoft Australia, and Director of Marketing for Microsoft Australia.moreless
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