Craig Kielburger is a social entrepreneur, New York Times best-selling author and captivating speaker, inspiring millions to improve their communities and the world through daily actions.
Craig, along with his brother Marc, are co-founders of the world’s leading platform for social change: Free The Children, an international charity, Me to We, an innovative social enterprise, and We Day, a signature youth empowerment event.
Craig’s journey as a child rights activist began at the age of 12, when he reached for the morning comics and noticed the newspaper’s front page. The headline read, “Battled Child Labor, Boy, 12, Murdered.” Being 12 himself, Craig felt an immediate connection and took the story with him to school. When he asked his class for help to tackle the issue of child labor, 11 students raised their hands. Free The Children was born.
What began as a group of a dozen kids has grown into an international charity. Free The Children programs have empowered more than one million beneficiaries. To date, Free The Children has built more than 650 schools and school rooms in developing countries, providing education to more than 55,000 children every day. Inspired by Craig’s life mission, Oprah’s Angel Network partnered with Free The Children to fund 68 schools.
Through Me to We, Craig and Marc are advancing a new vision of philanthropy that connects business to a social purpose. Every year, Me to We reaches hundreds of thousands of socially-conscious consumers. It provides full-time employment to over 1,000 women artisans in Kenya, and has created a global market for their work through partnerships with leading retailers, including Nordstrom, Virgin and PacSun. 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.
Through We Day, a series of inspirational stadium-sized events, Craig and Marc connect with 200,000 students from 5,000 schools every year. These students earn their entry to the celebration through service programs. Speakers and performers include Prince Harry, Richard Branson, and Jennifer Hudson. With more than 5 million followers on Facebook, We Day has become one of the largest charitable causes in the world.
Craig and Marc have authored 12 books, including the New York Times bestseller Me to We: Finding Meaning in a Material World. Their weekly columns are syndicated in over 30 newspapers across North America. Craig is the youngest-ever graduate from the Kellogg-Schulich Executive MBA program.
For his work to advance human rights, Craig has been awarded 15 honorary doctorates and degrees, and has received the Order of Canada, the Roosevelt Freedom From Fear Medal, the World Children’s Prize for the Rights of the Child, and the Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Award. His work has been featured through multiple appearances on 60 Minutes, as well as in National Geographic, TIME and The Economist.
He is the host of Discovery Channel Canada’s Cash Cab. He is one of Canada’s most accomplished stand-up comedians, starring in his own Just for Laughs Gala, as well as Comedy NOW!, on CTV and CBC’s, COMICS!. Adam was also featured on Comedy Central’s, Premium Blend in New York and CBS’s, Star Search in Los Angeles. Adam has performed at the Montreal, Vancouver, Winnipeg, Moncton and Sudbury Comedy Festivals. Currently, he tours both the U.S. and Canada with his live comedy and trivia show, The Adam Growe Quiz Show.
Adam is happy to take the stage for our event and navigate us through our impressive line up of speakers and performers.
Spencer’s charisma and dynamism captivate audiences every time he speaks. Whether addressing corporate leaders, nonprofits or the education world, listeners are mesmerized as Spencer describes his journey after losing both legs from the pelvis down at the age of five to last year, when he climbed, and summited, Mount Kilimanjaro using his hands and wheelchair. Spencer is a top-ranked keynoter, author of the best-selling book Standing Tall: My Journey, and star of the documentary Redefine Possible: The Story of Spencer West, which debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2012.
Spencer is loved by television and conference audiences alike for sharing his life lessons on how every individual or organization can tackle mountains and redefine possible
Hannah Alper is an 11-year-old activist who began blogging at age nine to share her growing knowledge and concern for the environment.
Hannah, whose blog explores topics including eco-friendly living, bullying and child labour, is confident before a crowd and on either side of the camera, having interviewed the likes of Craig Kielburger and Severn Suzuki.
An engaged global citizen, she believes that even the smallest things add up to make a real difference.
Craig Sharpe broke out on the music scene during Canadian Idol Season 4 at the age of 16. He was Runner-up. Since this competition he has been actively pursuing his music by singing across Canada at different functions and charities. During November of 2014 Craig travelled to Spain to record his upcoming CD which is reaching its final stages and will be released later this year.
Sacha is a Canadian Country Singer-Songwriter, Originally from Montreal, but grew up in the small town of Warkworth Ontario, where she attained her Country background. She is best known for her single “Stix N Stones”, an Anti-bullying anthem, which received radio play on CBC. This landed her the opportunity to start her school tour, and play many venues, showcases, Canada Day, Televised awards shows, National Anthem and half-time performances and much more.
Virgin radio posted her song on their anti-bullying site as “Rising Canadian Star” including a Much Music feature of her music video for “Stix N Stones” on their anti-bullying site. The current release of her School Tour Edition Album titled “Just Like You”, has increased her following from youth not only in Canada and U.S, but is having impact in the hearts of people internationally.
Sacha has performed in Texas and Nashville at, Blue Bird Cafe, Writers rounds, showcases including a radio showcase near the vicinity of The Grande Ole Opry. Discover more about Sacha and her music at www.IamSacha.com, and itunes.
Heather Skoll is an inspiring speaker who is passionate about youth and young adults finding their path in life. Heather is an advocate for Free the Children which has become a big part of her life, especially as Co-Chair of We Can Change the World Day. Heather is seen in the photo with Marc Kielburger, Co-Founder of Me to We and Free the Children, Maasai Warrior Steven, Husband Ken Alexander, and Maasai Warrior Jonathan on her recent trip to the Maasai Mara, Kenya. Heather has brought back stories and footage from the village of Oloirien, Kenya that We Can Change the World Day is supporting and will be presented at We Can Change the World Day 2.
Dedicated to helping others through volunteerism, the 17 year old social entrepreneur, motivational speaker and youth activist is passionate about inspiring and empowering young people across the globe to take action in support of local and global communities.
Since first becoming involved with Free The Children in Grade 4, Brennan has co-founded two philanthropic initiatives called Strength in Numbers and the Travel for Hope Fund, traveled to six countries spanning four continents on volunteer trips with Me To We and spoke to thousands of students and educators across Canada and the U.S.A. about the power of giving back. He founded Pledges for Change in 2013, the largest youth-run non-profit of its kind focused on harnessing the power of youth to take simple actions to change our world. Currently, Brennan serves as one of eight youth members on Free The Children’s Board of Directors from Canada, U.S.A., and the U.K. To date, he has helped raise over $100,000 for local and international charities. In June 2014, Brennan was recognized as one of Canada’s Top 20 Under 20.
As one of Canada’s Top 20 Under 20, Wali Shah is a 20 year old Canadian rapper/poet from Mississauga, Ontario. An honors graduate from Cawthra Park Secondary School, he is currently a student at the University of Toronto studying Social Sciences. As a speaker, Wali has raised over one million dollars for United Way’s community building efforts. As a performer, he has featured on MTV, perfomed with many well known artists such as Sarah McLachlan and Billy Talent. Most recently, he has freestyled with hip hop artist Kendrick Lamar.
Heather Baker is co-chair of We Can Change the World Day and A Lot of Inspiration. For over twelve years, Heather has shared her creative talents with hundreds of people through her own business, A Little Inspiration. Interior design, branding and marketing, a girls summer camp, art and her dedication to helping people use their creativity to create a change. Heather taps into her creative imagination and makes her visions come to life. We Can Change The World Day has been a wonderful way for her to inspire and engage youth, helping them to realize the benefits of helping others.
A lover of swords, writing, music, long hikes, and epic snowball fights, Mariette believes in changing the world with grace and pizzazz. As part of her mission to become a socially-conscious citizen, Mariette collaborates with, and engages youth in a diverse range of community and national projects. She is part of the awesome “behind-the-scenes” team for We Can Change the World Day 2. [Special shoutout to our youth volunteers!] Wanting to learn more, Mariette travelled to Kenya in December 2014 with Me to We. She is thrilled to share about her visit to Oloirien, and the impact of Free the Children’s “Adopt-a-Village” on the We Can Change the World Day 2 stage.
This group of performers is a multi-talented dance crew, and also inspiring dance teachers, rap singers and hard-core athletes!! They all individually have been featured in many movies, music videos, TV shows, such as Camp Rock.
The two brothers Dane “Tallup” and Dwayne “Boneless” conduct hip hop workshops all over the GTA in elementary and high schools, bringing the joy of music, movement, dance, self-confidence, coordination and fitness to students of all ages.
Caroline is a 17 year old girl who has been singing ever since she was a toddler. She is currently attending an arts based school majoring in the vocal program, and hopes to use her vocals and guitar to inspire others through the music she has written. She has always had a passion for philanthropy and can’t wait to share her song “Make A Change”.
OIAM started using their talents to change the world just a couple of years ago. Now after two songs on iTunes, many concerts, and tons of funds raised OIAM is here to play their song Change the World. Change the World was specifically written for we can change the world day. All proceeds of there song go to our the village olorien in Kenya. Ladies and gentlemen! here to play their very own song OIAM!!