Peter Thum is a recognized pioneer in social enterprise. He founded and was President of Ethos Water through its acquisition by Starbucks. To date, Ethos Water has served hundreds of millions of customers and granted $13.8 million to provide water, sanitation and hygiene education to over half a million people worldwide.
Thum is the founder and CEO of Liberty United and of Fonderie 47; ventures that transform illegal guns into jewelry, watches, accessories and art to fund programs to stop gun violence.
Liberty United programs protect, educate and uplift the lives of thousands of at-risk children who are growing up with gun violence across America. Fonderie 47 has funded the destruction of more than 70,000 assault rifles in African war zones.
Thum is a regular public speaker and consults corporations and global organizations on various strategic issues.
Thum received the For the Love of Children Award from Children’s Home and Aid of Illinois in 2017. He received The Disruptive Innovation Award from the Tribeca Film Festival and the Disruptor Foundation in 2012. He and his brands have been featured in advertising and marketing for the Cross Pen Company, UBS and Levi Strauss.
Thum and his ventures have been covered by numerous media outlets, including: The New York Times, The Today Show, USA Today, Fortune, Fast Company, Forbes, NBC, CBS, ABC, CBC, Fox News, Fox Business, TED.com, The Chicago Tribune, The Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, NPR, PRI, Robb Report, Departures, Worth, GQ, Vogue, and Elle.
Early in his career Thum was a consultant at McKinsey & Company and a marketer at Ernest & Julio Gallo Winery. He earned an MBA from Northwestern University and BA from Claremont McKenna College.
From thriving in a competitive business environment to showing the importance of finding your passion in life, Thum inspires audiences with his remarkable story of seeing wrongs in the world and using his drive and business acumen to right them.
As corporations play an ever-expanding role in our lives, it is imperative now more than ever that they take the steps necessary to improve the lives of their employees, their consumers, their communities and of society at large. A dedicated social entrepreneur who has successfully established businesses that are driven by a social mission of helping those in need, Peter Thum delivers lessons on the importance of corporate social responsibility from which any organization can learn and benefit. From ethical branding and leveraging philanthropy, to emboldening a corporate message, to building a culture where giving back is a standard operating procedure; Thum helps companies of all sizes to understand the steps they need to complete to put social responsibility at the core of their mission and performance.
Countries all over the world are experiencing a water crisis. Millions of people in developing countries lack clean and safe drinking water. As the founder of Ethos™ Water, Peter Thum turned his idea of getting clean water to children into a successful social venture that has changed an industry, generated millions of dollars and changed lives. Thum talks through his odyssey from the townships of South Africa to brokering an acquisition by Starbucks, and finally to running Ethos as an international brand and social movement. Thum’s story is one of passion, perseverance and success. His story motivates people to dream big and turn thoughts into action. He takes audiences on a tour of the world and shares the importance of addressing the world water crisis, how to build a brand from the ground up and the personal rewards of working toward the common good.
Each year more than 17,000 American children fall victim to gun violence. It’s an epidemic. Peter Thum tells the harrowing story of tackling one of the worlds’ most complex and difficult issues. Thum tells the story of working war zones of Africa and the most violence neighborhoods in America to build the two brands and a consumer movement to address these problems. By transforming thousands of illegal guns from battlefields and police forces in America into high-end jewelry, watches, accessories and art Thum has created a path toward peace. Since 2009, his companies have funded not for profits working help thousands of at-risk children in America’s most dangerous communities and they have funded the removal and destruction of over 70,000 assault rifles in African war zones.