John Wood, Founder of Room to Read, founded U-Go in 2022 to support young women in low-income countries to pursue university and higher education.
John launched U-Go after meeting many Room to Read Girl Scholars whose parents were grateful that their daughters would finish secondary school, but frustrated that they would not be able to continue on to university. For many years he and a small group of friends had personally bankrolled a few dozen scholarships, but he felt this was “too little and too random” and that a more strategic and scalable model was needed to “hand out sledgehammers to shatter this remaining glass ceiling“.
John Wood is the founder of multi-awarded organization Room to Read. At 35, John left an executive track at Microsoft and discovered a passion for helping children and promoting literacy. His award-winning memoir, “Leaving Microsoft to Change the World” was described by Publishers’ Weekly as “an infectiously inspiring read, Amazon named it “one of the Top Ten Business Narratives of 2006” and Hudson Booksellers voted it to their “Top Ten Nonfiction” list. The book has since been translated into 23 languages and is popular with entrepreneurs, philanthropists and educators. John’s book is called “Creating Room to Read: A Story of Hope in the Battle for Global Literacy” has been endorsed by Bill Clinton, Melinda Gates and Sheryl Sandberg. His latest book “Purpose, Incorporated: Turning Cause Into Your Competitive Advantage” has also received praise and recommendations after its release in late 2017.
John Wood’s illustrious resume includes the following details:
- MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management (Northwestern University)
- a bachelor’s degree magna cum laude in finance (University of Colorado)
- honorary doctorates (McGill University, Westminster College, Wofford College and University of San Francisco)
- three years on the Advisory Board of the Clinton Global Initiative
- lecturer at Harvard Business School, the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and at NYU’s Wagner School of Public Policy
- former Board member of the College Advising Corps, Net Impact and the One Acre Fund
- on the Advisory Boards of Global Citizen Year, Possible Health, and the “Getting to Carnegie” competition
- five-time winner of Fast Company Magazine’s Social Capitalist Award
- one of Goldman Sachs’ 25 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs
- named an Asian Hero by Time Magazine
- one of the Young Global Leaders by the World Economic Forum
- Henry Crown Fellow at the Aspen Institute
- first-ever recipient of the Microsoft Alumnus of the Year medal
- awarded by Queen Silvia of Sweden with theWorld’s Children’s Prize
- Asia Society’s “Service to Society” awardee
- given the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Tribeca Film Festival
Contact us if you would like John Wood to inspire at your next conference.