top of page

Marc Kielburger | Humanitarian, Social Entrepreneur , Author and Speaker

I am excited to introduce Marc Kielburger, a prominent social entrepreneur and co-founder of Legacy+. With over three decades of experience, Marc has collaborated with major companies like Microsoft, Unilever, and Walgreens, and notable figures such as Oprah Winfrey, Richard Branson, and Sheryl Sandberg to drive meaningful social impact, connection and contribute to powerful legacies.

He co-authored the bestseller 'WEconomy along side Craig Kielburger and Holly Branson and has written 11 other books, including the New York Times bestseller 'Me to We'.

Photo credit: Marc Kielburger
Photo credit: Marc Kielburger

Marc's achievements include co-founding the O Ambassadors program with Oprah, working closely with Martin Luther King III on the Realizing the Dream initiative, and hosting over 130 motivational events with icons like Malala and the Dalai Lama.

A Harvard and Oxford graduate, and a member of the Order of Canada, Marc current project with Legacy+ focuses on using AI to amplify the impact of purpose-driven organizations, partnering with BCG X and Realize the Dream to create a specialized AI education and coaching platform.

Read his story and be inspired.

As a bestselling author and speaker, you have a powerful platform. How do you use storytelling and communication to engage younger generations in the importance of giving back to socio-economic and educational causes?

Storytelling is indeed a powerful tool for connecting with and inspiring people, especially across generations. We emphasize the emotional resonance of storytelling to bridge generational divides and foster deep connections between individuals and the causes they support.

We like to share real-life stories of individuals and communities whose lives have been profoundly transformed through education and service. These narratives bring abstract concepts like social justice and philanthropy to life, making them relatable and compelling. By highlighting the challenges and triumphs of people from diverse backgrounds, we aim to spark empathy and inspire actionable change.

Transparency is key in this process. We ensure that the stories we share are grounded in authenticity. This openness is essential for fostering genuine connections. Additionally, we leverage social media and interactive platforms to engage directly with people, particularly younger generations. These platforms provide a space for them to share their own stories, comment back, and become part of the larger narrative, sharing their experiences and aspirations, and becoming active participants in the narrative of change.

By combining emotional storytelling with strong communication, we create a powerful synergy that not only connects people to the causes they care about but also empowers them to become advocates and changemakers within their communities. This approach ensures that our efforts are inclusive, resonant, and impactful across all generations.

Photo credit: Marc Kielburger
Photo credit: Marc Kielburger

What drives you to give back?

My drive to give back is deeply rooted in a strong sense of responsibility and gratitude. I recognize the privilege of having opportunities and resources that many people around the world lack. With this privilege comes the duty to help others access similar opportunities. Witnessing the transformative impact of our efforts on individuals and communities strengthens my commitment. The joy and fulfillment that come from knowing we’ve made a positive difference in someone’s life are incredibly motivating.

It's about more than just giving back; it’s about contributing to a world where everyone has the chance to thrive and reach their full potential. By fostering compassion, unity, and action, we strive to create a ripple effect that touches lives and builds a brighter, more equitable future for all.

In doing so, we are not only helping individuals but also healing our world, addressing the deep-seated issues that divide us, and nurturing a global community where empathy and mutual support pave the way for lasting change. This sense of purpose is both external and internal, fueling our dedication to making a meaningful impact and creating a legacy of healing and growth.

Photo credit: Marc Kielburger
Photo credit: Marc Kielburger

What is one thing that a student taught you?

I often find inspiration in the stories of individuals who embody the values. One such story that continually resonates with me is that of Emma and Ashleigh, twin sisters whose journey from childhood to adolescence has been marked by a steadfast commitment to making a positive impact in their community.

I've known Emma and Ashleigh since they were in elementary school, and even then, their voices rang with purpose and their actions spoke volumes about their dedication to meaningful change. Their upbringing in a family deeply rooted in education provided a great start their social and emotional growth, guided by the unwavering belief that wellness must come first, especially in times of uncertainty.

In 2020, when the pandemic forced schools to close and upended routines for families across the country, Emma and Ashleigh took a different approach. While others scrambled to implement rigid schedules and lesson plans at home, they embraced a more fluid approach, prioritizing well-being and connection above all else( while of course still making time for schoolwork. Evening walks with their family became not just a means of exercise, but a space for expansive conversations and the birth of new ideas, driven by the two girls.

Their involvement in various community projects became a cornerstone of their activism, a platform through which they could channel their passion for helping others into tangible actions. From knitting scarves for the needy to organizing bake sales and lemonade stands for various causes, Emma and Ashleigh's commitment to service knew no bounds. Even amidst the isolation of lockdowns, they found ways to stay connected  and engaged with their friends and partners inservice, hosting virtual sessions and initiating projects that uplifted spirits during challenging times. From food drives to fundraising for local causes, when the world shutdown, it drove them to accomplish more.

But perhaps what struck me most about Emma and Ashleigh is their ability to find strength and resilience in their altruism. In the face of adversity, they didn't retreat inward; instead, they reached out, extending a hand of kindness to those in need.

As they prepare to embark on their university journey, I am filled with admiration and anticipation for the impact they will undoubtedly continue to make. While they've accomplished so much at a young age, I can only imagine the heights they will reach and the lives they will touch as they pursue their passions and aspirations.

Their story serves as a reminder of the transformative power of empathy and action. In a world filled with challenges and uncertainties, Emma and Ashleigh's unwavering dedication to making a difference reaffirms my belief in the boundless potential of the next generation to shape a brighter future for us all.

Photo credit: Marc Kielburger
Photo credit: Marc Kielburger

What are the barriers that keep donors from giving time/money?

Several barriers can deter donors from giving time or money. One major factor is a lack of trust in how their contributions will be used. Transparency and accountability are crucial in addressing this concern. For example, Charity Navigator and GuideStar are organizations that provide ratings and information on the financial health, accountability, and transparency of nonprofits, helping donors make informed decisions.

Another barrier is the perception that their contribution might be too small to make a difference. Educating donors on the collective impact of small actions can help overcome this. The concept of "micro-philanthropy" illustrates how small donations can aggregate to create significant change. For instance, crowdfunding platforms like GoFundMe and GlobalGiving enable numerous small donors to collectively fund projects, demonstrating the power of many small contributions coming together.

Additionally, people often feel they lack the time to volunteer or the financial resources to donate. Providing flexible opportunities for involvement and highlighting the various ways to contribute can make it easier for people to participate. Organizations like VolunteerMatch offer a wide range of volunteering opportunities that fit different schedules and skill sets, making it easier for people to find ways to contribute that align with their availability and interests.

By addressing these barriers through increased transparency, education on the impact of small contributions, and flexible involvement opportunities, we can encourage more people to give their time and resources to causes they care about.

Given Legacy+'s emphasis on customization, scale, and impact, how do you envision their approach influencing traditional business paradigms and inspiring others to prioritize purpose alongside profit?

Legacy+'s emphasis on customization, scale, and impact represents a paradigm shift in traditional business approaches. By offering a comprehensive process designed to unlock authentic purpose, we work with  organizations to integrate their mission into every aspect of their operations, from branding, sales to global development.

This approach challenges the conventional notion that profit and purpose are mutually exclusive. Instead, Legacy+ demonstrates that by aligning business strategies with meaningful social impact, companies can not only drive positive change but also achieve sustainable growth and success.

Our purpose-led transformations serves as a powerful example for other businesses, inspiring them to prioritize purpose alongside profit. Through diverse expertise and tailored solutions, Legacy+ shows that businesses can leverage their unique strengths to make a tangible difference in the world while also driving financial success.

As more organizations adopt this integrated approach, we can expect to see a shift in traditional business paradigms, with purpose-driven strategies becoming the new standard for sustainable growth. Legacy+ is leading the way in this movement, demonstrating that customization, scale, and impact are not just buzzwords but essential components of a truly successful business model.


1000 Spotlights: Why We Give reflects our mission of giving back, to mentor and to inspire those around us. Through a series of interview questions, we explore intrinsic motivations behind why we give, and talk with those inclined to make a difference in the lives of others. If you are involved in charitable activities, volunteer and paid academic engagements or in community service, we want to talk to you.

In June 2023, recognized 1000 Spotlights as one of the top motivational blogs on the web. This magazine is committed to featuring individuals who are making a positive impact, without any pay-to-play agenda. Write to us to nominate someone exceptional who is making a difference in extraordinary ways.


Get Our Updates

Join our email list and get access to monthly interviews in your inbox.

Thanks for submitting!

bottom of page