He is CEO and founder of Liberty United, which recycles illegal guns from American cities into jewelry that funds programs to stop gun violence and save the lives of children growing up in neighborhoods under the constant threat of gun violence. To date these programs have funded programs helping 3,000 at-risk children across the United States. He is CEO and co-founder of Fonderie 47, a venture that transforms AK47s from Africa into rare jewelry, watches, accessories and art. Sales fund disarmament in Africa. Fonderie 47 has removed more than 70,000 assault rifles from circulation in African conflict zones.
Thum previously founded and was president of Ethos Water, which was acquired by Starbucks. Thum served as Vice President of Starbucks where he ran several businesses for the company. Ethos has donated over $13.8 million to fund water access for over half a million people around the world.
Thum is the founder and president of the non-profit Giving Water, which has helped over 6,000 schoolchildren in Kenya to get safe water access.
Thum received the For the Love of Children Award from Children’s Home and Aid of Illinois in 2017. He was recognized in 2013 by Town & Country, as one of the top 50 Philanthropists in the US. He received the Writing Wrongs Award at Basel World in 2013. He received The Disruptive Innovation Award from the Tribeca Film Festival and the Disruptor Foundation in 2012. Levi Strauss, UBS and AT Cross have featured Thum’s work and personal story in their advertising and marketing campaigns. He speaks regularly about entrepreneurship, corporate responsibility, and how to change the world.
- The Imperative to Reduce Gun Violence
Peter Thum discusses his work since 2009 to reduce the impact of assault rifles in Africa and to reduce gun violence in the U.S.A. He tells the story of starting the brands Fonderie 47 and Liberty United, which transform illegal guns and bullets into high end jewelry, watches and other accessories. His companies, which have funded the removal and destruction of over 34,000 assault rifles in Africa and fund not for profits working to reduce gun violence in American communities.
- The Ethos Water Story: The Keys Behind Successful Social Entrepreneurialism
The Keys Behind Successful Social Entrepreneurialism: 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 eight-year odyssey starting in the townships of South Africa, to brokering an acquisition by Starbucks, and finally running Ethos today 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 upside of working toward the common good.
- Leading Forward - The Role of Social Responsibility in the Corporate World
As corporations play an ever-expanding role in our lives, it is now more imperative than ever before 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.