Founder and CEO of charity:water and social entrepreneur
About Scott Harrison
Scott spent almost 10 years as a nightclub promoter in New York City before leaving to volunteer on a hospital ship off the coast of Liberia, West Africa as a volunteer photojournalist. Returning home to New York City two years later, he founded the non-profit organization charity: water in 2006.
Turning his full attention to the global water crisis and the world’s 663 million people without clean water to drink, he created public installations and innovative online fundraising platforms to spread international awareness of the issue.
In ten years, with the help of more than one million donors worldwide, charity: water has raised over $250 million and funded over 23,000 water projects in 24 countries. When completed, those projects will provide over 7 million people with clean, safe drinking water.
Scott was recently recognized in Fortune Magazine’s 40 under 40 list, the Forbes Magazine Impact 30 list, and was recently #10 in Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People in Business issue. He is currently a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader.
Scott lives in New York City with his wife Viktoria, son Jackson and daughter Emma.
The charity:water Story
In 2004, Scott Harrison left his life as a nightclub promoter in New York City and signed up for volunteer service with a humanitarian organization offering free medical care to the world’s poorest nations. Astonished by the conditions in his new surroundings, Harrison founded the non-profit organization charity:water, which uses public installations and innovative online fundraising platforms to fund over 22,000 water projects in 24 countries. In this visual keynote, Harrison tells the full story of how he transformed himself from a nightclub promoter into a successful philanthropist, and how his innovative value-driven movement changed the non-profit world.
Scott Harrison believes that a combination of innovation, motivation, and radical transparency is key to inspiring generosity. He runs charity:water like a startup: by using story-telling and branding to make it one of the most-recognized nonprofits in the country, and technology to prove and monitor the success of their projects around the world. In this keynote, Harrison shares the strategies that make charity:water successful, and how to overcome obstacles and challenges with creativity and innovation.
Praise for Scott Harrison
Praise for Thirst
Thirst is a powerful reminder of the difference one person can make in the lives of millions of others, if only they surrender to putting others before themselves. What a gift Scott Harrison and his vision are to the world—to provide clean drinking water to every single person. May we all value people the way Scott has—and may we leave such a life-giving legacy.— Christine Caine, founder of A21 and Propel Women, author of Unexpected
If you’ve ever dreamed of changing careers or changing the world, read this book.— Michael Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg LP and former mayor of New York City
Scott Harrison’s Thirst is a hope-filled book about finding your purpose in life and pursuing it against all odds. From the many unbelievable stories Harrison shares from the field, to the moments when charity: water’s survival was in question, this book will inspire you to believe that you are more than the obstacles life has put in your path, and the world is more generous than it often seems.— Arianna Huffington, founder of HuffPost, founder & CEO of Thrive Global
This book does for the soul what water does for a parched throat. Scott Harrison shares his extraordinary transformation from party animal into the visionary leader of one of the world’s most creative and crucial charities. His story will inspire you to think bigger, feel deeper, and give more.— Adam Grant, New York Times bestselling author of Give and Take, Originals, and Option B with Sheryl Sandberg
Books by Scott Harrison
Media About Scott Harrison
- 212 572-2013
- Scott Harrison travels from New York, NY
“Thirst is a story about all of us. In sharing his own remarkable journey, Scott shows us how to find the extraordinary in the ordinary, how to find hope in despair, and how simple acts of generosity can transform everything from what we believe about ourselves to how we connect with each other. In the end, Thirst is about what matters most. Love.”
—Brené Brown, Ph.D., author of the #1 New York Times bestseller, Braving the Wilderness