Founder and CEO of charity: water | World Economic Forum Young Global Leader
Scott Harrison has helped to bring clean drinking water to over 6.3 million people worldwide. The founder and CEO of charity: water, one of the most well-known philanthropic organisations in the world, shares how his approach to running a non-profit — from innovation to strategy to partnerships — can be applied to any business to help create outstanding success.
Scott spent almost ten years as a nightclub promoter in New York City. When he was 28, he decided it was time for a drastic change, and left to spend a year volunteering as a photojournalist aboard a hospital ship off the coast of Liberia, West Africa.
During this time, Scott witnessed levels of poverty and illness he never knew existed, and came to understand that many of the infections and diseases his group treated were waterborne, and could have been prevented if people had access to clean drinking water. When he returned to New York City in 2006, he established a small team to develop his non-profit, and got charity: water off the ground.
Since then, with the help of more than 1 million donors worldwide, charity: water has raised more than $320 million and funded nearly 30,000 water projects in 26 countries. When completed, those projects will provide over 8.5 million people with clean, safe drinking water.
Scott has been recognized on Fortune magazine’s list of 40 Under 40, Forbes’ Impact 30, and Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People in Business, where he earned the #10 spot. He is currently a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader and author of the New York Times Bestselling book Thirst.