TOMS Shoes Inc. Founder Blake Mycoskie to Speak at MSU

The New Rules for Tomorrow's Business: A Student's Guide to Making a Difference in the World

  • Tuesday, November 3, 2:30 p.m.
  • University Hall Conference Center

Since founding TOMS Shoes in 2006, Blake Mycoskie has given more than 130,000 pairs of shoes to children in need and emerged as a thought leader in the area of socially conscious business.

An entrepreneur with four businesses under his belt, Blake Mycoskie was struck by the impoverished children he met while on vacation in Argentina a few years ago, and conceived an innovative solution to help. Unlike non-profits that are beholden to donor support, TOMS is a sustainable, for-profit company with a simple business model: For every pair you purchase, TOMS will give a pair of shoes to a child in need. One for One. There are no percentages or formulas, just a simple “Buy One, Give One” promise.

In May 2006, The Los Angeles Times profiled Blake's efforts in a front page article, and soon after, Daily Candy and Vogue did stories about TOMS. Today, TOMS are sold in more than 500 stores in the United States and around the world. Not just a socially conscious company, TOMS has been recognized for its environmental efforts and progressive use of material.

Blake has been featured in TIME, Vogue, People, The Los Angeles Times, O Magazine, The Today Show, and The New York Times. In 2007, First Lady Laura Bush awarded Blake with the prestigious People's Design, and in 2008 Ken Kokin, co-producer of The Usual Suspects, created a documentary about TOMS that premiered at the 2008 Tribeca Film Festival.

While not running one of the fastest growing shoe companies in the world, Blake enjoys sharing his experiences with business and philanthropic leaders. Among many engagements, Blake has spoken at the TED Conference, the Aspen Ideas Festival, and the Clinton Global Initiative University.

Blake is discovering new connections between profits and people, and between financial success and philanthropy. Like the dual mission of his company—to improve the lives of children and to improve the way business is done—his presentations are bursting with innovative, socially conscious concepts for the next phase of business, and with his personal success story that will inspire people to take the next steps toward making the world a better place.