Paul Kronenberg

Social Change Engineer and co-founder of Braille Without Borders & kanthari

Knighted by the Queen of the Netherlands for his work, the multi-award-winning ‘social-change engineer’ Paul Kronenberg is a warm, uplifting and deeply compelling speaker who impresses audiences with his belief that real change starts from within, and with the right technology and support, then spreads rapidly from the individual out into society.

In his work as co-founder of Braille Without Borders and the Indian social enterprise kanthari, Paul and his team use technology to initiate change, whilst creating access to skill-sets for those who want to make a difference in their societies. Leadership training is provided for people who have overcome the most gruesome and unbelievable life challenges, yet who still have the strength to become forces of good instead of victims of circumstance. They are survivors of poverty, discrimination, war, exclusion or disability who, because of that, start impactful social ventures.

For Paul, real, lasting social change depends above all on people. In a world of finite resources where we need a paradigm shift about the way we live and consume, it is the people who drive it that determine the success and sustainability of social change. 

His work is rooted very much in his own experience. As a teenager who for six years had no skin on his back, he hit rock bottom, but as he got older and earned respect for his engineering skills, his self-confidence grew. This became the catalyst, or what Paul calls ‘the pinching point’, that ultimately pushed him to help others to do the same.  

An understated but dynamic visionary, Paul understands the power of technology to effect and support lasting social change, but fundamentally he believes in the power of people to use their experiences, no matter how awful, as the catalyst for positive action leading to wider societal change. 

  • balancing the drive for technological advancement with respect for human skill
  • change from Within – the story of kanthari and of how people who have been marginalised have become forces for good instead of victims of circumstance
  • the need for the world to switch from a linear to a circular economy. This is where a solution for a more sustainable future lies.
  • using your experience of overcoming adversity as a source of positive energy and strength.

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