Blake Mycoskie is getting ready for a big day at Harvard on Thursday. The Toms founder and chief shoe-giver will receive the “Next Generation Award” from Chelsea Clinton during a special ceremony at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
The award, established on the occasion of the school’s 100th anniversary, honors an individual age 40 or under whose leadership and commitment to health as a human right inspires young people.
Clinton, vice chair of the Clinton Foundation, received the honor last year. At tomorrow’s event, she will speak about the Clinton Foundation’s public health initiatives and then pass the torch to Mycoskie, who will discuss his social-entrepreneurship programs.
Toms’ “One for One” vision has gone from shoes to eyewear to coffee to its most recent iteration, bags. Last month, Mycoskie was in New York with Christy Turlington Burns of Every Mother Counts to debut Toms’ new bag collection and spotlight the mission.
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Of his decision to expand into new areas, including coffee, Mycoskie told FN recently: “Our focus is on what we can do to make an impact on the world. We think about categories in all the places [in need] where we give our shoes. It helps us leverage relationships in the countries where we work. We use this as the cornerstone of our retail strategy, as we are in all Whole Foods in America. It’s a $12 bag of coffee, so the specialty item further elevates our brand. It’s been a fun and disruptive thing to do, but our core focus will still be shoes, bags and eyewear. We have so much momentum in footwear that we don’t want to take our eyes off the prize.”