michael sheldrick speaking

Michael Sheldrick Keynote Speaker

  • Policy Entrepreneur, Co-Founder and Chief Policy, Impact and Government Affairs Officer for Global Citizen.
  • Finalist for 2017 Young Commonwealth Person of the Year.
  • Co-Producer of Guinness World Record-winning virtual concert One World: Together At Home.

Michael Sheldrick's Biography

Michael Sheldrick is a policy entrepreneur and Co-Founder and Chief Policy, Impact and Government Affairs Officer for Global Citizen.

He leads Global Citizen’s campaigns to rally support from governments, businesses and foundations to get the world on track to end extreme poverty. He is a policy entrepreneur and has worked on campaigns globally with artists such as Beyoncé, Coldplay, Idris and Sabrina Elba, Lady Gaga, Miley Cyrus, Priyanka Chopra, Rihanna and Usher, as well as and world leaders including Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, Barbados’ Prime Minister Mia Mottley, former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, and former Australian Prime Ministers Julia Gillard and Kevin Rudd.

He has co-produced some of the world’s largest social impact campaigns and events such as the annual Global Citizen Festival in Central Park, New York, the Guinness World Record-winning virtual concert One World: Together At Home, and the centennial celebration of Nelson Mandela (Mandela 100).

As well as reaching millions of people in over 150 countries, these campaigns have helped secure more than US$40 billion towards local and regional organizations providing access to lifesaving medical treatment, sanitation, education, equity and empowerment, and climate residency efforts. Amongst other awards, One World received Guinness World Records for most money raised for charity by a remote music festival.

He has spoken on policy advocacy, sustainable development, corporate responsibility at numerous conferences/summits around the world.

He was named as a finalist for 2017 Young Commonwealth Person of the Year and is also a board member for the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens, and is on the Leadership Council of aable, a financial technology company which connects compassionate investors to underbanked people across the world.

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Michael Sheldrick's Speaking Topics

The Pop Meets Policy Model: How to be a Policy Entrepreneur and Set The Agenda

Given the enormous challenges now facing humanity, the need has never been greater for public policy innovations at all levels of government: local, state, national and international. Influencing government agendas to promote innovative policies and ideas is the role of policy entrepreneurship. What attributes and skills are required for the type of effective policy entrepreneurship that catalyzes change and creates impact? In this presentation, Michael shares lessons and insights from over a decade of shaping public policy and government agendas at the highest levels. Having worked with presidents and prime ministers, top business leaders, advocates, and well known artists from around the world, Michael has run successful campaigns that have helped deliver more than $40 billion and impacted over 1 billion lives. He breaks down Global Citizen’s innovative “pop and policy” approach for translating policy ideas into public policy and the successful elements needed to break through the noise and secure the attention of world leaders.

Navigating and Steering Change in Unchartered Territory: Lessons from Covid-19 and Ukraine

Since 2020, the Pandemic has disrupted the way organisations achieve their mission and purpose. As the world enters a ‘new normal,’ beset by new crises, organisations continue to be disrupted by ongoing pandemic flare-ups, supply chain shortages and new workplace expectations about flexibility and work-life balance. In this presentation, Michael shares the lessons gained from his experiences and front row insights helping to mobilise billions of dollars for social causes during this age of crises: from the Covid-19 Pandemic to the war in Ukraine. Prior to 2020, Global Citizen, the organization Michael helped co-found over a decade ago, was known for its large in person social cause music festivals. From New York to Mumbai, Hamburg to Johannesburg, Global Citizen has produced some of the world’s largest and most impactful events. Yet in 2020, the organization faced an existential crisis at a time when its work was needed more than ever. As Michael became one of the first amongst his friends and family to get covid in March 2020, and with its plans for in-person festivals shelved, Global Citizen grappled with how to pivot and support the World Health Organization’s pandemic relief efforts. In the span of just a few weeks, the organization produced the largest show in its history with over 100 musicians engaged, 150+ countries reached and over $127M mobilised. In the years following, Global Citizen has applied the lessons it has learnt to registering voters in the US, addressing vaccine inequity, securing support for climate change and most recently supporting Ukrainian refugee efforts. In this presentation, Michael distills the lessons gained from the last 3 years and the key takeaways for leaders looking to create change in this global age of uncertainty.

The Corporate Citizen: How Purpose in Business can Protect both People and Planet

The latest UN reports all point to dangerous and out of control climate change unless we urgently change course. Meanwhile, after decades of unprecedented decline, poverty is rising at an alarming rate. The scale and speed of action needed requires the active involvement and engagement of businesses around the world. Exactly how to do this in an authentic and engaging way however while keeping a multitude of stakeholders onboard, is easier said than done. In this talk, Michael outlines meaningful actions businesses can take in order to respond to the greatest challenges of our time while responding to the needs of their stakeholders. Working closely with c-suite level leaders of some of the world’s biggest businesses, Michael has helped secure dozens of large scale corporate commitments to sustainable development in the areas of climate change, equity, healthcare and economic empowerment. There are lessons as to what worked and what partnerships didn’t survive, as well as some of the pitfalls and mistakes to avoid.

Creating Change in a Polarised and Divided World

Both between and within organizations, division and polarisation has seen a marked increase in recent years with the potential to derail and paralyse organisations from achieving their mission and potential. In this presentation, Michael shares his own experiences in navigating a polarised environment while never forgetting his organization’s true north. With case studies and personal examples, Michael shares how courage, authenticity, integrity, transparency and discipline are critical ingredients to an organization’s success or failure. From the invasion of Ukraine, through to corporate action on climate change, through to working with policymakers with different views, Michael shows how change can be made and people won over in an age of division.

Pop Meets Policy - a Global Citizen Story

How to use popular culture to galvanize support and drive people towards meaningful action, and ultimately impact based on 10 years of heading up Global Citizen’s impact and policy team.

From Perth to New York, and the Power of Education and Inspiration

Inspired by his high school teacher who took the time to teach in a different way, Michael went from being the bottom kid in class to graduating in the top 1%. It was then another teacher who encouraged him to put his skills to good use and make a difference in the world. Michael’s gratitude for the education opportunities he had is what inspires him today in Global Citizen’s mission to end extreme poverty.

A New Roadmap for Ending Poverty and Addressing Climate Change

From vaccine nationalism to the war in Ukraine, it is clear that our current approaches in global cooperation are failing. Drawing on his insights from the last decade working alongside the UN, governments including that of President Zelenskyy and organizations at the grassroots from Poland to Nigeria, Michael proposes outlines a new way forward for addressing the key challenges of our time.

Revolutionizing Philanthropy and Addressing the Giving Pledge Bottleneck

The world is seeing record levels of poverty while at the same time unprecedented levels of wealth amongst the world’s wealthiest. Despite these trends philanthropic giving has with a few notable exceptions not seen the increases much needed. Even those who pledged to give away at least 50% of their wealth are not giving at a rate that will see this promise achieved. Michael unpacks some of the reasons for this and proposes a new innovative model for resolving this “Giving Pledge bottleneck,” including through the new Global Citizen Impact Funds that combines result-based giving and impact investing.

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Videos of Michael Sheldrick

Can a digital movement end global poverty? | Michael Sheldrick | TEDxPerth
Can a digital movement end global poverty? | Michael Sheldrick | TEDxPerth
It's Now or Never: inspiring global action to protect the planet
It's Now or Never: inspiring global action to protect the planet
Michael Sheldrick in conversation with Alice Aedy
Michael Sheldrick in conversation with Alice Aedy
BKMC and Global Citizen Team Up for Agricultural Adaptation Teaser
BKMC and Global Citizen Team Up for Agricultural Adaptation Teaser

Articles, Media & Podcasts

Comments & Testimonials

Michael Sheldrick is a remarkably insightful speaker who often juxtaposes facts with statistics captivating the imagination of his audiences. Michael has a unique ability of simplifying complex issues and inspiring action in simple and practical ways. He is also a profoundly good story teller and connects with his audiences in a very engaging manner. He typically challenges the status quo and drives the audience to arrive at novel conclusions. I have listened to Michael speak in small intimate settings as well large audiences. Irrespective of the crowd size Michael connects with his audience from the start to finish. I have listened speakers from all over world and typically I am hard to impress, but over the years I have been impressed by Michael’s profound ability to keep the subject matter relevant, uplifting, entertaining and the same serious. Whether it is seeking to inspire action, understanding the impact of climate change or accessing the impact unfair economic policies on developing countries, Michael will bring his wealth knowledge to every conversation, provoking one’s thoughts and stimulating progress.
Arrey Obenson, former Secretary-General, Junior Chamber International, CEO of the International Institute, Missouri
The sign of a good speaker is to first be a good listener and to focus more on what the audience needs to hear rather than what the speaker wants to say. Pushing words out for the sake of speaking is the surest way to disengage an audience. Unlike anyone I have met, Mick listens to people intently ahead of time, seeks to understand what they need to know and hear in order to be moved by his words, and adapts his message and approach if he needs to in the moment as he reads the room. Mick is a naturally effective speaker, exhibiting a casual, yet powerful presence. He breaks the medium immediately with his words and his inviting aura. When Mick begins to speak, he is already operating with the currency of trust with the audience because he carries with him on stage a reputation as a person of immense character and deep compassion for human life.
Devry Boughner Vorwerk, Arthur W Page Society Annual Conference
As one of the co-organizers of several international meetings such as the UN South-South Cooperation meeting in Antalya as well as MIKTA G20 side event and the Bosphorus Summit in Istanbul, I have invited Michael Sheldrick to Turkey as a speaker. Michael has proven to be one of the best speakers on the topics he addressed ranging from sustainable development, poverty, girls education, migration and refugees. As a Co-Founder of Global Citizen, a global advocacy organization for SDG implementation, Michael is a good storyteller dwelling into real life cases of economic and social injustice and talks about the stories of those individuals and institutions who inspire people and create positive impact. He engages with his audience with an exquisite skill of being able to generate empathy and understanding towards the people who suffer from extreme poverty, lack of access to education, health services and livelihoods across the world. Michael is a dealmaker between governments, civil society and corporations. His speeches are rich with examples of multistakeholder partnerships that have created much desired positive change in the lives of disadvantaged people in the world.
Mustafa Osman Turan, Turkish Ambassador to Bangladesh, Organizer of the Bosphorus Summit
Michael is one of those rare breeds in that he makes big vision become reality. I’ve known him many years now and am always struck by the way no challenge is insurmountable to him. He has that knack of seeing the big problem and then working out how he can bring people together to fix it. We so need more big thinkers and do-ers like Michael - he inspires and encourages us all to take that big leap.
James Lush, ABC Perth Presenter, CEO
Michael is an incredible human being leading a global movement that inspires people around the world. It was a privilege hearing him in such an intimate setting! I’m always surprised that Australia doesn’t celebrate our innovators or hero’s here at home even when they play at the highest levels on the world stage. I was incredibly grateful for his personal relationship with Michele as it made the conversation much more personal and gave it that “only in YPO” feel! Personally- it was the single best YPO event I have EVER attended in 11 years!
Young Presidents’ Organization

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