Thomas Kolster Keynote Speaker

  • Marketing activist, branding expert and sustainability professional
  • Founder of the global Goodvertising movement, which promotes using advertising for positive change
  • Author of two books, 'Goodvertising' and 'The Hero Trap'

Thomas Kolster's Biography

Thomas Kolster is a marketing activist and a seasoned branding and sustainability professional. He is the founder of the global Goodvertising movement and an excellent speaker on branding, sustainability and creating positive change.

Putting people and the planet first is at the heart of everything Thomas does. Through the Goodvertising movement, he has inspired the world of advertising to take a step in a better direction, that focuses on purpose and making a positive impact.  He has advised several businesses, including Fortune 500 companies, start-ups, governments and non-profits.   Thomas is a dedicated entrepreneur and change agent and founded impact platforms Cph:Change as well as Wheregoodgrows.

He is the author of two books. His first book, ‘Goodvertising: Creative Advertising that Cares‘, explores advertising as a source for positive social or environmental change. His latest book, ‘The Hero Trap: How to Win in a Post-Purpose Market by Putting People in Charge‘ is based on the inherent human truth that we wish to be in control of our own lives and happiness. In the book, Thomas explains how giving people greater power within organisations will increase their motivation and happiness, whilst driving business growth and innovation.  He has also written for The Guardian, Adweek, The Drum, amongst other publications.

As a keynote speaker, Thomas has appeared in over 70 countries, and appeared at events such as TEDx, SXSW, D&AD & Sustainable Brands. He has been a judge on international award shows including Cannes Lions and D&AD.

Speaking Topics:

  • Purpose is failing, how great brands win by putting people in charge.Thomas explains how leaders and organisations should stop putting themselves first when it comes to purpose. People are truly motivated to act when they’re in charge of their own life and happiness.
  • How to lead with meaning in a post-purpose market. In an over-crowded purpose market, people are no longer buying what you make or why you make it, but who you can help them become. You have to help people live more simple, meaningful, independent and empowered lives, if you want to deserve people’s trust.
  • How leaders become a catalyst for positive change by asking: WHO can you help people become? A new type of leadership is needed that’s not simply about blowing the corporate purpose trumpet but about being a platform for growth and personal development. Thomas shows how read leaders make people believe in themselves and their ability to bring about change.
  • Marketing is from Mars, Sustainability is from Venus. An insurmountable wall seems to exist between sustainability and marketing. Surveys show people want brands to solve some of society’s biggest challenges such as unemployment and climate change, so why is it still so difficult to get it right? Successes and failures of brands are explored to avoid an interplanetary collision on your next campaign.
  • Sustainability as a catalyst for better. Sustainability has come out of the tree-hugging, do-good closet and is fuelling a creative renaissance to make things better rather than a beauty contest based on incremental or advertised made-up differences. Learn how to expand your creative canvas and put into play environmental, health, social and other tangible, world-bettering factors that can be an earthquake under well established, but oblivious businesses.


“Your ideas and insights have brought us a different point view of our 30-year journey to create brands that help consumers make more sustainable choices” – Tankut Tumaoglu, Chairman, P&G Istanbul

“If you are struggling to motivate your corporation in acting more sustainably, or just need that dose of inspiration, Thomas is definitely the right person. Amazing storytelling skills that cuts all corporate bs. His examples, stories and presentations keeps everyone hooked even in this challenging Zoom era we are living in. I’ve never been so praised for organising such a mind blowing webinar. Thank you Thomas!” – Debora Zanette, Marketing Expert EMENA, Pernod Ricard

“Thomas Kolster has been our conference moderator and speaker in Sustainable Brands İstanbul for 5 years. With his charming and fun personality, wonderful presentation skills and deep knowledge of marketing, goodvertising and sustainability, Thomas’s contribution to our conference each year is precious. No wonder why he is one of the most popular speakers worldwide” – Semra Sevinc, CEO, Sustainable Brands Turkey

“Thomas’ full-house session on the Adobe Stage was a magical highlight for all attendees, and his voice resonated the Truman Brewery in the days that followed. It was an absolute privilege and honour to have him as part of the festival!” – Tim Lindsay, CEO, D&AD

Read More

Videos of Thomas Kolster

APAN FutureLab Keynote: The Hero Trap by Thomas Kolster, Sept 23, Lisbon
APAN FutureLab Keynote: The Hero Trap by Thomas Kolster, Sept 23, Lisbon
MASTERCLASS - Avoiding The Hero Trap, building a transformative brand
MASTERCLASS - Avoiding The Hero Trap, building a transformative brand
The Hero Trap. Copenhagen Book Launch Keynote. Thomas Kolster.
The Hero Trap. Copenhagen Book Launch Keynote. Thomas Kolster.
Thomas Kolster at SB'19 Detroit: The Hero Trap
Thomas Kolster at SB'19 Detroit: The Hero Trap
The Hero Trap, interview Thomas Kolster, Purpose Day 2019
The Hero Trap, interview Thomas Kolster, Purpose Day 2019

Books by Thomas Kolster

Goodvertising: Creative Advertising that Cares
The Hero Trap: How to Win in a Post-Purpose Market by Putting People in Charge

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