Writing is only his day job: Dave Eggers moonlights as a publisher, philanthropist and advocate for students and teachers.

Why you should listen

Dave Eggers' first book, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Since then he's written two more novels and launched an independent publishing house, which publishes books, a quarterly literary journal (McSweeney's), a DVD-based review of short films (Wholpin), a monthly magazine (The Believer) and the Voice of Witness project.

Meanwhile, Eggers has established himself as a philanthropist and teacher-at-large. In 1998 he launched 826 Valencia, a San Francisco-based writing and tutoring lab for young people, which has since opened six more chapters across the United States. He has extended his advocacy of students by supporting their educators, instituting a monthly grant for exceptional Bay Area teachers. His TED Prize wish is for more people to follow him into getting involved in your local school -- and talk about it -- through the website Once Upon a School.

What others say

“Many writers, having written a first best-seller, might see it as a nice way to start a career. He started a movement instead.” — Time

Dave Eggers’ TED talk