Book Andrew for a speaking engagement


If Tolstoy Ran Google: How to Innovate Like a Great Artist

Nobody knows more about innovation than the great artists from the past who created products so powerful that they’ve transformed countless lives, changed the course of civilization, and stood the test of time. What were their secrets, and how can today’s business leaders apply them to their own organizations? Internationally recognized author, University of Virginia literature professor, and founder of one of the country’s most original and celebrated college courses, Andrew Kaufman, will share four key lessons about innovation gleaned from the creative giants of world literature as well as his lifelong journey with them: the importance of embracing failure as the key to success; creating boldly amid uncertainty; harnessing the power of your authentic voice; and leading with compassion. The audience will come away inspired and enlightened, and will not look at either innovation or art in the same way again.


The Inmate, the Student, and Tolstoy: a Recipe for Making a Difference and Changing Lives

In this keynote renowned author, University of Virginia literature professor, and educational entrepreneur, Andrew Kaufman, will inspire audiences with the story of how he unexpectedly came upon a way of using Russian literature to change the lives of incarcerated youth and university students through the groundbreaking Books Behind Bars program he created. Books Behind Bars, one of the country’s most innovative and celebrated college courses and the subject of a forthcoming feature documentary, instills crucial lessons about compassion, courage, and the shared human experience. The program is an example of how we all have the power to make a profound difference in the lives of others in this very moment, no matter what our background, interests, or profession.

Tolstoy’s Take on How to Live Well and Lead Wisely in Uncertain Times

In this inspiring and entertaining keynote, renowned author and University of Virginia literature professor Andrew Kaufman shows how Tolstoy’s War and Peace, the greatest novel ever written, speaks directly to each of us in the 21st century, offering answers to our most modern of questions through the sometimes comic, sometimes tragic, and always inspiring examples of the novel’s beloved characters. Touching on a broad range of topics from courage to romance, parenting to death, or success to happiness, Kaufman inspires audiences to appreciate how Tolstoy’s wisdom can make us better leaders at work, in our communities, and at home, and help us live fuller, richer, more meaningful lives.


“We invited Dr. Andy Kaufman to speak at our annual company party where our theme was Make Love not War. A gifted speaker, Andy was able to bring Tolstoy’s fascinating life story alive with real and relevant applications to our everyday personal and business interactions. Using equal parts wit and wisdom, Andy was both entertaining and edifying. We wholeheartedly recommend him for your organization’s next gathering.”
–Co-Founder and President, Eenhoorn, LLC

“Andrew Kaufman is, quite simply, the most entertaining, inspiring, and powerful speaker we’ve ever had. Although there were almost 300 in the audience, he had a knack for putting his audience at ease and communicating intimately with everyone, from senior executives to assembly line workers. And he left us with significant takeaways that were directly applicable to our business and personal lives. People left completely energized and mentioned they’d love to him back, that it was the fastest hour and they could’ve listened to him a lot longer. I highly recommend this uniquely talented speaker and performer for your next corporate event. You won’t regret it.”
–Tammy Guiles, Vice President and CFO, Amstore Corporation

“Andrew Kaufman is one of those rare speakers whose erudition challenges the mind and enlarges the heart, inviting listeners into a conversation with the ages and with themselves. Articulate, illuminating, eloquent. Cicero says that speech should inform and delight—Kaufman does both with consummate skill.”
–Todd Breyfogle, PhD, Director of Seminars, The Aspen Institute


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