Peter Thum, the founder of Ethos Water, will speak at the University of Central Florida about his dream to help millions by drawing attention to the world water crisis.

Thum’s presentation will begin at 3 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 1, in the Cape Florida Ballroom of the Student Union. The event, organized by the UCF Global Perspectives Office, is part of the General Education Program Unifying Theme, “The Environment and Global Climate Change.” It is free and open to the public.

In 2001, Thum, who also is the founder of the non-profit Giving Water, observed firsthand the effects of South Africa’s water crisis on everyday people. He saw that those lacking access to clean water were exposed to direct health problems, such as water-borne illnesses and other related risks.

Water, Thum realized, was at the core of so many problems in the developing world. His goal became to launch a company that would provide water and raise money for clean-water programs in the developing world. In 2002, he began implementing that vision and founded Ethos.

Over six years Thum led Ethos to become a national brand in the United States, raising more than $6 million in humanitarian water grants and help for more than 420,000 people worldwide. Ethos was acquired by Starbucks in 2005, and Thum stayed on through to 2008, managing Ethos and serving as a director of the Starbucks Foundation.

In 2008, Thum founded Giving Water to extend his work toward solving the world water crisis. The organization is now serving more than 1,000 schoolchildren in Kenya.

In addition to the Global Perspectives Office, sponsors and partners of Thum’s presentation include the UCF Office of Undergraduate Studies, Lawrence J. Chastang and the Chastang Foundation, The Sibille H. Pritchard Global Peace Fellowship program, the UCF Global Peace and Security Studies Program, the UCF Political Science Department, UCF LIFE, UCF Focus the Nation, the UCF Book Festival 2012 in association with the Morgridge International Reading Center, and the Global Connections Foundation.

For a full list of upcoming events or to learn more about the Global Perspectives Office, visit