Claude Grunitzky

Beck Visiting Social Innovator

Claude Grunitzky is the founder of TRACE and TRUE Africa, a media tech platform championing young African voices all over the world. In November 2016, TRUE Africa was funded by Google’s Digital News Initiative. In February 2003, Grunitzky and two business partners completed a multimillion- dollar financing deal led by Goldman Sachs Group. As a result, the TRACE brand is now being leveraged globally across various television, event and interactive platforms. TRACE, which now reaches an audience of more than 200 million people across 150 countries, was successfully sold to a French investor group in July 2010. Grunitzky was raised between Lomé, Togo; Washington, DC; Paris and London. Growing up, Grunitzky, who speaks six languages and carries three passports, was exposed to many different cultures. These foreign interactions shaped his transcultural philosophy and informed the creative energy of his media ventures. A graduate of London University and MIT, Grunitzky is also the President and a board member at the Watermill Center, a laboratory of inspiration and performance, founded by theater and visual artist Robert Wilson, which provides a unique environment for a global community of emerging and established artists and thinkers to gather and explore new ideas together. Grunitzky is also board member at MASS MoCA, a museum in Massachusetts which is one of the world’s liveliest centers for making and enjoying today’s most evocative art, and at Humanity in Action, a foundation that works internationally to build global leadership, defend democracy, protect minorities and improve human rights. As chairman of TRUE, Grunitzky has helped to shape integrated marketing campaigns for global brands including Absolut Vodka, Hilton Hotels, Infiniti, Levi’s, Mercedes-Benz, Moët & Chandon, Natura, Nissan, Puma and Sprite. The recipient of many distinctions, Grunitzky is an MIT Sloan Fellow and a French American Foundation Young Leader, and was named a finalist for the Ernst & Young ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’ award in 2007. In 2017, he served as a Hauser Visiting Leader at the Center for Public Leadership and Visiting Social Innovator with SICI, where he continues to provide coaching and expertise to student social innovators.