5 Principles for a Life
of Breakthroughs and Purpose
by Jean Case
When Jean Case set out to investigate the core qualities of great change-makers, past and present, she found five surprising traits they all had in common. They weren't wealth, privilege, or even genius. All of these exceptional men and women chose to make a "big bet," take bold risks, learn from their failures, reach beyond their bubbles, and let urgency conquer fear.
From Jane Goodall's remarkable breakthroughs in understanding chimpanzees, to chef José Andrés's decision to take his kitchen to the sites of devastating hurricanes, to Warby Parker's transformative efforts to make eyeglasses affordable, to Madam C. J. Walker's groundbreaking entrepreneurial journey, Be Fearless offers a deeply personal and inspiring look at both famous and previously unknown changemakers. In a new afterword, Jean shares stories of people she has met who were inspired to take action after reading Be Fearless.
Weaving together storytelling, practical tips, and inspiration, Be Fearless will teach you how to put the five fearless principles to work so that you, too, can spark the sorts of remarkable breakthroughs that change the world.
"If you want to change the world, it helps to be fearless. And if you need a dose of courage, I recommend this powerful collection of stories, evidence, and optimism. Jean Case draws on research and personal experience to provide changmakers with moral support and practical guidance."
—Melinda Gates, co-chair, Bill and Melinda Gates foundation
"The stories in Be Fearless will inspire and motivate you to be brave and bold in unconventional ways. Jean Case creates a narrative of testimonies that can guide you through any challenge or roadblock and provides antidotes from thought leaders, entrepreneurs, and everyday people who have defied all odds."
—Mellody Hobson, president, Ariel Investments
"Jean Case has done what many before her have tried but been unable to achieve: break down the essential qualities and principles that drive success. Her book tells us in no uncertain terms what it takes to break through in an increasingly crowded world of ideas."
—Eric Schmidt, former executive chairman,
Google and Alphabet Inc.
Jean Case, the first female Chairman of the National Geographic Society in its 130-year history and CEO of the Case Foundation, is a philanthropist, investor, and internet and impact investing pioneer who advocates for the importance of embracing a more fearless approach to innovate and bring about transformational breakthroughs. Her career in the private sector spanned nearly two decades before cofounding the Case Foundation in 1997. Before the Case Foundation, she was a senior executive at America Online, Inc. where she directed the marketing and branding that helped bring AOL to the masses. In addition, Jean currently serves on the boards of Accelerate Brain Cancer Cure (ABC2), National Geographic Partners, and the White House Historical Association, as well as on the advisory boards of the Brain Trust Accelerator Fund and Georgetown University’s Beeck Center for Social Impact and Innovation. She was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2016 and has received honorary degrees from Indiana University and George Mason University. Be Fearless: 5 Principles for a Life of Breakthroughs and Purpose is her first book.