The Keynote Speaker for Summit XV

Turk Pipkin

Writer and filmmaker Turk Pipkin is a co-founder of The Nobelity Project and the director of three feature documentaries about global problems and solutions. His latest film, Building Hope, tells the story of The Nobelity Project's partnership with a rural Kenyan community to build the area's first high school.

The Nobelity Project (at works with Nobel laureates and other leaders to advocate basic rights for children everywhere. Through their Kenya Schools Fund, The Nobelity Project builds classrooms, water systems and libraries at schools across rural Kenya.

Turk is also the author of ten works of fiction and nonfiction, including the NY Times bestseller, The "Tao of Willie", co-authored with Willie Nelson.

Writer, actor and filmmaker Turk Pipkin is a New York Times best-selling author, the director of three feature documentaries, a screenwriter and an actor known for his work in feature films and on HBO's The Sopranos.

Turk and his wife Christy Pipkin are the founders of The Nobelity Project, a global education nonprofit advocating basic rights for children everywhere.

Turk is the author of ten books of fiction and nonfiction - with over 400,000 books in print, including the NY Times bestseller, THE TAO OF WILLIE (Gotham), which Turk coauthored with American music legend, Willie Nelson.

Turk's Christmas novel, WHEN ANGELS SING (a Book-of-the-Month Club feature selection published by Algonquin Books), is now a feature film starring Harry Connick, Jr, Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson, Connie Britton and Lyle Lovett. The film opens nationwide in October, 2013.

His coming-of-age novel Fast Greens saw impressive sales and rave reviews. "Endowed with a vivid sense of time and place," said the New York Times Book Review, "the characters are wonderfully drawn and the dialogue is sharp and colorful."

Turk's feature documentaries Nobelity and One Peae at a Time look at the world's most pressing problems through the eyes of a dozen Nobel laureates including Desmond Tutu and Wangari Maathai, and at solutions that work in countries across the globe. Turk's third feature doc, Building Hope, was the Audience Award winner at SXSW and Best Documentary at the Maui Film Festival. The film chronicles Turk's promise to help build the first high school for a remote African community, connecting Americans and Kenyans in a true story of Building Hope.

He is also the writer of 100+ hours of primetime network and cable television, including the Emmy Award winning PBS/American Masters film, Willie Nelson - Still is Still Moving."

As an actor, Turk played a recurring role as Janice's narcoleptic boyfriend Aaron Arkaway in HBO's The Sopranos, and in numerous feature films including Waiting for Guffman, The Alamo, Friday Night Lights and Rick Linklater's Scanner Darkly. He also plays a role in the film of When Angels Sing.

In addition to making feature and short films, The Nobelity Project partners on specific community projects including water systems, classrooms and libraries at 18 Kenyan schools and on large reforestation/tree-planting programs in Kenya, and in Central Texas in a unique partnership with Bastrop State Park. More information at

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