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Biography: Pen Hadow

Pen Hadow


Others say

"Jonathan Dimbleby, Pen Hadow and Simon Murray gelled to provide one of the most revealing, provocative and entertaining evenings we've had the privilege to organise."
Director, Royal Geographical Society

"Minister, ladies and gentlemen, I am anxious to be following Pen Hadow who speaks so brilliantly and who lays down the challenges and dangers we face so clearly."
HRH The Prince of Wales speaking at the Business in the Community May Day Summit, 2009

"Just to say how much of a success this was. Pen spoke extremely well and his talk was deeply moving at times, you could have heard a pin drop!"
Managing Director, Cazenove Capital Management

"Thank you for participating at the Young Leaders event in Paris last week. Your presentation was the perfect finale to our first ever gathering of our Young Leader membership. The feedback from attendees was universally positive with many commenting on how inspiring it was to hear about your remarkable journey."
Managing Director, Centre for Regeneration and Sustainability, Urban Land Institute, Europe

Pen HadowGlobal Explorer, Motivational Speaker & Environment Consultant, inspires audiences with his extraordinary story of achievement in one of the most challenging environments on Earth.

In 2003, Pen Hadow was catapulted to international fame when he became the first person to complete one of the last great polar challenges - solo, without re-supply, from Canada to the North Geographic Pole. This feat is thought to be harder than climbing Everest solo, and demands such a level of skill and endurance that all before had tried and failed. Even polar experts were beginning to think the challenge was impossible.

When The Times reported his feat on its front cover, the story was voted as one of  the Top 100 Newspaper Front Pages of the 20th century.

After 15 years, three attempts and an exceptional degree of commitment, Pen achieved his dream. The undertaking almost cost him his life more than once, when he broke through the ice and found himself swimming in the sub-zero waters of the Arctic Ocean, many hundreds of miles from help.

As a child, Pen’s nanny (previously Scott of the Antarctic's son's nanny) filled his head with tales of Scott and the other great explorers. His father told stories of the sporting prowess and great deeds of Pen's illustrious ancestors, as far back as Tudor times.  Among them was Douglas Hadow, a member of Edward Whymper's party that made the first ascent of the Matterhorn in 1865 - and fell to his death on the descent.

Pen discovered early the benefits that come with a high degree of compliance to sports training programmes.

Aged 15 he devised a punishing training schedule to enable him to attempt a traditional school marathon which he completed in three hours. This had not been done for fifty years.

In the 1980's Pen became the youngest-ever executive at IMG sports organisation, and a decade later, in 1995, he set up the world's first specialist polar guide service, almost single-handedly opening up the Arctic and Antarctic with his pioneering travel business, The Polar Travel Company.

In 1997 he organised the first all-women's relay to the North Geographic Pole, enabling 20 women, with no previous polar experience, to walk into The Guinness Book of World Records. He thus changed the perception of what many thought was possible in the polar regions.

In February 2004, Pen became the first Briton to trek, without resupply, to both Poles. He achieved this as he led ex-French Foreign Legionnaire Simon Murray (63) on a new 1,200km route to the South Geographic Pole, enabling Murray to become the oldest person by a decade to achieve the feat.

Pen currently works with the Met Office, the Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research, and other research and campaigning organisations dedicated to global climate change issues and the concept of carbon neutrality.Pen has also completed the Catlin Arctic Survey, a pioneering scientific expedition to help determine the lifespan of the Arctic Ocean's sea ice cover. His findings was taken to the national negotiating teams working to replace the Kyoto Protocol agreement at the UN Climate Change Conference of Parties in 2009.

"Had to let you know how everyone was so inspired by your speech and kept your messages top of mind throughout the meetings. Your name came up repeatedly, as did your approach to challenges: attention to details, foreseeing simple incidents, judgement calls, self discipline, use of imagery. It was fantastic. It would have been great to have had you there the rest of the days. The synergy and chemistry were evident."
Director, Ogilvy Consejeros de Comunicacion

Speaking Topics

Pen Hadow,  Global Explorer, Motivational Speaker & Environment Consultant, inspires audiences with his extraordinary story of achievement in one of the most challenging environments on Earth.

•    Motivation – finding it & keeping it
•    Pioneering mindset & breakthroughs
•    Team performance & improvement
•    Resilience
•    Goal setting & setbacks
•    Risk v rewards
•    Global environmental change & corporate sustainability
•    Peak Performance (in the toughest environments)


For further information or to book Pen Hadow, call us on +44 (0)20 7607 7070 or email info@speakerscorner.co.uk

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