An inspirational keynote speaker, Bertrand Piccard was not only the first man to fly around the world solo in a balloon; he also made history by completing the first round-the-world solar flight with his Solar Impulse project. Using his aerial exploits as a backdrop, he illustrates his concept of the psychology of life, human communication, teamwork, motivation, pioneering spirit, as well as how to deal with stress, uncertainty and crises.
Balloonist, entrepreneur and pioneer Solar Impulse founder, Dr. Bertrand Piccard became a sought-after keynote speaker after his solo round-the-world flight in a balloon.
Since then, the world-famous adventurer has made aviation history by completing the first round-the-world solar flight, powered only by the sun, with no fuel or polluting emissions.
Ideal for corporate audiences, Bertrand knows that his addressees aren't there to learn how to fly a balloon, or even a solar-powered aeroplane, but rather to find in his experience a source of inspiration for their private or professional lives.
Using his aerial exploits as a backdrop, he illustrates his concept of the psychology of life, human communication, teamwork, motivation, pioneering spirit, as well as how to deal with stress, uncertainty and crises. At the request of some clients, he also covers medical topics, such as the use of hypnosis and self-hypnosis.
Born in Switzerland, Bertrand was surrounded by scientists and explorers while growing up; his grandfather was the first man to explore the stratosphere, as well as the inventor of the bathyscaphe, which his father used to dive to the deepest part of the oceans.
After graduating from the University of Lausanne, he specialised in psychiatry and psychotherapy, and became an expert in hypnotherapy. He went on to teach at the Swiss Medical Hypnosis Society.
His interest in ballooning led him to gain licenses to fly balloons, aeroplanes, gliders and motorised gliders; in 1985, he became the European hang-glider aerobatics champion.
In 1999, Bertrand took off on an adventure of a lifetime with Brian Jones - the very first balloon circumnavigation of the world. Their journey did not allow any stops along the way, and it took the pair just under 20 days to finish the adventure, during which time they made seven new world records.
After completing their journey, Bertrand and Brian were awarded the Olympic Order and a Gold medal from the French Ministry of Youth and Sport. They also received the highest honours from the National Geographics Society and the FAI as well as numerous other associations.
Bertrand’s next mission was to construct a solar-powered long-range aircraft. Named Solar Impulse, the project aimed to contribute to the cause of renewable energies through exploration and innovation; to demonstrate the importance of clean technologies for sustainable development; and to place dreams and emotions back at the heart of scientific adventure.
In 2010, Solar Impulse made its first flight; by 2012, it was able to fly from Morocco to Switzerland; and, in 2013, it was taken from Mountain View California to JKF Airport in New York.
In July 2016, Bertrand - along with André Borschber - succeeded in their crazy dream of achieving the first ever round-the-world solar flight by taking turns at the controls of Solar Impulse 2 (Si2) – their zero-emission electric and solar aeroplane. Landing back in Abu Dhabi after a total of 21 days of flight travelled in a 17-leg journey, Si2 proved that clean technologies can achieve the impossible.
Bertrand offers lectures in English, French and German.
He is a successful author and has written two books titled ‘Une Trace dans le ciel’ and ‘The Greatest Adventure’, which he wrote alongside Brian Jones. ‘The Greatest Adventure’ was translated into nine different languages and was a best-seller in France.
His speaking topics include:
- Adventure is a state of mind: the metaphor of the round-the-world balloon flight
- Be a balloonist in your business
- Team spirit and psychology of communication
- How to play with the winds of life
- Coping with crisis situations
- Managing stress