Extreme adventurer, record-breaking swimmer and sustainability advocate Lewis Pugh puts businesses at every level through their paces; as a motivational and keynote speaker, he shares how they too can survive and thrive, having pushed his own body and mind through some intensely challenging conditions.
The only person to have completed a long-distance swim in every ocean, extreme adventurer and record-breaking swimmer Lewis Pugh talks about pushing yourself beyond 'the possible' into new realms of achievement.
In 2016 he helped negotiate the creation of the biggest protected area in the world in the Ross Sea off Antarctica. The negotiations required consensus among 25 countries, a number of which had long standing disputes with one another. The media dubbed his efforts as "Speedo diplomacy" after Lewis took on the challenge of swimming 5 swims in freezing Antarctic waters, wearing just speedos and a swim hat.
To be the first human to swim across the Arctic waters (a mean minus 1.7°C!) requires a shift in mind-set when dealing with a dramatic drop in body temperature and the dangers of killer sea-animals: one must conjure up and maintain a constant focus and flexibility—crucial elements of business management.
Lewis has lived through the repercussions of change and their contributing factors and, a passionate voice for conservation, has been busy honing his front crawl technique in vulnerable ecosystems to raise awareness about their plight.
For example, in 2010, he completed a swim across a glacial lake on Mount Everest to draw attention to the melting glaciers in the Himalayas and the impact the reduced water supply will have on peace in the region. He has now pioneered more swims around famous landmarks than any other swimmer in history!
Teamwork is also vital to the success of his exploits. Lauded as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum, Lewis’ influence and endurance was enabled by those around him. His crack teams are always made of those completely committed to excellence and leaders in their field.
Through his adventures, he dreams of making a significant difference. In 2015, Lewis undertook five swims in Antarctica to campaign for a large Marine Protected Area in the Ross Sea - one of the most incredible and diverse areas left on earth – which is now threatened by overfishing and climate change. The media have dubbed his efforts as ‘Speedo diplomacy’.
One of Lewis’ keynote speeches on leadership was voted one of the ‘7 Most Inspiring Videos on the Web’, and TED have described him as a ‘master story-teller’. He has also appeared on various international TV news channels, and his autobiography ‘Achieving the Impossible’ was selected for Oprah’s Exclusive Book List.
Along with the Freedom of the City of London, Lewis has been bestowed with South Africa and France’s highest honours.
His speaking topics include:
- Business management and teamwork
- Surviving and thriving challenging time
- Achieving the impossible
- Change and its repercussions
- The plight of vulnerable ecosystems