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In 1989 Robert Swan Became The First Person In History To Reach Both The South And North Pole On Foot.
Robert Swan is a polar explorer and environmentalist and the first man ever to walk unsupported to both the North and South Poles. He is an exceptionally gifted communicator and is regarded as one of the world's top motivational speakers.
In 1986, along with companions Roger Mear and Gareth Wood, Robert Swan arrived at the South Pole after travelling 883 miles without radios or assistance of any kind. In 1988 he was awarded the Polar Medal by the Queen for completing the longest unassisted march in history. On the 14th May 1989, Robert Swan successfully reached the North Pole and so became the first person to have walked to both Poles.
"Icewalk, The International North Pole Expedition" was ostensibly designed to draw attention to the environmental crisis confronting both the polar and world ecologies. This ambitious project, costing over US$4 million, was a two-pronged endeavour consisting of an eight-man assault on the Pole and the world's first international student expedition to venture into the Arctic wilderness.
This is where the story really begins, as Robert returns from these trips a changed man. Shocked by his first-hand experiences of the environmental damage taking place on earth (being the first to walk under the ozone whole in the Antarctic and experiencing severe difficulties on reaching his destination on the North Pole journey due to early ice-meltdown), Swan's life goal is now to draw attention to the environmental damage we are inflicting on ourselves, and to preserve the last wilderness on our earth, the Antarctic. He recognizes the importance of working with businesses and industry in the attempt to achieve this.
The unique insights and lessons learned enable Robert Swan to educate and stimulate corporate audiences. The topics he covers include: motivation - individuals have the power to overcome obstacles and achieve their goals; communication - in a hostile environment such as the Arctic, you must express your thoughts, simply to survive; teamwork - great feats are rarely achieved by individuals. The team which understands its strengths and weaknesses and pulls together will achieve the seemingly impossible. Robert compares his icy experiences to boardroom manoeuvres and his inspirational addresses have received the acclaim of discerning audiences worldwide.
Areas of Expertise
Over the past 6 years, Robert has worked closely with the Russian Government to pack up 1000 tons of rubbish from the Russian Antarctic Base Bellingshausen, which has been successfully removed in January 2002. His company Mission Antarctica has been taking young people, teachers and representatives from Industry and Businesses down to the Antarctic to lend support to the clean-up action, as well as giving individuals the chance to see this unique place for themselves and understand the importance of protecting it. Robert is campaigning to have the Antarctic Treaty fully renewed when it expires in a few years time.
In 2002 Robert and his ice-yacht '2041' visited the World Summit in Johannesburg which closed a 10 year circle that began with his keynote speech in Rio at the first World Summit in 1992. Since then Robert has come a long way, leading several small expeditions to the Antarctic, taking 35 young people from 25 conflicting nations on a trip of their lifetime in 1996/97 and subsequently starting the 5 year clean-up mission. Robert has just returned from South Africa, where his Antarctic yacht '2041' was hauled overland from Capetown to Johannesburg to build the centre-piece of our 'ice station' exhibition at the World Summit in August.
Each January, Robert is leading a team of successful Business People to the shores of the Antarctic during which further clean-up projects and a sustainable ice-station on King George Island are being explored.
His experiences in (Personal) Leadership, managing international teams and especially Motivation are invaluable for any business today. His accounts are highly charged as well as delivered in a strong and at times humorous style.
In 1992 he was invited to be a keynote speaker at the Rio Earth Summit where Robert's message was a universal one: that it is possible to achieve your goals and fulfil your ambitions in both your personal and professional life.
His contribution to education and the environment have been recognised through his appointment as UN Goodwill Ambassador for Youth, a Visiting Professorship of the School of Environment at Leeds University and in 1994 he became Special Envoy to the Director General of UNESCO. He was awarded the OBE in 1995.
Robert speaks all over the world on motivation, leadership and teamwork.
"Robert is absolutely brilliant. I heard Robert's presentation in the U.K. I was so moved by his commitment and impassioned delivery I invited him to speak in the U.S.A. The results were outstanding. He spoke to all ages very effectively. He will educate and motivate any audience".
Beverly Johnson, Amway USA
"I have attended Robert's presentation on three occasions and each time I have been inspired by his attitude towards setting a goal and having the persistence to see it through".
David Hancock, Director of Marketing, Apple USA
"You brought a renewed and insightful view of leadership (to AT&T) that only someone with your experiences could dare to speak of so candidly. I personally found the most important message for me was to remember that a leader needs to 'take care of yourself'. Thank you for your very moving talk and your skilfulness at targeting just the right message".
James Brewington, President, Network Wireless Systems, AT&T
"An absolutely outstanding presentation at our National Sales Conference, Robert left a deep and lasting impression on us all".
Chris Conway, Chief Executive, Digital Equipment, UK
"Robert Swan elicited the first-ever standing ovation from our sales conference of over 500 people".
Lucy Moore, Mercury Communications, London
"A truly motivational address. Robert was an inspiration to all of us and his presentation set a standard for Sales Conferences that will be difficult to match".
Richard Buchanan, Managing Director, The Life Association of Scotland
"The most informative, stimulating and passionate presentation that I have experienced"
Michael Peers, Educational Chairman, Young Presidents' Organisation
"....Excellent and inspirational... surpassed all of our expectations".
Jack Reich, Vice President, MCI Telecommunications Corporation
"A dynamic, thought-provoking and emotional presentation that truly captured the minds and hearts of our audience and will no doubt have a lasting impact on our future thoughts and actions"
Gavin Blackburn, Director, Schwarzkopf Ltd