Lewis Pugh

keynote speaker lewis pugh

Lewis Pugh – Keynote Speaker

Environmental campaigner, maritime lawyer, endurance swimmer and UN Special Envoy

Keynote Speaker Category: Leadership & Motivation
Topics: Motivation, Performance
Languages: English


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Specialist Subjects


Achieving the Impossible
Vision, goal setting, planning and preparation
Motivation and inspiration
Leadership and teamwork
Excellence and self-belief
Protecting the environment

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Lewis Pugh‘s Biography


Fuelled by a pioneering spirit and a conviction that anything is possible, Lewis Pugh aims to draw attention about the vulnerability of our oceans and their importance to humanity.

Pugh was the first person to complete a long distance swim in every ocean of the world, the first to undertake a swim across the icy waters of the North Pole and the first to swim across a glacial lake on Mount Everest. In a career spanning almost 3 decades, the maritime lawyer has pioneered more swims around famous landmarks than any other swimmer in history.

As an ocean advocate, pioneer swimmer and explorer, Pugh puts his hard-learned lessons into the context of a corporate environment. He shares the visualisation that enabled him to undertake the first swim across the sub-zero waters of the North Pole. He also shares the “radical tactical shift” that he used to complete the first swim across a glacial lake on Mt Everest. Most importantly, he inspires people to reach for the dream of achieving their own impossible.

Pugh is a vivid storyteller, his address on leadership at the Business Innovation Forum in Rhode Island was voted as one of the “7 Most Inspiring Videos on the Web”. His autobiography “Achieving the Impossible” is a Bestseller and was chosen for Oprah’s Exclusive Book List.

Pugh has received a number of awards including France and South Africa’s highest honours, as well as the Freedom of the City of London. In 2010, the World Economic Forum named him a Young Global Leader for his “potential to contribute to shaping the future of the world through inspiring leadership” and in 2013 the United Nations Environment Programme appointed him “Patron of the Oceans.”


“You won’t find a more captivating story teller… Lewis stole the show at the World Economic Forum in Davos.”
Adam Grant Professor | Wharton Business School

“Thank you for coming to speak to us. You have a very special gift. Not many people can speak to a group of world leaders like you did – with so much authority and passion. I could have heard a pin drop.”
Ted Turner Founder of CNN

“Your address was the perfect close to a conference centered around achievement and moving to the next level. The story you have to tell is incredibly unique and was delivered in such a professional and entertaining manner. Everyone was inspired by your extraordinary journey.”
Colin Grassie CEO | Deutsche Bank (UK)

“Lewis Pugh doesn’t tell us what to do, he shows us what can be done.”
Bill Clinton 42nd President of the United States of America

“Lewis Pugh gave the perfect TED talk: a little bit of action, some thinking outside the box, humbling words on the need to respect nature, a happy ending. A Hollywood scriptwriter could not have structured it better.”
The Financial Times

“Thank you for such an inspirational and awe-inspiring speech at our 200th Anniversary celebration.”
Dr Richard Ward CEO | Lloyd’s Insurance

“Lewis’s speech was riveting and passionate. He’s stunning!”
Archbishop Desmond Tutu Nobel Peace Laureate 1984

“Lewis tells a very inspiring and motivating story of achieving sporting excellence at it’s most extreme. I was blown away by it and at the same time saw real value in how we can all approach our challenges and reach our goals.”
Gary Kirsten Former Head Coach | South African Cricket Team

“I cannot thank you enough for your speech at our Leadership Conference. It was absolutely remarkable and your message was a moving and emotional experience. The incredible scale of endeavour, the meticulous preparation, and the emotional magnitude, came through so crisply. Not only are your achievements so incredible and inspiring, but your ability to put them across in such a special way will no doubt have a lasting impact on our leadership team.”
Adrian Gore CEO | Discovery Holdings