pioneering swimmer & ocean advocate
Achieving the impossible
Power of mind
Planning and preparation
Cape Town, South Africa
Lewis Pugh is the only person to have completed a long distance swim in every ocean of the world. He was the first person to swim across the North Pole, and to date has pioneered more swims around famous landmarks than any other swimmer in history.
Each of these seemingly impossible feats - putting his body through unimaginably difficult conditions - was done to raise awareness about the vulnerability of our oceans and their importance to humanity. Most recently he swam the 330 mile length of the English channel, which took him 49 days, half a million strokes and 98,000 calories. And he’s not finished yet...M
Lewis 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”.
Over 7 million people have viewed his TED talks, and countless others have followed him on BBC, Good Morning America, CNN, Jon Stewart, National Geographic, Sky News, Al Jazeera, Jay Leno and more. His autobiography “Achieving the Impossible” is a Bestseller and was chosen for Oprah’s Exclusive Book List.
Lewis 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.”
Lewis’s ability to make his story matter has made him one of the world’s leading inspirational speakers.
On their 125th anniversary, Coca-Cola asked Lewis to address their world-wide leadership team. When Unilever decided to double their business and halve their environmental footprint, they chose Lewis to motivate their management team. And when Lloyd’s Agency Network turned 200 years old, they asked Lewis to help them visualize their future in an increasingly unpredictable world.
And earlier this year he addressed the world’s business leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos.
As an ocean advocate, pioneer swimmer and explorer, Lewis 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.
"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)
"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
"Lewis’s speech was riveting and passionate. He’s stunning!" - Archbishop Desmond Tutu Nobel Peace Laureate 1984
"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