The challenges of leading and performing in isolation, something people all over the world over have been introduced to, are familiar terrain to Ben Saunders. Navigating and overcoming self-doubt, loneliness, uncertainty, and adversity in pursuit of a goal is what makes Saunders a record-breaking polar explorer, and an invaluable speaker in uncertain times.
While the achievements of this world-leading adventurer are deeply inspiring in their own right, it is the hard-won life lessons etched within each voyage – totaling 4,400 miles and more than a year spent in complete isolation in the harshest environments on the planet – which prove most valuable and applicable to his audiences. Saunders gained notoriety for leading the longest human-powered polar journey in history; a 108-day return journey to the South Pole on foot that spanned 1,800 miles – the equivalent of 69 back-to-back marathons, dragging 200 kg (440lbs) of food and supplies in his sled.
From the main stage at TED to small screens around the world, Saunders is a sought-after and acclaimed motivational speaker. Featured in the New York Times best-seller TED Talks: The Official Guide to Public Speaking, and labeled a ‘master storyteller’ by TED, his three main-stage appearances at the conference have been viewed more than five million times. Through his real-time journal entries, stunning visual content, and earnest reflections, he takes audiences on a physical and psychological journey into the unknown.