Lewis Pugh

Cape Town based

In September 2014, Lewis was named one of 100 World Class South Africans by City Press and in August of the same year, he became the first person to undertake long distance swims in each of the Seven Seas: the Mediterranean, Adriatic, Aegean, Black, Red, Arabian and North Sea.

This he did to highlight the need for and importance of Marine Protected Areas ‘ essentially ‘national parks’ in the seas ‘ and to have each of the countries he visits add this to their agenda. His hope is that all the maritime nations in the world will be encouraged to do the same with their waters.

In 2013, Lewis was named by the UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme) as a UN Environment Programme ‘Patron of Oceans’ while in the same year he was made an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society.

‘Lewis is certainly one of the most exciting speakers I have heard.  He is a brave and courageous leader who adds a fresh perspective to climate change.’   – Al Gore; former Vice President of America

‘You are one of the great environmental campaigners of our age and a truly extraordinary athlete.  Thank you so much for coming to speak to us.’ – Rt. Hon Tony Blair – Former Prime Minister of the UK

‘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

“Lewis tells a very inspiring and motivating story of achieving sporting excellence at its 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, Indian Cricket Team  – now SA Proteas Head Coach

“Lewis has delivered a number of his excellent speeches to our key audiences.  He never fails to enthral, inform and entertain. He has the gift of being able to convey complex environmental messages clearly and with passion. I find him an inspirational speaker.” – David Nussbaum – Chief Executive ‘ WWF

Lewis goes to extremes. He’s been to the world’s most inaccessible places. He’s put his body through unimaginably difficult conditions. He’s learned how to harness the energy that comes from overcoming extraordinary odds. And he knows how to inspire audiences to rise to their own internal challenges. His talks make a difference, to individuals, and to organisations.

His dream is that they will also make a difference to the world.

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 Insurance turned 200 years old, they asked Lewis to help them visualise their future in an increasingly unpredictable world.

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.  And he shares the ‘radical tactical shift’ that he used to complete the first swim across a glacial lake on Mt Everest.

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 2.5 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.’