Peter van Kets

Peter van Kets is one of South Africa’s top adventurers who shares the lessons he’s learnt as an international keynote speaker. Globally known as a specialist around business’s ability to persevere in a turbulent and harsh economy, Peter has worked with major corporations across Africa, Europe, the Middle East, China and the USA.

His latest presentation is “Grin & Bear It – adapt  and thrive 2023”, based on his latest book, ‘Grin & Bear It’, published in 2022.

Taking the lessons learnt from his expeditions, he inspires audiences with stories about survival, courage, perseverance, passion, loneliness, tenacity, grit, amazing teamwork – and the will to win.

His presentations take people on powerful, life-altering journeys, changing the way they think about themselves and their businesses.

A passionate conservationist and published author, Peter teaches people to seek out the extraordinary in every venture, which demands clear vision, dynamic strategy, precise planning and preparation, absolute honesty and integrity, uprightness of character and self-discipline. Accustomed to standing ovations after presentations, this humble, engaging, ever-reliable speaker is a favourite on the speaking circuit, both locally and internationally.

If anyone is equipped to share lessons on what it means to overcome adversity and persevere against the odds, it is Peter. Few people have endured the harsh realities of nature that he has – and triumphed. His inspirational keynotes, supported by thrilling images and videos of his expeditions, present real-life stories of grit and survival – ideal for today’s corporate audiences.

Peter has a way of pushing people out of their comfort zones and demonstrating how vision, passion and self-discipline can drive excellence. In the business world, everyone is immersed in real-life drama, says Peter – and his aim is to change the way people think about themselves and their circumstances. Calling himself a “normal guy who happens to do exceptional things”, Peter leads employees and teams in planning, strategy, conflict management and other skills, to get the most out of their lives.

A ‘master of endurance’, Peter always plans to win and he shows companies how they can do the same.

Having made his name winning the Woodvale Trans-Atlantic Rowing Race together with friend Bill Godfrey, and being the first African to row unsupported across the Atlantic, Peter is a natural leader who drives audiences to be courageous and ambitious in their own lives.

Whether addressing CEOs, sales teams or other conference delegates, he crafts a message of tenacity and hopes that everyone can relate to.

His morst-requested talks include ‘Impossible is Nothing’, ‘Leaving a Legacy’, ‘The Power of Team’ and ‘The Success Factor – GRIT!’.

Peter is one of the world’s top endurance adventurers and speakers; amongst many others, he

  • has rowed across the Atlantic twice and trekked unsupported to the South Pole
  • participated in an epic dog sled expedition to the North Pole
  • joined forces with photographer Jacques Marais to complete 5 Beyond Expeditions (focusing on southern and central Africa)
  • wrote ‘The Eighth Summit’ (published in 2014
  • was named ‘Adventurer of the Year’ in 2011
  • has won the ‘South African Premiers’ and Eastern Cape Sports Star of the Year awards
  • writes inspirational columns for a variety of magazines