VBQ Speakers

Mark Pollock - Keynote Speaker

Book Mark Pollock as a keynote speaker. Mark is an explorer and collaboration catalyst who helps people achieve more than they thought possible. Unbroken by blindness in 1998, Mark went on to compete in ultra endurance races across deserts, mountains, and the polar ice caps including being the first blind person to race to the South Pole.

 

 

MARK POLLOCK

Resilience, innovation and collaboration speaker


SPEAKING THEMES

  • Overcoming adversity and crisis

  • Empowering people to take responsibility

  • Challenging conventional wisdom

  • Creating teams that think differently

  • Passion and leadership


TRAVELS FROM
Dublin, Republic of Ireland

 
 

BIOGRAPHY

Mark is an explorer and collaboration catalyst who helps people achieve more than they thought possible. Unbroken by blindness in 1998, Mark went on to compete in ultra endurance races across deserts, mountains, and the polar ice caps including being the first blind person to race to the South Pole. He also won silver and bronze medals for rowing at the Commonwealth Games.

In 2010 Mark was left paralysed after falling from a second story window. He is now exploring the frontiers of spinal cord injury recovery combining an innovative electrical stimulator over his spinal cord and a drug super-charging his nervous system, whilst walking hundreds of thousands of steps in his Ekso Bionics robotic legs. Through the Mark Pollock Trust he is on a mission to find and connect people around the world to fast-track a cure for paralysis.

Selected by the World Economic Forum as a Young Global Leader and appointed to the Global Futures Council on Human Enhancement, Mark is on the Board of the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation (USA) and is a Wings for Life Ambassador (UK). He is the subject of the acclaimed documentary called Unbreakable, is a TED Global, Davos, Wired and EG speaker  and is co-Founder of the global running series called Run in the Dark.

He has been awarded honorary doctorates by The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland and also from Queens University Belfast. And, he holds a diploma in Global Leadership and Public Policy for the 21st Century from Harvard University, degrees from Trinity College Dublin and The Smurfit Business School.


MARK'S TALKS

Sometimes we choose challenges, and other times they choose us.  Mark reminds us that, even in when fate deals us a difficult hand, we are in control; we decide our place in the future. 

Mark's moving and uplifting story of triumph over adversity shows businesses how to create a culture in which people contribute and invest their energy; where they motivate themselves; and where they have the courage to be different and ambitious. In his own words:

“The reason to bring in a speaker is to move the audience emotionally. It can never be about the speaker, rather it must be about engaging the audience to help them achieve more than they thought possible - that is what I aim to do
every time.

VIDEOS

When faced with life's toughest circumstances, how should we respond: as an optimist, a realist or something else? In an unforgettable talk, explorer Mark Pollock and human rights lawyer Simone George explore the tension between acceptance and hope in times of grief -- and share the groundbreaking work they're undertaking to cure paralysis (TED 2018)


Expect problems as we explore possibilities (2014)


Mark speaks at Wired about the importance of ambition and having the courage to think differently.

 
 

Testimonials

“[One of] the most inspiring people I met” --- Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft

"Mark’s talk still resonates with our European Sales Team. He started a conversation about challenging conventional wisdom that is ongoing at Google. And with over 20 nationalities in the room he reached them all" --- Google

"Mark spoke at our sales conference. The impact was instant and the messages continue to affect our people. His delivery was awe-inspiring and truly humbling, which forced us all to take a step back and consider how we face challenges and make decisions. Empowering our teams to take action and avoid excuses is key to our success as a business and Mark's story demonstrates how to do that."
--- Red Bull

"Your account of how you have overcome the loss of sight and continued to live your life and "make it happen" was humbling. But more than that, it was truly inspiring and invigorating as you challenged each one of us to reflect on and recognise how we choose to live our lives. You illustrated by personal example how we make decisions and that, by deciding what we want to change and what we want to see persist; we can find a powerful way through obstacles that originally might have seemed insurmountable. You also recounted your experiences with great style, honesty and humour. I can tell you that everyone who heard you has since spoken of you and been energised." --- Vodafone