Lewis Pugh – Keynote Speaker

Endurance swimmer and UN Patron of the Oceans

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Specialist Subjects

  • Goal Setting
  • Motivation
  • Leadership and Teamwork
  • High Performance
  • Resilience
  • Sustainability
  • Change
  • Risk


  • English


Lewis Pugh is an endurance swimmer, a maritime lawyer, and the UN Patron of the Oceans.

He pioneers swims in the most vulnerable ecosystems on Earth to campaign for their protection. He was the first person to complete a long-distance swim in every ocean of the world. Lewis Pugh was also the first to swim across the North Pole, and the first to swim the length of the English Channel.

Most recently, he swam the length of the Hudson River to New York to highlight the importance of clean rivers. Lewis has been instrumental in protecting over 2 million km2 of vulnerable ocean – an area larger than Western Europe. His dream is to fully protect 30% of the world’s oceans by 2030.

Lewis Pugh talks about the methods he uses – a clear vision, the right mind-set, choosing a high performance team, meticulous preparation, never quitting, and having the flexibility to change when circumstances dictate. TED describe him as a “master story-teller”. Lewis has received many awards for his work. He was selected as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum.

He was chosen as one of National Geographic’s Adventurers of the Year. And he was awarded South Africa’s highest honour – the Order of Ikhamanga (Gold Class). He studied law at the University of Cambridge.

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