Lewis Pugh is an endurance swimmer and an ocean advocate.
He pioneers swims in the most vulnerable ecosystems on Earth to call for their protection.
Over a period of 35 years he has undertaken more swims around famous landmarks than any other swimmer in history. He was the first person to complete a long distance swim in every ocean of the world. He was also the first to swim across the North Pole, and the first to swim the length of the English Channel.
Lewis Pugh has been instrumental in protecting over 2 million km2 of vulnerable ocean – an area larger than Western Europe. His dream is to help protect 30% of the world’s oceans by 2030.
Lewis has received a number of awards for his work. He was selected as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. He was chosen as a National Geographic Adventurer of the Year. And he was awarded South Africa’s highest honour the Order of Ikhamanga (Gold Class). In 2013 the United Nations appointed him as the UN Patron of the Oceans.
Lewis read law at Cambridge University.
"You won’t find a more captivating story teller… Lewis stole the show at the World Economic Forum in Davos."
Professor, Wharton Business School
"Your address was the perfect close to a conference centered around achievement and moving to the next level. The story you have to tell is incredibly unique and was delivered in such a professional and entertaining manner. Everyone was inspired by your extraordinary journey."
CEO, Deutsche Bank (UK)
"Lewis Pugh gave the perfect TED talk: a little bit of action, some thinking outside the box, humbling words on the need to respect nature, a happy ending. A Hollywood scriptwriter could not have structured it better."
The Financial Times
"Lewis’s speech was riveting and passionate. He’s stunning!"
Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nobel Peace Laureate 1984
"Lewis tells a very inspiring and motivating story of achieving sporting excellence at it’s 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."
Former Head Coach, South African Cricket Team
"I cannot thank you enough for your speech at our Leadership Conference. It was absolutely remarkable and your message was a moving and emotional experience. The incredible scale of endeavour, the meticulous preparation, and the emotional magnitude, came through so crisply. Not only are your achievements so incredible and inspiring, but your ability to put them across in such a special way will no doubt have a lasting impact on our leadership team."
CEO, Discovery Holdings
“Lewis is a totally enchanting speaker and provides valuable lessons to apply to business and to life.”
Chief Evangelist, Canva
“The dreams, the hardships, and the sheer heart behind Lewis’s expeditions will inspire you to rethink your own ‘impossible’.”
Jack Canfield, co-author, Chicken Soup for the Soul
“It was such an honor and privilege for us to have you talk with our team today. We were inspired by your purpose, passion and authenticity. It was the highlight of our event.”
Executive Vice President Sales, Dynata
“I honestly think it was the best talk I have ever watched. It was awesome, purposeful and totally relevant.”
Membership Director, National Trust
“His passion and extraordinary determination create a uniquely personal connection with audiences.”
Executive Vice President, Gartner
“This was a brilliant talk which brought the message to life about the health of the planet and everyone’s responsibility to do everything we can to safeguard it. Your story telling and your extraordinary achievements made the message unforgettable.”
CEO, The Medical Defence Union
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