Robert Swan

  • One of the world’s greatest polar explorers
LSB Plus


Robert Swan, is one of the world’s preeminent polar explorers and environmental leaders.

By the age of 33, Robert became the first person to walk to both the North and South Poles, earning his place in history alongside the great explorers and adventurers. His 900 mile journey to the South Pole, ‘In the Footsteps of Scott’, stands as the longest unassisted walk ever made on earth. During his expeditions, Swan experienced firsthand the effects of global warming at both Poles.

In Antarctica, his eyes forever changed colour after prolonged exposure under the hole in the ozone layer. In the Arctic, his team survived near-death encounters in a melting ocean, prematurely caused by global warming. These powerful experiences only helped to shape and focus Swan’s lifetime goal: working towards the preservation of Antarctica as the last great wilderness on earth.

In 1992, Robert Swan was the Keynote Speaker at the first ‘World Summit for Sustainable Development’ held in Rio de Janeiro. There he addressed world leaders and was charged with undertaking a 10 year global and local environmental mission which would involve industry, business and young people. Ten years later in 2002, he reported back to world leaders at the second World Summit held in Johannesburg. He had successfully completed all of his promised missions, including numerous international, youth-driven clean-up projects in Antarctica and Africa. A true visionary at heart, Robert committed to a third 10 year mission, this time to inspire youth to become sustainable leaders and promote the use of renewable energy throughout the planet.

Since 2003, he has led annual expeditions to Antarctica with students and business executives to focus on leadership training, environmental clean-up and education initiatives. The ‘Inspire Antarctic Expedition’ teams helped design and build the world’s first renewable energy Education Station in Antarctica, called the E-Base.

In March 2008, Robert made Antarctic history again by living solely on renewable energy at the E-Base for over two weeks. Successful in the world’s harshest climate, the positive message Swan sent to the world was “This is possible in Antarctica, and surely it is possible in the ‘real world’!”

His contribution to education and the environment has been recognised on an international scale, seen through his appointment as United Nations Goodwill Ambassador for Youth and Special Envoy to the Director General of UNESCO. He was awarded the high distinction of OBE, Officer of the Order of the British Empire, as well as the Polar Medal by Her Majesty.



As an environmental leader, Robert takes climate change and the protection of Antarctica as the burning platform. He highlights the environmental challenges and the need for global cooperation to safeguard this pristine continent. His presentation emphasizes the corporate world’s responsibility in supporting sustainable practices and fostering an environmentally conscious culture.

Robert’s talk will not only raise awareness about the importance of preserving the Antarctic but also inspire corporate audiences to take action and contribute to a sustainable future. His unique experiences and passion for environmental conservation make this an engaging and motivating topic for corporate events.


After experiencing the effects of climate change firsthand on his expeditions, Robert uses his expertise to relay the importance of incorporating and improving sustainable practices within businesses and corporations. Robert discusses his trek to the South Pole powered entirely by renewable energy and why a global shift to renewable energy is crucial for the preservation of Antarctica and the survival of our planet. Robert tailors his speeches to discuss your company’s specific Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG) policies as well as how your company can join Rob’s lifelong fight in protecting Antarctica for decades to come.


As we emerge from the initial phases of the pandemic at different rates across the globe, many of us are being met with the stark realization that things may never return to our idea of “normal.” Robert divulges his experiences with returning to society after nine months of isolation in Antarctica and finding out that everything had changed – even himself. He gives advice on how to embrace these changes and deal with the confusion and disappointment that often accompany them so that we may create and thrive in our “new normal.”


  • Keynote Speech
  • Workshop
  • Webinar


Robert Swan Speaking Reel

Leadership on the edge: Robert Swan at TEDxUNPlaza

Robert Swan: Let's save the last pristine continent


Shell staff have participated in Robert’s expeditions since 2009 and we have been pleased to have Robert Swan visit us as a speaker on more than one occasion. He offers a unique proposition for business; real world awareness, advice and guidance blended with pragmatism and a strong sense of environmental stewardship

- Shell Research Ltd

If you have a heartbeat, you will be inspired by Robert Swan. Whether talking to C-suite executives or rising stars, Swan is uniquely poised to inspire people to stretch their ideas about what is possible–then to dig deep to achieve the extraordinary. He doesn’t just change people’s ideas: he changes their lives.

- Corporate Eco Forum


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