Lewis Pugh is the only person to have completed a long-distance swim in every ocean of the world.
Over a period of 30 years he has pioneered swims in the most challenging environments on earth including the Antarctic, the North Pole and the Himalayas and developed an understanding of the beauty and fragility of life and its many ecosystems.
In 2007 he undertook the first long-distance swim across the North Pole to highlight the melting of the Arctic sea ice. He followed this up with a swim across a glacial lake on Mt Everest to draw attention to the melting glaciers in the Himalayas. Most recently he became the first person the swim the 530km length of the English Channel.
Pugh’s driving purpose is to protect our oceans. In 2016 he played a pivotal role in creating the largest marine reserve in the world in the Ross Sea off Antarctica. The media coined the term “Speedo Diplomacy” to describe his efforts swimming in the icy waters of Antarctica and going between the USA and Russia to help negotiate the final agreement.
Pugh describes the methods he uses to undertake swims, which were often deemed “impossible” - choosing the right team, meticulous preparation, the right mind-set, never quitting, and changing when circumstances dictate.
In 2010 Pugh was selected as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. In 2013 he was appointed the first UN Patron of the Oceans, and in 2016 he was chosen as one of National Geographic’s Adventurers of the Year.
"You won’t find a more captivating story teller… Lewis stole the show at the World Economic Forum in Davos."
Professor, Wharton Business School
"Thank you for coming to speak to us. You have a very special gift. Not many people can speak to a group of world leaders like you did – with so much authority and passion. I could have heard a pin drop."
"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 doesn’t tell us what to do, he shows us what can be done."
Bill Clinton, 42nd President of the United States of America
"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
"Thank you for such an inspirational and awe-inspiring speech at our 200th Anniversary celebration."
CEO, Lloyd's Insurance
"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