This morning the IIG hosted their May Motivational Madness breakfast with key speaker Lewis Pugh. A humble man of British and South African origins, Lewis managed to captivate the audience with his story of moving beyond perceived barriers and removing any “limiting doubt” in life. As the first man to swim in the North Pole and raise awareness of ocean conservation and climate change, he is well qualified to speak on such a matter.

No stranger to public speaking, Lewis has spoken at TED about his record-breaking polar swim and you can view a short video about the experience here. The core message of moving beyond self-doubt is based on seven principles and he managed to describe each with an engaging anecdote. “Believe everyone wants to help you” showcased his team managing to use Roman Abramovich’s yacht in the Maldives (at very short notice) when their boat broke down. This helped him complete his swim to highlight the dangers of global warming raising the oceans above the current sea-level which would result in countries like the Maldives disappearing.

IMG_20160505_093923The wisdom of a young Sherpa shouting at Lewis to slow down during his glacial lake swim on Mount Everest, contrary to everything he had planned to do to accomplish the swim (going fast and aggressive), highlighted the need to “be prepared to change the route”.

There are many stories that he could tell which transcend all aspects of life/work and we encourage you to read and explore his story, which explains his passion for conservation of the seas and the planet. The standing ovation at the end of his talk was well deserved, but it is always interesting to see what happens after these types of talks. Lewis’ willingness to talk to anyone about anything, the down-to-earth attitude he conveys when speaking to an individual and his humility set him apart from so many other “speakers-at-events”. We can see why he has been appointed the United Nations Patron of the Oceans and CN&CO and the IIG wish him and his associates all the best in their efforts at creating the largest marine protected area in the world.

Thank you to Nina Joubert, Olivia Smith and Tracy Payne with the rest of the IIG team for organising a thoroughly interesting event. #EngageConnectGrow