Lewis Pugh



Job Title

Endurance swimmer and UN Patron of the Oceans


UN Environment Program


South Africa/United Kingdom




As an ocean advocate and a pioneer swimmer, Lewis puts his hard-learned lessons into the context of a corporate environment. He shares the visualisation that enabled him to undertake the first swim across the sub-zero waters of the North Pole. He shares the radical tactical shift that he used to complete the first swim across a glacial lake on Mt Everest. And he describes the teamwork and the resilience required during the 49 consecutive days it took for him to become the first person to swim the length of the English Channel. Most importantly he inspires people to dig deep, define

Speaking Topics

  • Achieving the impossible

  • Purpose

  • Vision and motivation: swimming across the sub-zero waters of the North Pole

  • 22 lessons from swimming the English Channel

  • Building a sustainable business

Expert Profile

Lewis is an endurance swimmer and the UN Patron of the Oceans. He pioneers swims in the most vulnerable ecosystems on Earth to call for their protection.
Lewis has been instrumental in protecting over 2 million km2 of the vulnerable ocean – an area larger than Western Europe. His dream is to fully protect 30% of the world’s oceans by 2030. 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). Lewis read law at the University of Cape Town and Cambridge University.