Robert Swan



Arts, Culture & Lifestyle


Robert Swan


Robert Swan has earned his place alongside the great explorers and adventurers that have tested their physical and mental strength to the limit in the planet's most hostile environments.As with the great explorers and adventurers in history, Robert Swan is the first man in history to walk to both the North and South Poles. The successful completion of his North and South Pole expeditions marked the beginning of a new phase in his life. On both expeditions, he experienced, firsthand, the effects of environmental damage on the Polar icecaps. This shaped Swan's lifetime goal - to work for the preservation of the Antarctic as the last great wilderness on earth. He then founded 2041, an organization dedicated to this goal. With his presence and integrity, accomplishments and reflections, Robert Swan has an extraordinary ability to move people and motivate audiences.It is through his expeditions and lectures that Swan works to inform, engage and inspire the next generation of leaders to take responsibility, be sustainable, and know that now is the time for action in policy development, sustainable business generation and future technologies.


Robert’s talks are thrilling, uplifting and stimulating - all while fostering courage, vision and teamwork. His core themes are inspiration, leadership and future thinking for business, society and the environment:


Robert has shown through his expeditions to both Poles that individuals have the power to overcome obstacles and achieve their goals - whatever these may be - through perseverance, determination and commitment.

Robert highlights how great feats are rarely achieved by individuals in isolation; more often, it is a team effort.  Robert emphasizes the importance of strategic decision making.

 As an environmental leader, Robert takes climate change and the protection of Antarctica as the burning platform. Robert engages audiences on what it takes to be the leader and predecessor in creating new models and sustainable solutions for the future.


References & Press

  • 2006, Honorary Fellow at St. Chad’s College, Durham University (UK)
  • 2005, Awarded “Freedom of the City of London”
  • 2003, Awarded the European Union “Ambassador for the Environment”
  • 1998, Smithsonian Award for the Information Technology in Education & Academia (USA)
  • 1995, Awarded OBE by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
  • 1994, Appointed Special Envoy to the Director General of UNESCO
  • 1993, Doctorate of Letters, The Robert Gordon University (UK)
  • 1992, Appointed United Nations Education/Science and Cultural Organization Goodwill Ambassador with Special Responsibility for Youth (UNESCO)
  • Visiting Professor of the School of Environment, Leeds Metropolitan University (UK)
  • 1990, Winner of the United Nations Global 500 award
  • 1989, Appointed United Nations Environment Program Goodwill Ambassador (UNEP)
  • 1988, Swan was awarded the Polar Medal by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

„Shell staff have participated in 2041 expeditions since 2009 and we have been pleased to have Robert Swan visit us as a speaker on more than one occasion. He and the 2041 team offer a unique proposition for business; real world awareness, advice and guidance blended with pragmatism and a strong sense of environmental stewardship.” David Hone, Chief Climate Change Adviser, 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.” MR Rangaswami, Founder, Corporate Eco Forum