Mark Pollock went blind at 22. From an athlete, he became a young man with a white cane, unsure of how to live his life.
Then he came across Man’s Search for Meaning, Viktor Frankl’s book about enduring hunger and brutality in Auschwitz, where he quoted Nietzsche: “He who has a why to live can bear with almost any how.”
He began to race in deserts, mountains, across oceans, and on the 10th anniversary of going blind, he raced over 43 days to the South Pole.
Then in 2010, Mark Pollock broke his back, and his new life was shattered. Blind and paralyzed in a world that has failed to create a cure for spinal cord injury, Mark couldn’t imagine how he could live. But after spending months in hospital, Mark found a new reason to get out of bed.
Mark is on a new expedition with the Mark Pollock Trust, to find and connect people working in science, technology, communications and finance to fast-track a cure for paralysis. It is a purpose so incredibly exciting that Mark Pollock rarely thinks about the hardship of the ‘how’.
It is tough to deliver world-class performance. Your people won’t do it by chance. With a high-impact catalyst, you can help them act with the courage to make it happen. Mark Pollock is that catalyst.
Unbroken by blindness in 1998, Mark went on to compete in ultra-endurance races across deserts, mountains, Mark helps people achieve more than they thought possible. He is now exploring the frontiers of spinal cord injury recovery, combining an innovative electrical stimulator over his spinal cord and a drug super-charging his nervous system whilst walking hundreds of thousands of steps as the world’s leading test pilot of Ekso Bionics robotic legs. He trains daily on his legs to challenge the conventional wisdom that says his central nervous system cannot recover.
Mark’s is a truly inspiring story that is being played out every day. Mark is on a mission to find and connect people around the world to fast-track a cure for paralysis.
Described in the Daily Telegraph as “a story of courage, determination and hope” Mark has used his hard-earned expertise to help people achieve more than they thought possible in over 250 organisations worldwide as well as the World Economic Forum, Davos, Wired and TEDx. In 2018 in Vancouver, Mark was chosen to close the TED Global conference. His keynote, with his partner Simone George entitled “A love letter to realism in a time of grief” has amassed over one million views on YouTube.
Acknowledged as an expert in smashing expectations, Red Bull UK’s Managing Director describes him as “awe-inspiring”.
Google’s Head of SMB Sales says he “started a conversation about challenging the conventional wisdom that is ongoing at Google”.
Motivation – Resilience and attitude under pressure
Leadership – Performance and leading through a crisis
Teamwork – Collaboration across disciplines and geographies
Innovation – At the intersection where humans and technology collide
Selected by the World Economic Forum as a Young Global Leader, Mark is on the Board of the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation (USA) and is a Wings for Life Ambassador (UK). He is the subject of two acclaimed documentaries – Unbreakable, and Blind Man Walking – and is co-Founder of the global running series called Run in the Dark (www.runinthedark.org).
In addition, Mark has been awarded honorary doctorates by The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland and also from Queens University Belfast. And, he holds a diploma in Global Leadership and Public Policy for the 21st Century from Harvard University, degrees from Trinity College Dublin and The Smurfit Business School.
If you would like to inquire about booking Mark Pollock for a motivational talk to your organisation please call Promotivate Speakers office in London on +442078711829 or email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
“It was a privilege to have Mark address both our customers and our Management Team at Google. He delivers that rare combination of inspiration, perspective and practical insight that forces his audience to really reflect on how they rise to their personal challenges and set goals that seem unachievable. He delivers his message in a deeply personal, humorous and memorable way that lands with his audience. It was a pleasure for all of us to spend time in his company. Inspiring.”
“The rule of seven is one of the oldest concepts in marketing, the rule states that you must hear something seven times before you act. Mark is a rule breaker in so many ways, but most importantly his message to be a competitor or spectator, realist or optimist, collaborator or soloist was a onetime hit with our team at LinkedIn. I have heard Mark speak many times and each time I come away with a renewed sense of purpose and willingness to act. Mark’s drive to build radical collaboration hubs is one of the most important efforts in his drive to find a cure for paralysis however it’s also the biggest lesson he has for those he interacts with.”
“Mark presented at our Global Sales Partners Conference in Twitter and was exceptional. His ability to link his personal story to people’s everyday life and work challenges was excellent. The session was not just about listening to an incredible story, it was a chance for everyone to really think about themselves. There is something in this talk for everyone.”