Mark Pollock has been described by Microsoft’s CEO, Satya Nadella as one of ‘the most inspiring people I met’ after they discussed the ways technology is changing how people learn. After Mark addressed the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos, the Head of Public Engagement and Foundations said, “Mark doesn’t just talk about the transformative intersection of technology and humankind, he lives it‘.
Unbroken by blindness in 1998, Mark became an adventure athlete competing in ultra-endurance races across deserts, mountains, and the polar ice caps including being the first blind person to race to the South Pole.
During this period Mark 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.”
Then in 2010, a fall from a second story window nearly killed him. Mark broke his back and the damage to his spinal cord left him paralysed. Now he is on a new expedition, this time to cure paralysis in our lifetime by exploring the intersection where humans and technology collide.
Mark is now 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 like Mark Pollock, you can help them act with the courage to make it happen.
Mark says, “The reason to bring in a speaker is to move the audience emotionally. It can never be about the speaker, rather it must be about engaging the audience to help them achieve more than they thought possible – that is what I aim to do every time.”
Since being paralysed Mark 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 is on a mission to find and connect people around the world to fast-track a cure for paralysis. His truly inspiring story is in realtime and being played out every day.
Described in the Daily Telegraph as “a story of courage, determination and hope” Using his hard-earned expertise, Mark has inspired millions of people to achieve more than they thought possible in hundreds of organisations worldwide as well as TED2018, Davos, Web Summit, the World Economic Forum, EG and Wired.
Notably 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 and a half 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”.
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 an inspirational talk to your organisation please call Promotivate Speakers office in London on +442078711829 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
"Mark was amazing and very well received and perfect for our Defining Moments theme. Many people were inspired by his story and journey and struck by his manner which was so approachable, witty, charming and warm. People were moved to ask Q&A afterwards on topics of collaboration and bringing people together so he really resonated with the audience. The presentation was a great blend of personal anecdotes and video and his intro that you sent us plus the video and his impressive entrance on stage was the perfect dramatic opening. Mark gave us an intimate, inspirational talk that often seemed like we were all in an informal setting having a conversation rather than in a hotel ballroom. He drew everyone in with his conversational tone, sincerity and humour. These were my initial impressions but the meeting event will generate a survey where there will be more feedback over the next few weeks. Thx Jonathan for recommending Mark, he was a true delight, so accommodating and just an incredible individual. I will definitely recommend him for future events. Tanya"
“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.”