Speaker Mark Pollock

Mark Pollock

Inspirational Speaker, Explorer, Innovator, & Collaboration Catalyst

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About Speaker Mark Pollock…

Mark helps people to build resilience and collaborate with others so that they achieve more than they thought possible.

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. He also won silver and bronze medals for rowing at the Commonwealth Games and set up a motivational speaking business (www.markpollock.com).

In 2010 a fall from a third 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.

As a speaker, Mark is best known for his 2018 TED Talk focused on resolving the tension between acceptance and hope (go.ted.com/markandsimone) delivered jointly with his fiancée, Simone George. It gathered over 1.5 million views in its first 6 months online and has been translated into 12 languages. He has inspired millions of people in hundreds of organisations and is a Davos, World Economic Forum, InnoTown, F.ounders, EG and Wired speaker.

Co-Founder of the global running series called Run in the Dark (www.runinthedark.org), Mark has been selected by the World Economic Forum as a Young Global Leader and is a former member of the Global Futures Council on Human Enhancement. He is a UBS Global Visionary, is on the Board of the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation (USA) and is a Wings for Life Ambassador (Europe).

In addition, Mark is the subject of the acclaimed documentaries ‘Blind Man Walking’ and‘Unbreakable – The Mark Pollock Story’, he 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.


Testimonials 12

  • Mark joined us at our DJO Global sales conference to kick off the year. The feedback from the team after his speech was incredible and unanimously positive. Mark’s inspirational words had a huge impact on the team and helped them to put their own challenges into perspective. His message resonated throughout the remainder of the conference. We have had many guest speakers at our annual conference over the years but no one made a lasting impact quite like Mark.


    DJO Global

  • Thank you for your presentation at our 2018 Partners’ Conference. The story, your response and the manner in which you have turned such adversity into a positive is awe-inspiring enough. But the real message for me lies in your delivery which is laced with humour, warmth and humility. As you may have detected, building our community is very important in the business we’re building and the characteristics you displayed, coupled with your inspiring messages, will serve as model behaviours for everyone who heard you.

    Head of PFP Change & Controls

    Prudential Financial Planning

  • 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.

    Regional Director, Northern Europe


  • 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.

    Senior Director EMEA


  • 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.

    Head of Solutions SMB, EMEA & Growth Markets


  • I was honored to meet with Mark Pollock in Ireland this year, where we engaged with teachers and students at St. Patrick’s College to discuss the ways technology is changing how students learn. Mark is an extreme adventurer and athlete who has raced to the South Pole — and even more incredibly, he was the first blind man to ever do so. Mark is a brilliant example of the fact that we can always achieve more than what we think is possible.

    Satya Nadella

    CEO, Microsoft

  • Mark provided a powerful perspective to the assembled media at Davos. Mark doesn’t just talk about the transformative intersection of technology and humankind – he lives it. As he explores a cure for paralysis, he helped people understand the human dimension of the fourth industrial revolution at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting

    Head of Public Engagement & Foundations, World Economic Forum

  • Mark was a speaker at National Geographic’s Extreme Explorers dinner in Davos in January 2016. His personal story and insights were incredibly powerful, and clearly had a profound impact on everyone in the room. He embodies the spirit, resilience and determination that are the hallmarks of what it means to be an explorer.”

    Editor in Chief, National Geographic Magazine

  • Mark brought a hugely authentic and moving story to our conference. He challenged us all to think about the mind-sets we bring to work and life, and to change those for the better.

    Global HR Manager Crude & SEE, Shell UK

  • In the weeks following Mark’s talk I have seen managers’ at LinkedIn reference Mark’s approach to solving
    complex problems. His talk was inspirational and can be applied in our daily business lives.

    Director, Northern Europe & Growth Markets, LinkedIn

  • Mark has presented to our EY tax department and to the finalists of the EY Entrepreneur of the Year
    programme. By using his experiences as a backdrop, he presented the decisions that we all face in times of
    uncertainty and change. And, as the story unfolded, both audiences were prompted to examine their decision
    making when challenges appear. The relevance to entrepreneurs and corporate employees alike was

    Head of Tax and EY Entrepreneur of the Year Programme, EY Ireland

  • Mark joined us at our National Conference to share his insights into individual decision making in tough circumstances, and the importance of collaborative working. Using his own field of endeavour to bring the session to life, he prompted us to focus on the decisions we make when we face challenges, rather than the challenges themselves. It is this kind of thinking that led us to invite Mark to speak at our conference, where he delivered a very powerful speech that left a lasting impression.

    Pfizer, UK Managing Director

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