Sir Swan was super, super inspiring. As someone who has recently begun to explore the nexus between storytelling/inspiration/performance and intellectual/environmental/lecture-based presentation, his lecture was just what I needed to see how it can be done well.
He goes to Antarctica every February with a group of determined, passionate people; to share the awe of the place, so they can take back their stories and inspire others to care about Antarctica too. (Pick me! Pick me! I have always wanted to go to Antarctica, and am seriously scheming about this.)
Other notes from the lecture:
I try to live by, "If you can do or dream you can, begin it now. For boldness has genius, power, and magic in it."
I keep hearing "save the planet!". The planet will look after itself, it's our involvement in it that may suffer. However, "the greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it"
4 things I have learned:
1) I hate walking
1) I hate walking
2) negative 89 degrees Farenheit is cold. I don't like sweat ice in my underpants.
3)no insurance agency dares insure my life
4) there are so many negative people. We MUST be positive because no one is inspired by negativity.
You never forget starving, I hope you never have, but it makes you grateful not to starve.
People ask me "Why did you do it?" I remembered my dreams. Don't lose yours!
Leadership is delivery agains the odds, with minimum resources. If you make a committment, follow through. Inspire others by showing it, living it, don't just send an email. Get out there and DO it! Leadership is about response to challenge. But it's also about being RELEVANT, not just honorable and good. STAY RELEVANT.
On a team, choose different and strong people. Tell eachother the truth. Laugh. On the way, look for champions (people who will support you!)
Sometimes leadership is supporting people to do their jobs.
He was in debt $1.2 million at age 28 (the boat he borrowed to get to Antarctica sunk), and it took him 10 yrs to pay off (there's hope for me yet!). Later, with $12 million and 8 yrs, he was able to remove 1500 tons of Soviet scrap metal from Antarctica and recycle it in Uruguay.
We are overloaded with information, we don't need information. We need inspiration. The best way to be inspiring is to engage people rather than talking at them. He invites young people, globally to join him on his ventures to achieve this. It's about Sustainable Inspiration, which is not difficult to achieve in a gloomy world, but it is important to revist the inspiration ourselves so we don't get bogged down as we do our jobs.