Mark Pollock gives inspiring and effective motivational presentations based on his life experiences. He is an example of innovation and resilience in action – how to pre-empt and respond positively to changing circumstances.
Mark lost his sight when his retinas detached aged just 22, before this Mark thought he had it all. He was a final year student at Trinity College Dublin studying business and economics; identity had been everything. Captain of the University boat club, an international rower, in line for a top job with a London investment bank, the accolades were endless. In losing his sight, Mark felt he had lost everything. A few months earlier he had been a confident student with the world at his feet, in an instant, it was taken from him.
In July 2010 tragedy struck again when Mark suffered a fall from a second story window, breaking his back and leaving him paralysed. Mark has become a pioneer, exploring the frontiers of spinal cord injury recovery through aggressive physical therapy and robotic technology.
Mark has since raced in the world’s harshest environments, surviving the sub-zero temperatures of Antarctica as he raced to the South Pole over 43 days and suffering the scorching heat of the Gobi Desert, completing six marathons in one week in ‘‘The Race of No Return’’. He has competed in races on the frozen Arctic Ocean at the North Pole, through the desert lowlands of the Syrian-African Rift Valley to the Dead Sea and at altitude in the Himalayas. Mark has competed against professional explorers like Sir Ranulph Fiennes, Olympic Gold medallists and Special Forces personnel.
Mark is currently working with Microsoft as they have become engaged in his research to fast-track a cure for paralysis. Mark is donating his body to science and staying active through physical activities and, with the help of Microsoft, he hopes that beaming his data into the cloud will lead to better collaboration – and perhaps enable him to walk again. What’s different about Mark’s perspective on these challenges is that he competes in a world of total darkness.
Through his experiences as an elite athlete and a blind man, Mark has become a highly successful international speaker travelling across the globe. Alongside Mark’s own business interests he sits on a number of boards and advisory groups in the not-for-profit sector and is a Vice President of Outward Bound (NI). Relying on a decade of personal experience and study of surviving and competing on the edge, Mark has inspired thousands all over the world with his motivational speeches.
Read Mark’s blog ‘How do you Lead in a Crisis?’ here.
Mark’s talk still resonates with our European Sales Team. He started a conversation about challenging conventional wisdom that is ongoing at Google. And with over 20 nationalities in the room he reached them all.
Image copyright: Image © Mark Pollock
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Adventure, Digital, Diversity & Inclusion, Inspiration, Motivation
Extreme Conditions, Innovation, Overcoming Adversity, Psychology and Mindset, Resilience, Technology