Brad Borkan

Brad Borkan is a motivational speaker and co-author of When Your Life Depends on It: Extreme Decision Making Lessons from the Antarctic.

Brad’s talks, and his book, focus on the real life-and-death decisions made by early Antarctic explorers, and reveal amazing lessons in leadership, team work, and sheer grit and determination that can help all of us make better decisions in our lives today. This can be especially useful when confronting adversity, building effective teams, and trying to succeed against the odds — all important skills in today’s world.

Combining an early interest in Antarctica and Decision Making

Brad’s interest in polar history started when he picked up an Antarctic book at the age of 8, at the local Public Library. He has a graduate degree in Decision Sciences from the University of Pennsylvania, and a fascination in how people and businesses can make better decisions.

Brad  gives keynote and after-dinner presentations at business conferences. His talks focus on goal setting, leadership, teamwork, resilience, and improving one’s personal and business decision making, all set in the exciting context of Polar exploration. Brad brings a strong background of business acumen to his talks in that he has worked for the world’s leading technology companies like Oracle and SAP, and as part of his work has advised many large and mid-sized organizations on how to make better business decisions.

Brad has presented talks based on his book at major corporations like Credit Suisse, as well as organizations like the Royal Society of Chemistry.  He has talked at conferences like the Strand Business Conference in London and the B2B Marketing Leaders Forum for 150 senior executives.  He has also conducted a webinar to 500 top employees of a Fortune 100 company using the ideas in the book.

He has presented at Antarctic conferences in Norway, Ireland and the UK, has lectured at the prestigious Scott Polar Research Institute in Cambridge and on an Antarctic cruise ship.  He was the headline presence at a Literary Festival in the Cotswolds, England and looks forward to talking at more literary festivals.

Brad’s speaker’s profile    List of Brad’s presentations.  Testimonials for his talks.

Media: TV & Internet Radio

Brad has appeared on cable TV in the US, and on numerous podcasts and internet radio talk programs.  His detailed knowledge and insights into decision making have led to Brad being approached by writers and producers in the TV and Film industries to advise them on a range of future projects. Brad has also defined a 5-part documentary series proposal based on decision making and the Antarctic stories from the book.

Contact information for Talks and Media

Brad is honored to be represented by Diana Boulter of DBA Speakers.  To book Brad for a talk or media event, please contact Diana by emailing

Fellow of the RGS and member of Antarctic societies and Literary organizations

Brad lives in London, and is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.  He was educated at the University of Pennsylvania and Imperial College, London.  Brad is an active member of the Scott Polar Research Institute, the UK Antarctic Heritage Trust, the James Caird Society, the South Georgia (Antarctic island) Association, and the Captain Scott Society, as well as the Society of Authors and the Alliance of Independent Authors.


On a personal note, Brad writes, “I am most pleased about my co-author partnership with David Hirzel, and the audiobook partnership with the incredible voice actor, Dennis Kleinman.  The Antarctic community of polar historians, descendants of the early explorers, and the many brave modern explorers and adventurers have been incredibly helpful and supportive in the process of creating the book.”

The photo at the top of this page was taken inside a replica of the James Caird, the 23 foot lifeboat Shackleton used to sail from Elephant Island to South Georgia, across the roughest seas in the world, to seek rescue after the Endurance ship was crushed in the Antarctic ice in 1915. This replica was used for a Discovery Channel documentary.

Brad and David are excited to announce a new and thrilling project. They are collaborating on a new book to be launched in 2021 which will feature new and original research they have undertaken. It is called, Audacious Goals, Remarkable Results: How an Explorer, an Engineer and a Statesman shaped our Modern World. The audiobook will be narrated and produced by Dennis Kleinman.

Contact Brad

oe email:

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This