Speaking, TV & Media

Brad and David are passionate speakers with the interest and experience to show how people and businesses can make better decisions.

Their presentations focus on leadership, teamwork and winning against the odds – often when the odds are stacked impossibly high against success. Clients include Credit Suisse, SAP, the Scott Polar Research Institute at the University of Cambridge, and the Royal Society of Chemistry

  • Northwest Passage ship lecture, Aug 2022 - TBC
  • Brunel Conference, Bristol, UK, Summer 2022 - TBC
  • Shackleton Conference, Hull, UK, May 2022 
  • HULF Literary Festival, UK, Apr 2022 
    • Guest speaker:  Captain Scott’s Legacy and his impact on Climate Change Research
  • Antarctica ship lecture, Winter 2022 -TBC

  • Shackleton Conference, Athy, Ireland, Oct 2021 (online event)
  • Nimrod Magazine. Oct 2021 
    • Article: Theodore Roosevelt's Interest in Polar Exploration
  • Video Interview: William Myers, Jr. interviewing Brad, Aug 2021
  • Podcast Interview: Holly Worton interviewing Brad, Aug 2021
  • Book Launch events: Aug-Sept  2021
  • Webinar for small businesses: Lessons from Shackleton, Feb  2021
    • With K. Carpenter, Leadership Coach. Event for the benefit of the Air Ambulance Service
  • Monocle Magazine, Article for Feb 2021 issue
    • Article: Decision Lessons from Antarctica

  • Antarctic Cruise: Polar Latitudes Hebridean Sky, Nov 2019
    • Guest lecture about Shackleton on the day the ship visited South Georgia (Antarctica) which is where Shackleton is buried.
    • Co-presented with adventurer, explorer and historian: Seb Coulthard
  • Internet Radio Interview, Sept 2019
    • Brad with Chris Fagan (author of The Expedition: Two Parents Risk Life and Family in an Extraordinary Quest to the South Pole)
  • Western Mortgagee Advisory Council Conference in San Francisco, Sept 2019
    • Keynote speaker 
  • Windstar Cruise Line, Aug 2019
    • Guest lecturer on North Atlantic crossing
  • TV Interview, June 2019
    • Brad interviewed by Dr. Joan Goldstein
  • WH Smith Bookstore, Richmond, Surrey, UK June 2019
    • Book signing event
  • Internet Radio Interview, June 2019
    • Brad and Dennis Kleinman (audiobook narrator for When Your Life Depends on It)
    • How we made the audiobook and why it was up for a major Hollywood award.
  • Antarctic Conference, Dublin, June 2019
  • Business Conference, London, May 2019
  • Literary Festival,  Apr 2019 
  • Royal Society of Chemistry, Apr 2019
    • Guest speaker at their away-day team building session in Cambridge
  • Viking Cruise Line, Mar 2019
    • Guest lecturer on North Atlantic crossing
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  • Windstar Cruise Line, Nov 2018
    • Guest lectures on North Atlantic crossing
  • Scott Polar Research Institute, Cambridge England, Oct 2018 
    • Guest lecture on When Your Life Depends on It.
  • B2B Marketing Leaders Forum, London, Sept 2018 
    • “Developing a Resiliency Mind-set for Modern-Day Business Leaders: Lessons from Scott, Shackleton and the Heroic Age”
    • Conference attended by 150 CMO’s (Chief Marketing Officers)
    • Testimonial from B2B Marketing provided above
  • Present Day Club, Princeton NJ Sept 2018 
    • “Leadership, Team Work and Decision Making: Lessons from the Antarctic”
    • Private members club was founded by Woodrow Wilson’s wife.
    • 116 in the audience. Testimonial from Club President provided.
  • Credit Suisse Investment Bank, London July 2018
    • “Disruptive Innovators and early Antarctic Explorers” 
    • 370 Credit Suisse employees attended from 16 different countries.
  • Great Minds Lecture Series in Princeton NJ, May 2018
  • Author Talk Radio Interview, Apr 2018
  • University Guest Lecture: Dominican University of California, April 2018
    • “Leadership, Teams, and Change” 
  • Speaker at “Interesting Talks London”, March 2018

  • Princeton PSRC Charity talk Dec 2017
    • “More Tales from the Antarctic”
  • Antarctic Conference in Ireland, Oct 2017
  • Strand Business conference, Oct 2017
    • Keynote speech at “Customers as Advocates” business conference
    • Leadership, Team Work and Decision Making: Lessons from the Antarctic” at the Dorchester Hotel, London. Event program.
  • Book talks at libraries and bookstores, July – Sept 2017
    • Hancock Point Public Library, Maine
    • Florey’s Bookstore, California
    • Copperfield’s Bookstore, California
  • Book launch: Discovery Point, Scotland: May 2017
    • Antarctic Conference held at Discovery Point, Dundee, Scotland – museum housing Scott’s Discovery ship
    • Shackleton’s Genius—Reframing the Image of Success, a critical skill for the 21st century”
  • Book launch: Fram Museum, Norway: May 2017
    • South Pole-sium Conference – Fram museum housing Amundsen’s Antarctic ship, the Fram.
  • Devon & Cornwall Polar Society: March 2017
    • Book talk at the Devon & Cornwall Polar Society, Duke of Cornwall Hotel, Plymouth.
    • Shackleton stayed at The Duke of Cornwall Hotel the night before the Endurance sailed to Antarctica in 1914. 

Radio:

Brad delivered a terrific, fascinating and extremely motivational session at the B2B Marketing Leaders Forum this year – his passion and knowledge about the great age of exploration is extraordinary, and this made for an excellent addition to our agenda.

The 150 marketing directors in attendance hugely appreciated hearing from one of their peers, and there was a lengthy queue of people looking to get a copy of Brad’s book, ‘When your life depends on it’ signed at the end of the event. I’d thoroughly recommend him.

Joel Harrison

B2B Marketing - Editor in Chief

It gives me great pleasure to write this letter highly recommending Brad Borkan. Brad was the guest speaker at the Present Day Club in Princeton, New Jersey. He shared amazing stories from his book, When Your Life Depends on It, about the challenges faced by the Antarctic Explorers in the early 1900s. In addition to recounting the experiences, Brad revealed broader lessons regarding leadership, team work and determination, all of which can help us make better personal and business decisions in our own lives.

Brad had a very skillful, relaxed and authentic manner, and his presentation was very enjoyable and satisfying to our members. His eloquent expression, his enthusiasm and his professional yet casual demeanor fully engaged the entire audience of over 100.

Catherine Judd Hirsch

President, Present Day Club

Brad Borkan’s talk about life lessons we can learn from the early Antarctic explorers, given at Hawkesbury Upton Literary Festival, was absolutely riveting. For the first time, I really appreciated what those men were up against, and how incredibly difficult their journeys were.

The combination of a fascinating talk and excellent slides showing maps and photographs of the men themselves was excellent.

I can’t praise the talk highly enough. If you ever get the chance to hear Brad speak, seize it. Not only will you hear a spellbinding account of some of the toughest journeys every undertaken, you’ll also come away feeling challenged to make courageous choices in your own life.

Claire Jones

UK

Thank you so much for your talk tonight. Really passionate and inspiring…. exactly what I needed to help my own decision making.

S Lawrence

London, UK

I was riveted throughout the talk, listening to the adventurous and courageous stories of those amazing Antarctic explorers.

What was really interesting was how it made you think about what you would do in those circumstances — what kind of a person am I, would I leave someone else to die, how would I have survived?

Equally there were some extremely insightful lessons for business and leadership, I particularly liked the way that rather than failing when the original goal wasn’t achieved, Brad tells the story of how Shackleton, “ pivots” the goal, to keep everyone motivated (the team and staff) in order to come back with a success story for the outside world (shareholders). Overall a really interesting talk, the lessons for business I will remember more than other leadership sessions, because of the extreme and exciting stories from those simply amazing, brave men.

Jane Wilkinson

Global CEO and Board level Chief Marketing Officer

Brad Borkan is a charismatic, natural and engaging speaker, and we were pleased to welcome him both as keynote speaker in our opening ceremony and for his illustrated talk on Lessons Learned from the Early Antarctic Explorers.

Brad has the knack of making his expert knowledge and insights accessible and interesting to the many kinds of people – our audience at the Literary Festival ranged from young executives interested in the business and management to retired folk keen on the historical angle. His pleasant, gentle manner makes him very approachable for Q&A and outside of the lecture hall, and he continued to contribute to the success of the Festival throughout the day by being ready and willing to chat informally to fellow speakers and audience alike.

His fresh enthusiasm for his subject was infectious, and he left us wanting more. Fortunately his excellent book, When Your Life Depends on It, being the perfect follow-up purchase or gift for those at the event.

Debbie Young

Organizer of the Hawkesbury Upton Literary Festival

… an enthralling and engaging session, packed with insights and thought-provoking points.

Chris Page

Business Conference Producer

Informative and entertaining… Brad Borkan’s enthusiasm for the subject shone through and the excellent photographs added drama. His tie-in with decision making, which is so much in the current interest thanks to Daniel Kahneman, added a unique touch to the subject. Compared to the explorers, our own decision making seems mundane.

Irene and Sam Goldfarb

Attendees, Princeton Talks

A highly engaging presentation set in the historic surroundings of the Scott Polar Research Institute theatre.

Brad Borkan delivered a talk filled with a series of captivating, high-risk, hostile environment story lines to the audience, setting the scene and asking the audience ‘what they would do’? What made the diversity of responses even more fascinating was that the scenarios had actually occurred during early Antarctic expeditions, with Brad explaining the outcome of each situation.

His final summary contained ‘Seven lessons from the Antarctic’, an invaluable framework of strategies employed in the heroic age of polar exploration. Brad described each one detailing how they were used 100 years ago, and how they have timeless relevance in improving decision making processes, in either the most challenging of circumstances, or everyday life. Lesson #5 (‘Never ever give up’) is the one that has resonated throughout my life, especially during my personal experiences in the high Arctic and in the military.

I would highly recommend both Brad’s presentation and the book that he co-wrote. They are both suitable for people from all walks of life who want to improve their decision-making processes, their own leadership, or to develop those within their team.

Kevin O'Brien

What a fascinating presentation and it really made me think about the decisions I make both professionally and personally. Brad’s knowledge on the expeditions is brilliant and left me totally captivated as he relayed the stories.

Carolyn Delehanty

Attendee, Customer Experience World Conference

Thanks for such a wonderfully informative event, I particularly enjoyed the talk from Brad and how he related decision making in the workplace, and life in general, to the decisions of the explorers.

Attendee

SureCloud, at the Strand Business Conference

Quite simply, if it wasn’t for Shackleton’s leadership skills, I would not be here today. My grandfather, Alexander Kerr, was one of the youngest members of the Endurance Expedition led by Sir Ernest Shackleton.

All 28 men became stranded in Antarctica with no hope of rescue after their ship was trapped and crushed in the ice; their whereabouts and predicament unknown to the rest of the world. Once a landfall was eventually made on Elephant Island some 497 days after leaving South Georgia, Shackleton made the decision to attempt the 800 mile return boat journey in the 23 foot James Caird with just five others. Alexander Kerr was one of the 22 men left under Wild’s command on a desolate Elephant Island awaiting rescue.

I was lucky to know my grandfather and hear his stories first hand.

My wife Val and I both have a passionate interest in the Heroic Age of Exploration and the characters of that era, attending Antarctic conferences and lectures, reading original and new accounts of expeditions. We recently had the pleasure of attending Brad Borkan’s highly entertaining book talk at the Devon & Cornwall Polar Society.

Brad and his co-author David Hirzel bring the life or death decisions of those often ‘ordinary’ men of the Heroic Age right up-to-date, breathing a whole new life into their adventures. The stories are no longer just my grandfather’s history, but now a living part of decision strategies that everyone can use in their own lives.

Don Kerr

Attendee & descendant of a member of Shackleton’s Endurance Expedition

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.

Podcasts

TV Interviews

Interested in booking Brad or David for your next event?

For more information on their presentations and to check availability, phone +44 1256 316515 or email Diana Boulter below.