Ellen MacArthur, the solo yachtswoman who revelled in facing down the worst that the globe’s mightiest oceans could throw at her, would be a compelling presence at your event. Her life experience makes her a superb keynote speaker, motivational speaker, or environmental and circular economy speaker. Few are as privileged as she to have experienced first-hand the power of the elements at their rawest – and those who do, have wisdom and insight to share.
Dame Ellen MacArthur was born in 1976 in the small market town of Wirksworth in the Derbyshire Dales. It’s an odd fact that the home county of this maritime wonder-woman contains, a few miles due south of her birthplace, the spot furthest from the sea than anywhere else in the UK. Little wonder that hers was not a seagoing family – except, crucially, for her aunt Thea, who owned the little craft on England’s east coast that gave Ellen her first childhood experience of sailing.
Another big influence in Dame Ellen’s early life was reading Arthur Ransome’s sailing stories for children, the Swallows and Amazons series. To this day she is Patron of the Nancy Blackett Trust, which owns and operates Ransome’s yacht named after one of the main characters of the books.
From the start Dame Ellen’s determination to sail the world’s biggest oceans and conquer the globe’s most dangerous maritime challenges was the story of one single person’s indomitable motivation. It led her to claim, in 2005, the record for the fastest time sailing non-stop round the world, a voyage of 27,354 nautical miles lasting 71 days, 14 hours, 18 minutes and 33 seconds, during which she only ever slept for 20 minutes at a time. Though the record stood for just two years it has been described, quite rightly, as a “fantastic achievement.”
After announcing her retirement from competitive sailing in 2009, Dame Ellen brought her knowledge and understanding of the world’s needs to focus on the use of resources and energy in the global economy. Her charity, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, promotes what’s called a “circular economy” where a regenerative re-use of resources replaces the old throwaway culture of waste.
As a motivational speaker, a keynote speaker or an environmental, sustainability and circular economy speaker, Dame Ellen will bring a fresh and challenging perspective to your event.