Opening Keynote Speaker: Tori James


Tori James likes a challenge. An adventurer and thrill-seeker with a fascination for snow and ice, she became the youngest ever British female (at twenty-five) to climb Mount Everest. She also led the first ever all-female team to complete The Polar Challenge, a gruelling 360 mile race to the Magnetic North Pole. Not only did they finish the race in sixth position out of sixteen teams, beating all-male teams along the way, but they also raced through polar bear territory, across constantly shifting sea ice and survived storms with temperatures of minus forty degrees.

Tori attributes her resilience to harsh, unwelcoming environments to growing up in Wales. She helped-out on her parents’ farm in Pembrokeshire whatever the weather, carting buckets of milk or hefting straw bales. Her first brush with adventure was when she was still at school. Tori achieved Gold in the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme and that led to her first expedition, to a glacier in Iceland.

Since tackling Everest and the North Pole Tori’s also cycled the length of New Zealand and tacked the first Beeline Britain challenge. Travelling in a straight line from Land’s End to John O’Groats, she and her team rowed, cycled, climbed and hiked their way in a treacherous demanding journey that included a record for the longest open sea kayak crossing in UK waters.

Tori has made regular television appearances and the BBC documentary ‘On Top of the World’ used footage that she shot and directed whilst climbing Everest. Her presentations focus on how to plan, motivate and succeed, and her accounts of having achieved three record-breaking expeditions by the age of twenty-five inspire all audiences.

Opening Keynote Details

Altitude and Attitude

Surviving and thriving in extreme environments requires more than speed, fitness and stamina – mindset matters. Not only will you gain an insight into life at sub-zero but Tori demonstrates the importance of developing meaningful goals, managing risk and dealing with setbacks. She looks at what it takes to be a high performing team as well as the challenges and opportunities faced by their leaders.