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Mark Pollock

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mark pollock

Mark Pollock
Adventurer, speaker & bionic man

  • Blind adventure athlete competing at North & South poles and across deserts & mountains
  • Extraordinary insight into crisis leadership and performance 
  • Pioneering a cure for spinal cord injuries using robotic technology

It won’t happen by chance. With a high-impact catalyst you can help your people act with the courage to make it happen. Mark Pollock is that catalyst. Unbroken by blindness at 22, Mark competed in ultra-endurance races across deserts, mountains, and the poles, including an epic 2 month expedition race to the South Pole. He also won silver and bronze medals for rowing at the Commonwealth Games. 

Mark Pollock Trust from Mark Pollock Trust on Vimeo.

In July 2010, the challenge chose Mark. A tragic fall left him paralysed. Now Mark is exploring the frontiers of spinal cord injury recovery, through aggressive physical therapy and innovative robotics. A technology pioneer, he walks more than 2000 steps an hour using Ekso robotic legs in the gym. Mark believes the ultimate solution is a combination of physical therapy, use of robotics and the third element is some kind of medical intervention. He’s currently meeting top scientists in this area to research what is possible, in terms of rewiring the nerve connections after an injury. Using his hard earned expertise, Mark has helped people and businesses to achieve more than they thought possible, through motivational speaking at more than 250 organisations worldwide.

Described in the UK Daily Telegraph as "a story of courage, determination and hope", Mark features in the media worldwide. He’s the subject of the internationally viewed documentary "Blind Man Walking". 

Mark has been awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Queens University in Belfast, and has recently been named a World Economic Forum, Young Global Leader. He is the author of the book "Making It Happen", and is currently writing his second book.


Mark is available for motivational and business keynotes, after dinner speaking, ambassadorial roles, and TV & radio presenting. Areas covered include:

  • Acknowledging the true fight
  • Overcoming adversity & crisis
  • Challenging conventional wisdom
  • Developing courage to take risks
  • Creating teams that think differently

Mark has been a guest speaker for over 250 organisations worldwide including: Accenture, Canon, Credit Suisse, DHL, Ernst & Young, European Central Bank, Fujitsu, Google, HSBC, KPMG, IBM, Mars, Met Life, Microsoft, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, Nortel, P&G, Pfizer, PWC, Red Bull, Shell, Smurfit School MBA, Trinity MBA, UBS, Unilever and Vodafone…


“From the moment I asked Mark if he was available to do our event to the moment he finished his talk, our experience with him and his team has been superb. He has been a pleasure to work with and everything from the concept planning stage to his key note address ran so smoothly. His story and experience is remarkable and his delivery honest and warm. He warmed the hearts and minds of our senior executive team in an extraordinarily touching way” Avril McHugh, Group Marketing Manager, Cpl Resources plc.

"Mark went down really well-he did  a wonderful job. I really admire the way he can field questions about business and make the connections between his learning  and the world  of work. People loved him and he made a big contribution to what was an exceptionally successful day" Datalex, January 2015

"He was most impressive and had the audience hooked on every word for 45 minutes. I strongly recommend him as a speaker."
Liam Grimes, KPMG, November 2012 

"On behalf of us all here in the Irish Nurses Organisation we would like to say a sincere, but heartfelt, thank you for your most uplifting of presentations at our 90th Anniversary Conference...your presentation really did strike a chord with the audience and left them realising that as individuals and as a collective group they can "make it happen" rather than simply apply the blame game or find excuses."
Liam Doran, General Secretary, Irish Nurses Organisation

"There was a deafening silence in the room while Mark spoke. His story was
relevant and insightful and demonstrated the power of the human spirit to
overcome challenges. He has the ability to motivate, inspire and connect
with his audience and he delivered exactly what was required on the day."
Aidan Power, Head of Marketing, EBS Building Society

“Mark's quiet calm and confidence on stage really enraptured our guests. He tells an inspiring personal story that resonates superbly with a business audience, yet is never-contrived or over-messaged. It was a total pleasure to work with Mark.”
Ben Atherton, Global Events Director, Nortel

“Mark's delivery and ability to tailor his messages to our audience exceeded our expectations. His unique and compelling story really added to our event and resonated with everyone in the room”.
Sinead O'Grada, Microsoft Ireland

“One of the great strengths of Mark’s message is that it does lead the listener to look at their situation and question their responses and to re.ect on those attitudes. We may not control the environment and may not be responsible for the situation we .nd our selves in but we are responsible for our actions and responses.”
Paul Masi, MD, head of Equity Markets, Merrill Lynch

“Mark’s talk was exactly what was required in terms of motivating the new team as they face the challenges of the next few years. I was personally humbled to listen to Mark’s story and also uplifted by it.”
Denis Donovan, CEO, Wholesale Financial Services, Bank of Ireland

“In uncertain times, Mark displays an attitude and perspective that reminds us that we really are in charge of our own destiny. In hearing how he has overcome his own dif.culties, he demonstrates the power that resides within all of us to ‘make things happen’. Mark truly lives up to the title of “inspirational speaker”, and we look forward to his return to Asia.”
Tom Royds, Head of Asian Equity Sales, ABN AMRO

“Mark had over 40 participants on the Harvard University-based Leaders for Tomorrow Programme sitting on the edge of their seats thinking whether they should change how they were responding to their situations. Mark is a compelling and challenging speaker.”
Alan McKelvey, Principal, McKelvey Consultancy

"Having Mark Pollock speak at our employee event was inspiring. He gave our event a whole other dimension and my colleagues still speak about the event and Mark\'s address today."
Catherine Casey, Marketing Manager, Fujitsu

"On behalf of IRCSET I would like to thank you for taking the time out of your diary to come and speak at this year's IRCSET Symposium...we have already had a great deal of positive feedback from delegates to the conference. I believe that the success of this year's Symposium was due in the main to the high quality of speakers who participated in the event and took the time to share their insights with our researchers and invited guests. I would very much like to thank you for your contribution to the success of the event."
Martin Hynes, Director, IRCSET


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