Robert Swan has explored both poles, and wants to make sure that Antarctica, the world's last great wilderness, is never exploited.

Why you should listen

When Robert Swan, OBE, set foot on the North Pole in 1989, he entered the history books as the first person to walk to both poles. But the South Pole, which he had reached in 1984, inspired his life's work -- to preserve Antarctica in the face of climate change.

Swan's organization 2041 (named for the date when the world’s moratoriums on mining and drilling in Antarctica will expire) leads expeditions of the world's most influential people to the continent in hopes that it will ignite their passion for preservation. The hope: to affect real and lasting environmental policy changes.


What others say

“What started out as an adventure to 'go boldly where no man has gone before .. and a personal test to make history' has evolved into a lifelong commitment for a continent whose future now hangs in the balance. ” — Huffington Post, 2012

Robert Swan’s TED talk

More news and ideas from Robert Swan


Bold expeditions: A recap of session 12 of TEDGlobal 2014

October 10, 2014

In the final session of TEDGlobal 2014, Mighty spaces, we take four journeys — three to great expanses in the world, and one into our minds and hearts: A low blue haze lights the stage as choreographer Aakash Odedra spins slowly. The light grows and his dance picks up — a mix of classical Indian […]

Continue reading
Live from TEDGlobal

Mighty Spaces: A sneak peek of session 12 at TEDGlobal 2014

October 10, 2014

This session presents speakers who are at home in awe-inspiring places. These bold explorers come bearing discoveries from the tundra and the rainforest, from beneath the ocean’s surface, and even from that most elusive of mighty spaces — the happy human heart. The speakers who’ll appear in this final session of the conference: Buddhist monk Matthieu Ricard has […]

Continue reading