Speaker STORIES

Click on a speaker to see their story

2017

BETH FRENCH

EMA VIDAK GOJKOVIC

CAROLINE MACKAY

2016

DAVID PEARL

EMMA LAWTON

BETH FRENCH

From wheel chair bound to world class athlete, Beth French stretches the horizon of her own possibilities, tackling seemingly impossible fears through endurance and adventure. 

Overcoming ME and debilitation at 17, she forged a path to ultimate health her own way, studying around the world, including time ordained in a Thai Buddhist monastery. In 2012 she set out to swim the English Channel to prove to her son, who lives with disabilities, that anything is possible. After completing the English Channel she later became the first person ever to swim from Cornwall to the Isles of Scilly, against the current. She is now attempting to tackle the world's longest 7 open water swims in under 12 months! 

She will share her story of how she came to be her own source of inspiration, alone in the dark with a shark, and how she found a way to beat all the odds.

EMA VIDAK GOJKOVIC

Born in a lower class family in a war-torn Yugoslavia, in the wake of what became the bloodiest genocide on the European soil after the Holocaust, Ema's starting point was hardly ideal. She spent part of her childhood in a refugee camp, while everything she knew was being burnt down by Serbian aggression armies.

But -- in Ema's own words: "Tragedy does not mean you are a tragic character". Wearing Red Cross clothes to her primary school classes, Ema raised her chin proudly, challenging an idea that the origin defines what one can be.

Becoming the first in her family to go to college, Ema won a full scholarship for Harvard Law School. Today she is a qualified New York and Croatian lawyer, and resolves international disputes by peaceful means. She works for a leading international law firm OMNIA Strategy LLP, headed by Cherie Blair QC.

Ema will share her story of how she found a way to redefine the possible, and successfully create herself in face of all the expectations to the contrary.

CAROLINE MACKAY

Considered a ‘miracle baby’ when she was born to a family with intense health problems, Caroline Mackay grew up as a carer, while living in a ‘hoarding’ environment. She developed a resilience and determination that deepened as she grew, before a huge shock changed her life and the way she approached life, forever. 

In the years since, Caroline used the childhood lessons to carve out a successful career in PR and branding, building a global challenger brand from inception (Knomo Accessories), advising numerous entrepreneurs through mentoring schemes, and working with high-profile celebrities like Samuel L Jackson on charity events. 

Caroline will share how her resourcefulness and unwillingness to give up changed her trajectory, and how sharing your struggles is a sign of strength, not weakness.  

david pearl

As a young man, David Pearl struggled with depression. While at university, he attempted to commit suicide. A friend saved his life and he has since devoted his life to inspiring others through the arts.

He is known internationally for designing, orchestrating and animating high-impact experiences for businesses. His background is the performing arts. For two decades he has been a creative confidante to the leaders of some of the world’s major businesses. He is an in-demand public and business speaker, as well as an author of two acclaimed books.

Watch David's talk from the Inaugural Gathering below and be inspired!

EMMA LAWTON

Emma was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease at the young age of 29. The disease has challenged her both physically and emotionally, and has altered the way she strives to think positively when facing new challenges. Since her diagnosis, Emma has become committed to raising awareness and helping others with Parkinson's disease. Today, she is a national spokesperson for Parkinson’s disease in the UK, Creative Director at Precedent, and has founded her own business.

Watch Emma's talk from the Inaugural Gathering below and be inspired!

PEDRO PIMENTA

Pedro contracted a fatal form of meningitis, while studying at university in September 2009, and was rushed to the hospital with a slim chance of surviving; nearly one hundred of his closest friends and family members took turns saying goodbye. Six months and two comas later, Pedro miraculously left the hospital alive, but in exchange, his limbs had been amputated above the elbows and knees. Pedro was destined to a life in a wheelchair. His doctors told him that no other amputee in his situation had gone on to successfully live an independent life on prosthetics. However, today Pedro lives independently in Florida. He is an international inspirational speaker, best-selling author, and a mentor to other amputees... Oh and miraculously he is back on the slopes snowboarding!

Watch Pedro's talk from the Inaugural Gathering below and be inspired!


Featured Member: Al Bangura

Al was a special guest at the inaugural gathering on 9th May 2016. The Inspire Movement are proud to have members as incredible and resilient as Al.