Benedict has lived in the Siberian wilds, survived the Skeleton Coast and crossed the Gobi. He’s been shot at, hunted and left to stitch up his own chest: “It’s a bit more extreme than the corporate jungle, though there are parallels.” Benedict happily shows off the scars from a Niowra initiation ceremony.
Benedict differs from most explorers in that he lives for months at a time with remote tribes, learning their survival techniques. He takes nothing into these communities - no equipment, maps or compasses - throwing himself on the mercy of the people he encounters. He has come close to death on many occasions.
The BBC series Skeleton Coast brought Benedict’s adventures to a wide audience, documenting his experiences walking the diamond littered coast of Namibia. By the end he had walked 2,000 kilometres, with three very reluctant camels.
For the following series, Ice Dogs, Benedict had to earn the trust of his hardened ten-strong team of huskies. After getting separated in a blizzard, and without any form of communication or back-up, he only narrowly survived crossing the Bering Straits.
He has trekked from the remote wilds of Siberia, through the Mongolian steppe and Altai mountains, ending with a lone crossing of the Gobi desert. He’s been hunted, shot at and left to stitch up his own chest. Benedict admits the challenges are more extreme than anything you’ll find in the business jungle, but there are parallels: both are highly competitive, often confusing and sometimes frightening.
Benedict is also a successful author. His book Into the Abyss weaves his own experience with the likes of Columbus, Stanley and Livingstone.
In his gripping conference presentation and after dinner speech, Benedict demonstrates the qualities necessary to succeed and survive - including personal motivation, risk-taking and the ability to adapt to unfamiliar circumstances.
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