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Carlos Acosta is one of the greatest ballet dancers of all time, alongside Nureyev and Baryshnikov. One of 11 children born into poverty in back street Havana, his father hoped dance might provide the discipline to keep him away from trouble. He rose to become Principal Guest Artist at The Royal Ballet and has since realised his dream of setting up a company in Cuba. Reaching beyond dance enthusiasts, Carlos encourages all delegates to harness their strengths.

After being afflicted with polio as a youngster, Ade refused to let disability get in the way of his love for sport and became ‘the Michael Jordan of wheelchair basketball.’ He represented GB at the European and World Championships, and won Paralympic bronze. He has since trekked through rainforests and hauled himself to the top of a 5,000’ volcano. Ade describes how he realised his condition wasn’t a big obstacle, and how we can all set our own boundaries.

At the age of 21 Pedro lived through the horrifying plane crash in the Andes, in which 30 lost their lives. With his rugby teammates he survived for 70 days in the middle of snow-capped mountains. They had no food, equipment or climbing expertise. After finally being rescued, Pedro studied economics and rose to CEO of Argentina’s biggest brewery. He now shares a remarkable story of human strength, showing how we can all influence outcomes at work and in life.

As Home Secretary David was in charge of security, immigration and policing. He is now Chairman of a multi-Academy Trust and an advisor to easyJet. As well as sharing insights on cyber-crime and crisis management, David considers how leaders can best engage with the public and counter the widespread sense of grievance. He argues for business to take a lead: “You are a part of our communities, not just employers of people with certain skills.” After dinner he takes a lighter look at a life in politics - both highs and lows – from The Queen offering to cut up his meal, to Sarkozy claiming to have intercepted his emails.

Steve fell from a balcony in his early 20s and was paralysed from the chest down. Wheelchair rugby (aka murderball) provided the focus and support he needed to rebuild his life. Now a broadcaster and a regular on Countryfile, The One Show, and Springwatch, he speaks with humour and energy about his inspiring journey from injury to captaining his team at London 2012 to his lifelong ambition to present wildlife programmes, and the lessons in leadership, teamwork and motivation he learned along the way.

Clarke made over 500 senior level appearances and led the football players’ union. He has also written a powerful memoir. Clarke is open about his struggles with alcohol, depression and gambling – the strains of a multi-billion pound industry in which both fans and club believe they own you. He’s similarly candid about racism and the Kick It Out campaign. Clarke talks about diversity and culture change in a game traditionally associated with macho behaviour.

A leading bushcraft specialist, Quinton has managed major zoological projects to protect and to breed endangered species. He believes that business is no different to the Kalahari: unless the tribe pulls together, their strength and survival is not ensured.

After his partnership with Matt Pinsent, the double Olympic champion teamed up with Ben Fogle for a series of adventures. They rowed across the Atlantic and raced to the South Pole. In their next challenge (to run, swim and cycle across the States), James was very nearly killed by a truck. He endured a gruelling physical and neurological recovery – then took part in the coldest race on earth. James explains why we should all continue to test our limits.

Danny Crates had a promising rugby career, playing at both regional and county level, before he suffered an accident whilst travelling and working in Australia, which resulted in the loss of his right arm. Not easily deterred, Danny took up athletics, eventually retiring as 800m Paralympic and European Champion.

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