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Mark Agnew

speaker location icon Hong Kong, SAR China

Sports & Adventure Editor at the South China Morning Post

Inspirational speaker on bouncing back from failure

Part of the team seeking to become the first to row the Northwest Passage

Mark Agnew is the Outdoor & Extreme sports editor for the South China Morning Post. Mark is an experienced adventurer whose expeditions include London to Mongolia, rowing through the Indonesian archipelago, and running ultra-marathons in uninhabited corners of Asia. In 2021, Mark will be part of a team attempting to become the first people to row the Northwest Passage; the Arctic route that links the Atlantic and the Pacific.

Ocean rowing has defined Mark’s life. Two attempts to row across the Atlantic have come up short as technical issues have forced him to abandon ship. When Mark first failed to row across the Atlantic, he thought his dream had come to an end. The story was splashed across the British tabloids and his bank account was empty. But the saga opened up further opportunities in adventure sports and landed him his dream job at the South China Morning Post.

Mark was distraught after his second Atlantic crossing was dashed by powers beyond his control. However, he gained an understanding of positive action, attitude and the nature of luck, which he has organised into his ‘mental pyramid’ as a pathway to success. Mark is sharing the stories of his time at sea and bouncing back from those failures.

Now, Mark is looking forward to his greatest challenge yet as he seeks to conquer the Northwest Passage. Melting of the Arctic pack ice has sparked worldwide interest in the route as possible shipping lane and raising territorial claims. For concerned activists, the changing waterway shows the pressing nature of climate change.

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