Dame Ellen MacArthur is an accomplished solo long-distance Yacht-Master who found fame as the fastest solo sailor to travel around the world. She now spends her time managing the Ellen McArthur Foundation and advocating for sustainable change on a global level. As a speaker, Ellen is an audience favourite, being both compelling and fascinating on stage. She was born a child of the ocean and has been sailing since she was 8 years old. Her competence in sailing earned her the British Young Sailor of the Year and she became the youngest person to receive the Yacht-Master Offshore Qualification. So passionate about sailing, Ellen saved her dinner money for three years to finally purchase her first boat, which she named Threp’ny Bit.
In 2004, Ellen had her first significant record-breaking attempt when she tried to complete the west to east transatlantic crossing time. Although she failed to break the record, by a mere one and a quarter hour, she never gave up and managed to become the fastest solo voyager to the equator in 2005. Ellen’s sailing experiences helped her understand the finite nature of our earth, as she witnessed first-hand the impact of climate change. Her retirement from professional sailing birthed the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, which promotes the transition to a circular economy. As a speaker, Ellen combines her sailing anecdotes with the findings of her foundation to teach audiences and businesses alike the importance of sustainability. Having travelled to the peaks of the world, where climate change continues to ravage our planet, Ellen leaves audiences with powerful imagery and a profound understanding of the dangers we face.
In recognition of her achievements, Ellen was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire DBE and a Member of the Order of the British Empire for her service to sport. To document her journeys, in 2002 Ellen wrote her first autobiography called Taking on the World, followed by her second, entitled Full Circle, in 2010. Today, Ellen is a motivational speaker who moves her audience with personal experiences. At sustainability-themed events, she teaches corporate audiences the value of our eco-system and how important it is to protect planet earth. Through her foundation’s research, Ellen provides audiences with a guide to circular economies, including how businesses can implement sustainable practices into their everyday operations.
Ellen MacArthur is regularly booked to engage audiences at events, read their latest feedback below:
“Truly humbling and human, really moved everyone and made them hold up a mirror to themselves”