John Sullivan

Explorer, Survivalist, Leadership & Fostering Morale, Embracing Change


Just wanted to say a big thank you to John Sullivan who came to our school to deliver a speech at our awards evening for Year 9. He did a fantastic job, his speech was an excellent balance of motivation humour and inspiration. He kept us all gripped for 20mins. Many of out 300 guests have spoken to or contacted me since to say that he was the best speaker we have had in many years.
Jersey College for Girls
  • Description


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John Sullivan is a former Royal Marines Commando of nine years’ experience. He has operated in some of the world’s most
challenging environments – Jungle, Desert and Arctic. John’s passion in life is to explore with a sense of purpose. Working
alone, this has taken him to some of the remotest corners of the world to research and set up factual programmes for the
BBC and the National Geographic Channel.

He has also led numerous life-changing conservation expeditions for young people to Namibia, Belize and Borneo.
Advisor to the BBC, Channel 5 and other Media Organisations John has excelled in the realm of freelance
consultancy. He has remarkable first-hand knowledge of many remote regions of the world.
He develops unique networks of in-country contacts – often local tribes. John uses these to advise media groups and expedition leaders on how best to deal with the cultures and natural environments of the countries they plan to explore.

John’s delivery invites his audience to reflect on and evaluate their own professional and personal experiences. He helps us not to fear change or adversity, to learn that they are a part of life – that being a victim is a matter of choice.

John brings to his talks a wonderful sense of humour and imaginative use of video. Invariably, he concludes his presentation with a stunning twist, taking his audience completely by surprise, bringing them to their feet with rousing laughter and applause.

John is a master story-teller. He takes his audience on a journey of adventure, suspense and discovery. He brings together a wealth of personal experiences;• failures and successes.

  • his appreciation of research, preparation, teamwork and leadership – his ability to make hard decisions
  • his belief and trust in the talents and abilities of others
  • the joys of discovery and meeting new people

Key Messages

Creative Thinking & Risk Taking
How a quick, agile mind can help us out of a challenging

Self-Discipline & Preparation
How getting into the habit of carrying out small routine tasks
helps avoid problems in the future.

Overcoming Adversity
There’s nothing like a period of sustained tropical isolation to
appreciate how ‘stickability’ will always see you through.

Leadership & Fostering Morale
Learning to accommodate different character types with the
group – making each one feel valued.

Embracing Change
Learning how change is not to be feared but welcomed –
change can be a genuine life-enhancing experience.

Appreciation of the Environment and Natural Resources
Following his experiences with the tribes of Borneo and
Papua New Guinea, John has gained a unique perspective
on the urgent issues facing our planet. He has unbounded
admiration for the way in which remote tribes cherish each
and every element of their surroundings.

The Courage to Be Yourself
John has learned how it only takes a few steps along a path
of your choosing to gain a winning mentality, unbeatable
confidence and self-esteem.