American Program Bureau A Global Speaker, Celebrity & Entertainment Agency

Neal Petersen

Adventurer, Author, World- Class Motivational Speaker


South African-born, Neal Petersen is a world-class professional solo racing yachtsman, global investor, award-winning author of Journey of a Hope Merchant and the subject of a PBS documentary.

Neal has completed two amazing journeys in his life: a single-handed yacht race around the world, 27,000 miles, 9 months at sea, alone, around Cape Horn and in the smallest yacht he designed and built himself. And an even more arduous and eventful trip of overcoming racial prejudice during the harsh Apartheid era in South Africa, poverty, and a childhood physical disability, just to make it to the start line! While sharing his riveting life story and philosophy, Neal's personal messages and unique delivery will open the mind, with new hope and a determination to break down the barriers, real or perceived, that now exist and to take adversity head-on and demonstrate that with determination, perseverance and hard work you can achieve any goal.

Neal has always defined himself by what he can imagine – rather than how others would define him and how he sustained his dream in the face of numerous barriers is compelling. Neal’s ability to apply his own attitudes, values and experiences to reflect on the values and mission of his audience will make any event a powerful and meaningful experience for all.

Overcoming fear, isolation and facing danger and the unknown has been central to how Neal approaches his goals and his life and empowers others to better tackle their tough challenges ahead and never give up!


No Barriers, Only Solutions

How do you navigate forward, deal with constant wind shifts, sudden storms, conquer fear, isolation, while dealing with an ever present changing world? Neal Petersen will take you on a personal journey and show you by example – there are no barriers, only solutions!

Neal Petersen's keynote addresses adversity, diversity, childhood physical handicap, and the need to excel with accountability and responsibility. Petersen is a well-traveled, has experienced and lived in various parts of the world, relating well to global audiences.

Taking his audience on a journey around the globe, Petersen demonstrates how success is realized through innovation, passion, balancing risk against return, and being flexible enough to adapt to constant shifting winds. He has "wowed" international audiences with his life story and his ability to relate and connect it to their challenges, resulting in rave reviews and rousing standing ovations. Petersen shares how his courage to dream, dedication to a plan, perseverance, and help from others have enabled him to reach his goals and provides the fuel for others to reach theirs. He is known for delivering thought-provoking real-life experiences and messages that captivate and engage audiences and move people emotionally, inspiring them to make long-term, substantial changes in their personal and professional lives. His story of hope, resilience, and accomplishment is truly inspiring and reflects a powerful message that "in life there are no barriers, only solutions!"

Images project during Neal’s keynote that bring his story to life and 2 videos, a 1 ½ minute intro and a 4-minute powerful video of Neal rounding Cape Horn solo – his dream! He has thunder built-in and fog and lightning optional for larger production events, great visuals to really bring his story to life.

Neal Petersen’s Shackleton Leadership Program

Based on the polar explorer, Ernest Shackleton, who led three British expeditions to the Antarctic and became a role model for leadership as one who, in extreme circumstances, kept his team together in a survival story described as "incredible”!

Neal challenges guests to ask themselves, “Why would someone follow you to the end of the world?”

This stimulating and thought-provoking leadership program will follow Neal Petersen’s “No Barriers, Only Solutions” keynote. The allotted time is customized to fit a client’s program, between 1- 6 hours and can be done as a two-day program as well.

Leadership Program Content

  • Today more than ever we are navigating change and we need to be able to adapt. Join together to learn, to share and to better understand how to navigate into the future.
  • The goal of the program is to identify what the group or individual is hoping to achieve.
  • Development of their vision using Ernest Shackleton as an example of great leadership.
  • How better to cope with the rate of rapid change and the anxiety that this brings.
  • Retaining the workforce, rewarding people, reduction of cost in human capital.

Leadership and Developing Relationships for Creating a Legacy

  • Define, interpret opportunities for transformation, not only for today – but, for the next generation.
  • How to turn success into significance and the importance of creating your legacy. What is your impact on others and how will you be remembered.
  • The importance of solid communication to create sustainable relationships.
  • Relationships, work/personal – how to develop a solid foundation on which to build upon.
  • How to balance work, family and time to have fun!

The Power of Positive Attitude & How It Affects Performance

Neal has always defined himself by what he can imagine – rather than how others would define him and how he sustained his dream in the face of numerous barriers is compelling. Neal’s ability to apply his own attitudes, values and experiences to reflect on the values and mission of the guests will make this a powerful and meaningful experience for all.

The Importance of Realizing Goals: Perseverance & Determination

Overcoming fear, isolation and facing danger and the unknown has been central to how Neal approaches his goals and his life. Guests will explore how to balance risk and danger with good judgment; how Neal coped with the unknown when making life-threatening voyages and will empower guests to better tackle their tough challenges ahead.

Neal’s impact transcends age, gender, and race to promote the creation of leaders, life-long learners, and individuals who are mindful of the consequences their choices will have on personal, familial, community, and generational levels. Neal communicates the fundamental processes needed to create the foundation of a vision and provides validity for direct correlations between perseverance, determination, motivation, and dedication to successful outcomes. The choice is up to each one individually.

The Role of Social Responsibility in Corporate America

Establishing trust and personal responsibility is part of the foundation of leadership and achievement. In addition to Neal’s innovative use of technology and the plain guts and determination that drove his success, discussion about the values and ethics that frame his goals and achievements – and how these values power one’s achievements and ambition will be explore. Neal is an extraordinary thought-leader and global visionary, who empowers others to think globally and generationally with the highest ethics when making decisions.

Neal represents the need to constantly expand the horizon of the possible; cross new frontiers; seeking out new challenges and accepting no limitations within oneself.

Neal’s accomplishments demonstrate that true exploration isn’t just about what you find in the world – it’s about what you discover within yourself.

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