Motivational Talks, Leadership Training and Team-Building Events

Both Anna and Pasi offer a number of corporate motivational talks and leadership training or customisable team-building events. Both are used to delivering them to a wide range of audiences.

Motivational and Corporate Speaking
Animal-Centred Tourism: Talks Relating to 21st Century Ethics
Leadership Training & Team Building Events
Promotional Campaigns
Outdoor Product-Testing and Skill-Development Courses

Leadership Training and Team-Building Events

We have run client-customised team-building events for a variety of international clients inc. Salomon, Suunto, Hartwall, the RGS-IGB and the BBC. Such events can provide a practical demonstration of how maximising team efficiency leads to success. Outdoor teamwork reminds people about what is really important in life and promotes balance, rest, observation, patience, adaptability and perseverance amongst a work force.

Whilst the format is always customised, there is generally both a class-room and an outdoor element geared to the fitness levels and expertise of the participants; from team challenges or pure adrenalin-filled fun, to guided wilderness adventure experiences.

We have delivered more traditional class-room style leadership training to General Electric and Shell.

Design and Execution of Large Promotional Campaigns

We have designed and executed large promotional events and campaigns with linked televised footage for Hartwall (multi-year campaigns promoting Lapin Kulta through televised adventure racing and reality-TV-style heli-skiing training camps), Nike-ACG (a two-week long heli-skiing event with their key customers from across Europe), and Visit Finland (the 100 days of Polar-Night Magic Campaign).

FYI: Many of the companies that we have worked with, in this capacity, have initially also contracted large PR companies to actually design the campaigns. However, many have then realised that when a campaign is primarily outdoor-focused, it is more simple and a lot cheaper just to come to us directly since we have the expertise to run the whole campaign.

Candidate Selection for Reality-Style Promotional Campaigns.

We have convened and facilitated a range of urban and wilderness candidate-selection challenge events for companies including the BBC, Hartwell and Visit Finland when searching for candidates to feature in reality-based promotional campaigns.

Product Testing and Skill-Acquisition Courses

We have run a number of product testing events and outdoor-based skill-development camps for companies including GE, Snow-and-Rock, Nike-ACG, Tisos and Cotswold Outdoors.

Courses can also be designed purely for staff enjoyment or to give press an unforgettable company experience!

We have also delivered technical presentations on various outdoor products for companies including GE, eVent Fabrics, Cotswolds and Snow and Rock.

As well as running team-building and product-testing events for Cotswold Outdoors in the UK, we ran their premier skills and product-training event for their staff in Arctic Norway for a number of years. Even though not specifically a team-building event, it was a great example of how positive commitment to employee healthcare and enhance motivation and co-operation within the work force.

Fees are by negotiation, depending on the nature of the event, size of the company, distance of travel involved and whether or not the client envisages repeat business.

FYI: In the main part of our website we profile some of the other skill-based courses that we offer, including bushcraft courses, polar-preparation training, navigation and snow-safety courses, wilderness first aid, and safety passport courses.


For the past c. 10 years, Anna and Pasi have been talking first in small groups and then in larger group settings and at conferences on the subject of 21st Century Ethics and Sustainable Practices in Animal-Centred Tourism.

We are happy to give talks on a range of subjects regarding sled-dog tourism. Examples of topics that we can cover include, but are not limitied to, the below:

• Sled-dog Welfare and Business Ethics in the 21st our industry stuck in the Past?
• How to prevent well-meaning but misinformed animal rights activists from actually causing more harm than good when advocating against mushing.
• Sustainable Practices in Sled-dog Tourism.
• Spreadsheets, tools and best practices that can be incorporated into daily activities to monitor and optimise the welfare of the animals in your care.
• Land Use in Lapland: Non-confrontational approaches to cooperation between different stake-holder groups.
• The pros, cons and learning opportunities (for both hosts and interns) that can come through volunteering abroad opportunities and working holidays.


A variety of motivational talks are offered on different themes, (and in different languages) although each can be customised to address the specific aspects of teamwork and leadership required by – or indeed, the core philosophy of – the company being addressed.

FYI: Many of the talks include reference to both major expeditions (the South Pole, a Paraplegic Crossing of the Greenland Icecap, etc) and to adventure racing.

For those new to adventure racing as a sport, it has been described as:

• One of the fastest growing team sports in the world: Real life drama that makes ‘Castaway’, ‘Survivor’ and ‘Big Brother’ look like afternoon tea with Granny.
• Photogenic locations to make the best travel programmes jealous.
• An explosive cocktail of intense teamwork, world class multi-discipline sports, sleep deprivation and constant 24 hr a day pressure in which only the strong survive.
• It is also a celebration of the power, beauty and strength of the human body and the human spirit when elite athletes are pushed to the edge of their physical and mental limits – and then beyond.
• Powerful TV footage and stunning slides are used to graphically portray the challenges and exhilaration that comes from success in one of the most demanding and gruelling of modern sports.

If you thought that true adventure was a thing of the past – think again!


This talk centres on Pasi’s 2-month journey towards the goal of becoming the first Finn to reach the South Pole, unsupported. It looks at goal-setting, motivation, perseverance, internal dialogue, working in a small team, measuring success, the fear of failure and the sacrifice for victory. It also looks at the magnificence of our world, and is a call to arms that nothing can be achieved without being bold enough to begin it.


This talk explores the lessons learned during the ground-breaking 2006 expedition, ‘By Hands and Feet Across Greenland’ – a truly inclusive team adventure in which a paraplegic athlete succeeded, after 2 years of kit development and fundraising, in tackling the insurmountable challenge of crossing the Greenlandic Icecap, one ‘step’ at a time.

Insights discussed include dreaming big, accepting personal responsibility, overcoming setbacks, maintaining excellence, committing with dedication to stated team goals, resourcefulness and imagination, the elation of success.


This talk, by Pasi, explores a life less ordinary and the steps that steered him, unerringly, (via adventure racing, Greenland and daily life working outdoors in the arctic) towards the South Pole.

This is a talk about leadership and team-work, about setting goals and perserverence against the odds. However, it is about how the lessons learned and the skills acquired from different stages of life are not necessarily the most obvious. For instance, the business acumen needed to not only become but to be able to live as a professional athlete.

Finally, it is about focus through life's varying stages, the maturity to commit completely to each stage and then to let it pass, and how in this way, you can fulfil your key goals whilst living a life of fulfillment and purpose.


This inspiring and, at times, funny, talk explores - through anecdotal stories selected from personal experiences within the world of adventure racing, expeditions and business ownership - the so-called ‘Eight Essential Elements of Human Synergy’:

• Total Commitment;
• Empathy and awareness:
• Adversity management;
• Mutual respect – acting like a team;
• ‘We thinking’;
• Ownership of the project;
• Relinquishment of ego and
• Kinetic leadership.


The courage, focus, adaptability and preparation that goes into building and maintaining a World Class Adventure Racing team can be directly applied to the skills needed to take companies to a new level of productivity and performance.

Adventure Racing is full of young, intelligent and highly motivated individuals who thrive on being thrown together and confronted with the ultimate in modern day physical and mental challenges.

All are multi-skilled, courageous and focused and most are keen to explore the nature and cultures of the countries they race through. They believe in pushing their own limits and those of their team mates. The very nature of the sport demands that they are flexible, quick to pick up and communicate new skills, adaptable to new situations and able to make sound decisions under extreme pressure. Most have the skill to alternate between being a dependable team member and a strong team leader.

Individual athletes come to AR teams with different mental and physical skills, backgrounds and personalities. World class teams are those that have learned to maximise the individual strengths using effective teamwork and strong leadership models. They set both individual and team goals and push through difficulties using good communication and strategic decision making skills. In AR, getting a team to the starting line can be almost as challenging as achieving podium success.

The parallels that can be drawn between successful leadership and teamwork models within AR (or the expedition world) and within big corporations are obvious. These models are increasingly being used in the corporate setting as a method of building world class teams that can achieve success against all odds.

Using experiences from some of the most challenging situations and environments on earth, we bring a fresh perspective to winning strategies in the corporate world.


This presentation draws parallels between the corporate world and lessons learned during 5 years of racing with world-class sporting teams and 5 years of expedition planning, preparation and execution.

It focuses on how, through the power of co-operation, great things are possible, and along the way discusses:

• SMART goal setting;
• communication tools,
• the risk-reward continuum,
• pushing through barriers,
• commitment for the long haul and
• personal responsibility.


Way back in 2000, Paul Degan profiled Anna in Global Adventure Magazine and stated that she had one of the most impressive outdoor CV's of any sub 30 year old he had ever met.

In this talk, Anna looks at her exploratory journeys and adventures and the life tools she used and developed along the way.

Journey back with her to the High Himalayas and the Guinness Book of Records at the age of 17 and then to a year amongst lepers and climbing un-chartered South East Asian volcanoes at 18 and 19.

At 21, she was living in an American commune and then doing accompaniment work amongst the guerrilla armies of Central America. Cutting edge research amongst West African Witch Doctors into NTFPs opened a door to a development job with DFID in Nepal. At the end of her contract, she used her airfare home to instead bike through Tibet, journey to trek around the holy mountain of Kailash and climb on the North side of Everest, (burying a friend along the way). Back in Nepal, she raft-guided to earn her money home. By that stage, she was 23.

After that, Anna spent a great deal of time living, working and travelling abroad – primarily in developing countries - in between obtaining three degrees, including a Masters from Oxford. She continually struggled to balance her passion for exploration and extreme challenges, her commitment to using her outdoor skills in the development of young people and her desire to put her professional expertise to good use. All of this led to an incredibly diverse range of job choices in her early professional career.

She worked in fields as diverse as forestry and environmental based development for DFID (department for International Development) in West Africa and Nepal, extreme sports consulting and filming for the BBC, expedition advising for the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG), country-directing for Raleigh International, an international NGO, in Namibia, conflict resolution with the El Salvadoran guerrilla army during the Peace Accords, management and guiding work for an international rafting company in Nepal and directorial work for one of the UK’s top youth expedition charities. She has also been a business leader for GE and featured in the inaugral BBC 'SAS Are you Tough Enough' Series.

Along the way, she somehow managed to hike, climb and kayak through most regions of the world and to organise and lead 10 international expeditions, including 120 pax youth expeditions to Tien Shan and Namibia, and to become top 10 in the world in the sport of Adventure Racing. She managed and raced in one of the World's top Adventure Racing Teams, (alternately known as team eVENT® Endure and Nike ACG Endure) which was featured in four of the 8 BBC 2 ‘The Challenge’ shows and also managed and raced in an all-female developmental squad.

In this talk, we journey through a life of adventure, consider the courage and self-belief needed to create and say yes to life's opportunities, and also consider 10 key lessons learned along the way.

Each lesson is explored through inspirational, funny and sometimes challenging stories and situations encountered along the way.

Examples of Taylor-made talks

Specific subjects that Anna and Pasi have been asked to cover in talks include:

• The BBC ‘SAS: Are you Tough Enough’ and ‘The Challenge’ Series: From both sides of the camera…
• Expeditionary and Gap-Year opportunities for young people.
• Expeditionary Best-Practice and Leadership Models
• Expedition Planning Tools and Techniques
• Backwoods Environmental Ethics (aka, effectively, ‘how to poop in the woods’!'

• ‘Maximising Sponsorship returns and developing long-term Athletic-partnerships.’
• AR: 'A sport created by Salomon as a marketing tool' or 'the Formula 1 testing ground for kit in the Outdoor World?'

Anna's work with the Expedition Advisory Centre of the RGS-IBG and a number of key youth expeditionary charities, in combination with her personal travel experiences and years mentoring young interns on their sled-dog farm, mean that she can provide an insightful and unbiased overview of expeditionary opportunities for young people and the pros and cons of taking part in 'working holidays' from both the host's and the intern's perspective.

What others have said about Anna's and Pasi's Talks

Whilst the personal challenges and team adventures explored within each talk are astounding and memorable in their own right, the presenters are also skilled at drawing out parallel lessons to world-class management and ways of creating winning teams in the corporate world. Audiences invariably leave, feeling both challenged and inspired.

Anna has a natural ability to capture and stimulate her audience and she was a popular choice as motivational speaker when she lived in the UK. She has an uncanny ability to expose the spirit and essence of exploration and adventure racing and her passion, in combination with a host of breathtaking images, leaves audiences understanding a little more about why people make her kind of life choices.

One of Anna’s biggest strengths is her ability to present her extraordinary stories in a totally accessible manner. The fact that she believes that it is within everyone to achieve their goals, if they only choose to live their lives fully, comes across strongly in her tales. Her her audience is left believing that they too can achieve their dreams.

Without labouring the point, she uses the talks to show people how they too can access the drive and determination necessary to keep going, once they have taken their first steps on their own journeys. Her straightforward presentations of the choices and challenges she has faced - as well as the incredibly diverse paths she has travelled from a very young age - are truly inspirational.

’Thanks for a superb talk – just as fascinating and insightful as Andy Kirkpatrick’s talk last year - the number of questions generated showed how much you stimulated the audience, particularly amazing considering that many of them were skeptical about the relevance of adventure racing in the beginning! Your show was the most reality I have seen in some while – frankly, much more interesting both visually and in words than any TV reality show I have seen. Thank you for tailoring it so much to our audience - it was absolutely perfect for our event.’ Mike Parsons on a talk delivered at a ‘Clothing for Extremes’ Conference attended by MD's and Product Designers from the UK Outdoor Industry