Insights: speaking

Scroll down to watch Mark deliver a selection of talks, Q&As, fireside chats and interviews


Resolving The Tension Between Acceptance & Hope At TED2018

Mark and his fiancée, human rights lawyer Simone George, spoke at TED2018 in Vancouver. They speak about how to resolve the tension between acceptance and hope, something they had to try and figure out in the aftermath of Mark’s catastrophic spinal cord injury. They talk about why climbing into the raging river of grief when tragedy strikes can be the way to get to the next place; and how they are now catalysing collaborations to cure paralysis in our lifetime.

Social psychologist, Amy Cuddy, whose TED talk about power posing earned her worldwide recognition and has over 47 million views, described Simone and Mark’s talk as “the most powerful, moving talk I have ever seen at TED” while TED curator Helen Walters described their talk as a “love letter to science”.

Watch TED Talk


Explaining the Research, Commercialisation & Investment Challenges

Mark is interviewed by award winning journalist, Matt Cooper, at Big ideas – a multi-disciplinary conference that empowers the front runners in research, to pitch their technology solutions and business propositions to the investment community. Mark speaks about the breakthrough technologies emerging from labs around the world and the barriers to making them available in the clinic.

honorary doctorate RCSI

Mark addresses the School of Medicine At The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland

As the recipient of the 2015 RCSI honourary doctorate, awarded to an individual who has made an out-standing contribution worldwide, Mark spoke to 282 future doctors, from 24 different countries around the world about balancing competition and collaboration.

Professor Cathal Kelly, Chief Executive, RCSI, who read the citation at the conferring ceremony said: “We make this award to individuals of out-standing merit, with an international perspective, who in addressing our students, on their day of embarking on a life as a doctor; will inspire them to also make a difference to the world with their talents and education. It is with great honour that we present Mark with an RCSI honorary doctorate.”


Expecting Problems as We Explore Possibilities at TEDx Hollywood

Mark explains how he worked with UCLA’s Reggie Edgerton, the world’s leading authority on electrical stimulation of the spinal cord, to become the first person in the world with chronic complete paralysis to regain enough voluntary control to actively take steps in a robotic exoskeleton while having his spinal cord electrically stimulated.


Building collaborations with leading scientists & foundations

As part of the Fail Better exhibition at Science Gallery Dublin, award winning journalist,  Jonathan McCrea interviewed Mark and his scientific collaborators from the Frasier Institute in Kentucky and Ekso Bionics in San Francisco  as well as spinal research foundations Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation in the US and Wings for Life in Europe.

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    Portrait image in blue and white of Mark Pollock taken before he broke his back while training in Glendalough

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    Mark presented at our Global Sales Partners Conference in Twitter and was exceptional.  His ability to link his personal story to people’s everyday life and work challenges was excellent. The session was not just about listening to an incredible story, it was a chance for everyone to really think about themselves.  There is something in this talk for everyone.

    Senior Director EMEA


    Mark presented at our North American Leadership Conference in Chicago. It was attended by 200 of HSBC’s senior managers across Canada and the USA. Given the complexity of today’s financial services industry, Mark’s insight into the motivational challenges facing our management teams was accurate and his suggestions and ideas were equally relevant.

    North America Holdings Inc.


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