Insights: video

Review some of Mark’s mini-documentaries focused on his quest to cure paralysis in our lifetime through to some of his adventure races to the South Pole, in the Gobi Desert and on his new tandem handbike.



Mark Pollock Speaking Highlights

Mark Pollock helps people to build resilience and collaborate with others so that they achieve more than they thought possible. Unbroken by blindness in 1998, Mark became an adventure athlete competing in ultra-endurance races across deserts, mountains, and the polar ice caps including being the first blind person to race to the South Pole. In 2010 a fall from a second story window nearly killed him. Mark broke his back and the damage to his spinal cord left him paralysed. Now he is on a new expedition, this time exploring the intersection where humans and technology collide on his personal mission to cure paralysis in our lifetime.

Exploring The Frontiers Of Spinal Cord Injury Recovery

In the aftermath of Mark’s catastrophic spinal cord injury in 2010, he drew on his experiences as an adventure athlete. It started with the simple principle that moving was better than staying still. And, that has led onto a personal quest to cure paralysis in our lifetime.

A Cocktail Of Interventions Across Disciplines

Mark speaks about what it will take to cure paralysis in our lifetime. In particular he focuses on why it will take a cocktail of interventions and the importance of collaboration across disciplines.

Providing Others With Access To Exoskeletons

We launched an Exoskeleton Access Programme at Dublin City University to provide access to paralysed people, stroke patients, those with MS and other neurological conditions for a nominal fee. One of those people talks about her experience of using the Ekso Bionics device for the first time.


Catalysing Collaborations Across The Globe

The therapies that have the ability to make a difference are locked inside university labs or underfunded start-ups. Mark presented that problem to his colleagues in the World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leaders during an education module in Oxford along with his fiancée Simone George. The result was the formation of an initiative called the Druid Collective and a $5 million investment fund to develop spinal stimulation technology that will change people’s lives in the next 5 years.




Research Partnership With Microsoft & 2 Universities

Mark began working with Microsoft on a series of data and cloud computing projects alongside students at Imperial College London and University College London.




Facilitating a Venture Philanthropy Investment

Through Mark’s connections in the World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leaders, we supported NeuroRecovery Technologies to move one step closer to commercialising their trans-cutaneous spinal stimulators. As a founding member of WEF’s Druid Collective Initiative – – Mark and Simone catalysed the formation of a $4 million venture philanthropy fund with Prescidio Partners in San Francisco and the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation in New York.


Mark’s Story Captured in Award Winning Documentary Feature Film

Mark’s rollercoaster  story of blindness, spinal cord injury and work to cure paralysis with his fiancee, Simone George, is chronicled over the course of six years in Unbreakable – The Mark Pollock Story. Director, Ross Whitaker, said: “The film is really a testament to the power of human relationships and the human spirit to challenge seemingly unsurmountable obstacles.”

Watch the trailer at


Stimulating Voluntary Movement at UCLA

Professor Yury Gerasimenko of the Pavlov Institute electrically stimulates Mark’s spinal cord during some baseline testing at UCLA. And, for the first time since his accident 3 years earlier, Mark voluntarily pulled his knee to his chest.

Watch at


Stress testing the early designs of Ekso Bionics robotic legs

After walking for the first time in 2012, Mark went on to become the world’s leading test pilot of Ekso Bionics robotic legs. And, during the early years of walking, Mark worked with the Ekso Bionics team to stress test components for the next generation Ekso GT.

Watch at



Promoting Neuro-Plasticity

Mark explores the potential of promoting neuro-plasticity in his nervous system by following a daily aggressive physical therapy programme in the US. And, with the support of his former South Pole teammate, Simon O’Donnell, they continued the training back in Ireland.

Watch at


The first blind person in the world to race to The South Pole

Mark follows in the footsteps of Shackleton, Scott and Amundsen during a 43 day expedition race with temperatures as low as minus 50 degrees. And, after man hauling sledges over 1,000 kilometres with his teammates, Simon O’Donnell and Inge Solheim, Mark became the first blind man to race to the South Pole. Go to to learn more.

Award winning documentary maker, Ross Whitaker, filmed Mark’s preparation, training and race to the South Pole. This formed the basis for the documentary Blind Man Walking released in 2010.

Watch a clip at


Mark runs 6 marathons in 7 days in the Gobi Desert

After losing his sight in 1998, Mark competed in the inaugural Gobi March – The Race Of No Return – with his teammate Nick Wolfe. One year after winning silver and bronze medals at the Commonwealth Rowing Championships, Mark  swapped the rivers and lakes for the desert to run 6 marathons in 7 days.

Watch at

To discuss how Mark can help your organisation achieve more, contact us by filling in the form below:

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

    Mark Pollock mobile:

    From Ireland 087 2233372

    From UK & Europe 00 353 87 2233372

    From US & International 00 353 87 223372

    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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