Warren MacDonald

Adventurer, Author and Motivational Speaker

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Warren Macdonald's life's boundaries were redefined in April 1997 with his accident on North Queensland's (Australia) Hinchinbrook Island. Climbing to the Island's tallest peak, he became trapped beneath a one-ton slab boulder in a freak rock fall. Two days later he was rescued, only to undergo the amputation of both legs at mid thigh.

Just ten months later, he climbed Tasmania's Cradle Mountain using a modified wheelchair and the seat of his pants. In February 2003, he became the first double above-knee amputee to reach the summit of Africa's tallest peak, Mt Kilimanjaro (19,222ft), and more recently, in a spectacular effort requiring more than 2,800 pull-ups over 4 days, created history once again in an ascent of America's tallest cliff face, El Capitan. He is also the only above knee amputee to make an ascent of Canada's landmark frozen waterfall, the 600 ft "Weeping Wall" in Alberta.

Warren's first book, A Test of Will is an Australian bestseller and the subject of the "Trapped under a Boulder" episode of the Discovery Channel series I Shouldn't Be Alive. His film documenting the epic four-week journey to Federation Peak, Australia most challenging mountain summit, The Second Step, has been acclaimed worldwide, screening on National Geographic Television and winning eight international awards including Grand Prize at the prestigious Banff Mountain Film Festival.

Warren has appeared on numerous news and current affairs programs, including Larry King Live, The Oprah Winfrey Show, and The Hour with George Stroumboulopoulos. He has written articles for CNN World Edition, Australian Geographic, Speaking of Impact and Professional Speaker.

Warren Macdonald recognizes change as a process, not an end result. His ability to manage transition, to create opportunity from any given situation, and his ability to share insights on how we can all live "larger than we dreamt possible", sees him increasingly in demand as a speaker and corporate motivator.

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Speaking Topics

Challenge of Change - Finding Opportunity in Adversity:

We've all heard it a million times; "change is constant", "the only certainty in life is change", "change or perish". We all know it; what we need is for someone to show us how to deal with it. Warren's "Challenge of Change" presentation will help your group realize that challenges brought on by change hold endless opportunities for innovation and personal and professional growth. That it is possible to not just survive, but to thrive despite adversity.


It's the End of the World as We Know It, and I Feel Fine:

Take a lesson from someone who has seen his world change on a scale few could imagine... Waking from the operation that claimed both legs, Warren woke to a whole new world, a whole new reality. Navigating a new world takes courage, that's for sure, but our number one tool in creating our future is PERCEPTION.
We need a vision for the kind of world we want to live in. Make no mistake, the world changed in October 2008; it will never be the same again. You can react to that statement with fear, or apathy, or straight out denial, or you can respond from a place of possibility. We have an opportunity now to create something new; something better. But we need to see it first.
Warren Macdonald can help us form that vision for a better world. In this keynote presentation, Warren shares the lessons and tools he's used to create a remarkable life from what many would have considered a "game over" scenario.


One Step Beyond - Setting And Reaching Impossible Goals:

It's all well and good to set seemingly impossible goals; the kind that has your team looking at you like you're nuts. Like this time you've really lost it... You need them to see what you see. You need to convince them, to inspire your team to follow you. To show them what is possible when you're prepared to go one step beyond...beyond ordinary...beyond conventional...beyond perceived limitations.


Recent Publications by Warren MacDonald

A Test of Will


"Your keynote presentation on Monday was a huge success (in case you couldn't tell by the STANDING OVATION you received!). I've had so many people come to tell me that you were the best speaker we've ever had and how much it meant to them to hear your story. You have an amazing spirit that resonates in everything you say and do." Alberta Envirofuels Inc.

"The relevance, clarity and poignancy of your presentation and subsequent conversations with our people has helped us refocus on the tasks we have to complete and brought the team closer together..." Motability Finance Limited

"Your topic "One Step Beyond" was one of the best and most powerful keynotes I have had the pleasure of hearing. Some of the words used to describe your keynote were "exceptional", "inspiring", "very, very moving" and "this keynote makes me want to climb mountains"." Canadian Association of Petroleum Land Administration

"We were most impressed by the professional manner in which you prepared for the presentations: the conference call to discuss the event, pre-event questionnaire for us to complete which included specific objectives/results desired from your involvement in the event, theme/purpose of the event, top 3 challenges facing our group, what impact do these challenges have on those of us who were in the audience....I can truly say that I was inspired - no, deeply moved - by the life-changing experience that you shared with the group." Nova Scotia Federal Council

"No testimonial I can give will do justice to what you brought to our Annual Franchise Partner Conference this year. I had the highest of expectations after booking you and you blew those expectations out of the water. I believe you received the only standing ovation of our three day event because you went out of your way to customize the message not only based on the details I'd given you earlier, but also the information that you gleaned from attending several sessions earlier. I have never seen a more captivated and inspired audience or a more dedicated speaker." I-Got-Junk

"Warren is a captivating speaker. He held the audience and kept them mesmerized from the moment he stepped on the stage right through to the standing ovation. Warren's experiences and the way he has responded to the challenges he has faced, is not only a touching and inspiring story, he does a masterful job of making it all relevant to today's business environment." Petroleum Operations

"Warren, after hearing you speak to our new MBA students at their orientation last year, we just knew that we had to have you back this year. Thanks for sharing your story with us again this year. Your insight, wisdom and inspiration are greatly appreciated." University of British Columbia