Hero Forge, Episode 40: Roz Savage

Roz Savage is perhaps best known as the first woman in history to row solo across the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans. She has since gone on to become a senior fellow at the Yale Jackson Institute for Global Affairs and is a successful author, public speaker and coach on topics such as sustainability, courage, resilience and managing change. Now you might wonder what would possess a person to leave a successful city career with all the trappings and material comforts that come with it, to spend more than 500 days alone at sea, to risk their life and to endure levels of hardship and deprivation that most would run from rather than seek out. Well, let’s find out!

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Hero Forge, Episode 39: Rohan Gunatillake

Rohan Gunithilike is a mindfulness expert. He is the author of ‘This is Happening’ and the best-selling ‘Buddify’ app. Rohan has a unique perspective on mindfulness, arguing that rather than having to unplug in order to become present, our meditation practice should become fully integrated into our daily lives; a walk to the bus stop, checking our Twitter feed or washing up can all provide opportunities to become present and more attuned to the here and now. In this interview we unpick his approach to meditation and how it can serve everyday heroes in training.

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Hero Forge, Episode 38: Scott Sears

Scott Sears, at just 26, is about to embark on a solo, unassisted, unaccompanied trek to the South Pole in order to stake his claim to a world record, while also raising funds for the Gurkha Welfare Trust. As a former Junior Officer within the Gurkha regiment, and having been in Nepal during the terrible earthquake there last year, he is highly motivated. However, he faces 200mph winds, temperatures as low as -50C and he will be dragging more than 100kg of kit over some of the most inhospitable terrain on the planet. In this episode, Scott and I chat about his imminent departure and how he has been preparing for this incredible challenge.

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Hero Forge, Episode 37: John Graham (part 2)

Following on from last week’s fascinating look at John’s personal journey from adventurer, world traveller and as a key figure in US Foreign Policy, to Director of Operations for the Giraffe Heroes Project, we now turn our attention to the practical steps anyone can take to affect positive change in the world as an ‘active citizen’. This is a rare opportunity to listen to the sage advice of a man who has had first had experience at the highest level of just what it takes to change the world for the better, using pragmatism and charisma in equal measure.

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Hero Forge, Episode 36: John Graham (part 1)

John Graham, along with his wife Ann Medlock have run the ‘Giraffe Heroes Project’ for more than three decades, honouring and celebrating everyday people who have stuck their neck out for the greater good. John has also lived a rich and varied life which began when he served on a freighter across the Pacific at just 16. He was part of the only successful expedition to date to climb the north face of Mt. McKinley, reported on the conflicts in Libya and Vietnam for the Boston Globe and then went on to serve a distinguished career in the US Foreign Service. In this interview we talk about all this and more.

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Hero Forge, Movie Review: Wonder Woman

75 years in the making, finally the time has come for Diana Prince, first among the Amazons, to grace the silver screen and take her side along the other luminaries of the DC Extended Universe. Touted as the best superhero film of 2017, the movie has a lot to live up to, not only because Gal Gadot has to walk the tightrope of public opinion, but also because this film is going to have to work hard to make up for the damage done to the franchise by last year’s flop ‘Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice’. So how did it fare and can the film possibly live up to the hype?

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Hero Forge, Episode 33: Cathy O’Dowd

Cathy O’Dowd is perhaps best known for being the first woman in history to summit Mount Everest from both sides. She is a NY Times bestseller author and Cathy has spoken to corporations and groups in more than 40 countries about what she has learned from her adventures in the Himalaya, focusing upon lessons of leadership, team dynamics, achieving goals and the motivation needed to see through long term projects and expeditions. Refreshingly candid, Cathy observes that “Everest does not provide answers to life’s problems. It is just a very high lump of rock. Our answers have to come from within us”.

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Hero Forge, Episode 31:

The advice often given to budding writers is that they should write about what they know. In Caroline Paul’s case, that would fill a bookcase and every volume would be well worth reading! She was the 15th woman to break into the male-dominated world of the San Francisco Fire Department where she served for 13 1/2 years. She has dodged death while paragliding in Brazil, she’s climbed Mount Denali, white water rafted in one of the remotest parts of Siberia and sea kayaked around the islands of Croatia. Caroline has chased world records, Olympic medals and has broken onto the NY Times bestseller list with her most recent book – ‘The Gutsy Girl’.

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Hero Forge, Special: Philip Zimbardo

Professor Philip Zimbardo is, arguably, the grandfather of the ‘everyday hero’ movement. As Professor Emeritus at Stanford University, he has published more than 300 academic papers, has authored more than 50 books and has a rich hinterland of subject expertise, ranging from the nature of evil, shyness, hypnosis and time, to name but a few.

Zimbardo rocketed to the world’s attention following his infamous Stanford Prison Experiment in 1971 and he has held the international stage ever since as a respected authority and ground-breaking academic. He has since gone on to found the Heroic Imagination Project and, with his 85th birthday less than a year away, he shows no signs of slowing down, even though he officially retired more than a decade ago!

It was a privilege to share a conversation with Professor Zimbardo while he was in the middle of a hectic series of speaking engagements in Stockholm, and to explore with him, the underlying patterns of his life’s work, his take on the current geo-political climate and the future of heroism studies.

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