Dave Cornthwaite


Since quitting a job as a really bad graphic designer in 2005, Dave Cornthwaite has developed a successful career based on his passions. He's an expert in adventure, non-motorised travel, audacity and creating work that you love.

At the core, he is a record-breaking adventurer who has travelled over 20,000 miles in eleven journeys as part of his groundbreaking Expedition1000 project: 25 journeys of 1000 miles or more, each using a different form of non-motorised transport.

Dave has written three books: the bestselling Life in the Slow Lane, a hapless search for love in Date, and BoardFree, the story of how he left his job to skateboard further than anyone ever had.

His uniquely entertaining and motivational keynote presentations have been enjoyed on six continents and his passionate advocacy of the word YES has contributed to the sprouting of countless adventures worldwide, big and small.

In between adventures, Dave is committed to enabling others to reach their own potential through social journeys, workshops, group expeditions and mindset-shaping projects. He founded a social enterprise called SayYesMore and a community of doers called The YesTribe, which offers a gentle solution to the mental health pressures of today's society, as well as annual mindset-exploring adventures in Iceland and paddling down the Mississippi.

If his enthusiasm for simple living, the power of adventure for good and the glorious pursuit of enjoying Mondays isn't enough to get you ready for a new challenge, nothing will.


With over 500 presentations to his name, Dave's contagious keynotes pose challenges and solutions, whether motivating businesses, entertaining festival crowds or inspiring students and teachers.

With a story and lessons adaptable to every audience and an unequalled power to combine humour with meaning, if you're looking for a down to earth, brutally honest, funny and memorable speaker, Dave's your man.Dave_Cornthwaite_Motivational_Keynote_Speaker_at_Great_British_Speakers.jpg

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What the audiences say:Dave Cornthwaite Adventurer inspirational speaker at Great British Speakers 2017

Dave opened our TEDx conference with the brief of throwing the day wide open. No one could have done it better. He made an astounding impact. The audience heard extraordinary talks all day but once again Dave’s rang out. If you are holding an event (for any ages) and need someone to encourage, inspire and motivate then I cannot recommend Dave more highly. Absolutely magnificent.

Charlotte Calkin, Organiser, TEDxBath

Outstanding. You had our audience on the edge of their seats, with both inspiration and laughter.

Apple, London

Through the haze of what must have been intense exhaustion you gave a fascinating insight into the mind and motivations of the modern day adventurer and stimulated some interesting and thoughtful discussions on how the mind plays such an important role.

The Wellcome Trust

Drawing from innovative, real-life leadership experience, Dave shares in a candid and at times hilarious manner, the powerful lessons he has learned from each of his adventures and relates them back to day to day items and goal setting. His fresh and compelling point of view is a great draw card and inspires positive changes in both work and personal life.

Robbie Bennetts - CEO, Professional Investment Holdings Ltd.

A phenomenal speech from Dave Cornthwaite changed my life. Since hearing his story I’ve started a successful business, extended it into new continents and started the world’s first Uganda Marathon. It started with a word: yes.

Nick Kershaw, Inspired 50

A natural speaker and story-teller. Inspirational, candid and comical in equal measures. He is the perfect example of someone who turns ideas and dreams into realities. Can’t remember the last time I cried with laughter during a Q&A session!

Rob Symington, Founder, Escape The City

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