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2017

2017 SES PIONEER WITH PURPOSE – ROSIE STANCER

Rosie is a British explorer and polar adventurer who, since 1996, has embarked on major polar expeditions of increasing severity and commitment. Rosie is also a SES Honorary Advisory Board member.

2019

2019 SES PIONEER WITH PURPOSE – DEE CAFFARI MBE

Dee Caffari MBE has sailed around the world six times. She is the first woman to have sailed single-handed and non-stop around the world in both directions and the only woman to have sailed non-stop around the world a total of three times.

Dee led ‘Turn the Tide on Plastic’ – the first mixed gender youth team to compete in the Ocean Race (formerly Volvo Ocean Race) 2017/18; with a strong sustainability message. The issue of single use plastic in our oceans gained huge momentum and has inspired many people to ‘take action’ in their day to day lives. Dee continues to be an advocate for ocean health and to highlight the vital importance of reducing our dependence on plastics.

Outside of sailing, Dee continues to showcase her talents as a presenter and on the motivational speaker circuit. Dee also spends time supporting her chosen charities and is Chair of the World Sailing Trust, a new global charity that will promote the health of oceans and grow participation of the sport to protect its future.

Photo of Dee Caffari by Charlie Clift.

2019 SES EXPLORER OF THE YEAR – LOUIS RUDD MBE

Captain Louis Rudd MBE served for 34 years in the military, he joined at the age of 16 and rose through the ranks to Regimental Sergeant Major (RSM) before commissioning as an Officer. Lou’s first trip to Antarctica was in 2011/12 on the Scott/Amundsen Centenary Race Expedition. His team skied 800 miles over 67 days unsupported from the Bay of Whales, up the Axel Heiberg Glacier to the South Pole, following the original route of the Norwegian Roald Amundsen. In 2016/17 he led a team of five Army Reservists on a 67-day, 1,100-mile traverse of Antarctica. The SPEAR17 Expedition started at Hercules Inlet, skied 700 miles unsupported to the South Pole, collected a re-supply and then crossed the Titan Dome and descended the Shackleton Glacier before arriving on the Ross Ice Shelf. The expedition won multiple awards and in 2018 Louis was awarded an MBE for his leadership on the journey. In May 2018 Louis guided a team of five civilian friends on a 570km west to east traverse of the Greenland Ice Sheet. Despite challenging weather, the team completed the crossing in 27 days. In 2018/19 he undertook the ‘Spirit of Endurance’ expedition, a 56-day, 920-mile solo unsupported crossing of the Antarctic land mass, becoming the first Briton and second in the world to complete this journey. He is the first person to traverse Antarctica twice on foot.

2019 SES LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT – ANDREW MITCHELL

Andrew Mitchell’s association with SES started as a young Bristol University science graduate. First assignment: setting-up projects for Operation Drake, a global two-year expedition. First stop: Panama where Andrew devised an elevated system of aerial walkways – to this day regarded as an unrivalled method to study the rainforest canopy. A conservative estimate is that Andrew has given 45 years of advice to SES alongside which he managed to fit in a remarkable “other career”. He co-founded the Earthwatch Institute managing 130 field research projects in 30 countries as Vice President of Programme Development and International Relations, before founding Global Canopy, a ground-breaking non-profit, environmental think-tank based in Oxford striving to influence and enable transformative change towards a global deforestation-free economy.

In 2009, HRH The Prince of Wales asked for Andrew’s help and, working closely together for years, they initiated The Prince’s Rainforests Project. Andrew is also an advisor to the United Nations on climate change and the inclusion of reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation in the UN climate regime. Andrew bases himself at Green Templeton College, Oxford where he is an Emeritus Rufford Fellow in Environmental Understanding.

Photo of Andrew Mitchell by Matthew Ferguson (FG Studios).

2018

                                                                                                                                                                                       

2018 SES LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT - MARK BEAUMONT

Mark cycled into Paris having circumnavigated the globe. He completed the epic Artemis World Cycle in 78 days, 14 hours and 40 minutes, breaking the world record by a staggering 44 days. It was through his vision, ambition, physical and psychological endurance abilities and the clockwork precision of his logistical planning, that he was able to complete this outstanding achievement. It is for the sheer enormity of the challenge, for making the impossible ‘possible’ and for the style and determination shown by him and his support team that SES was delighted to present Mark with 2018 SES Lifetime Achievement. Mark is also a SES Honorary Advisory Board member.

Photo by Johnny Swane Poel - Mark Beaumont - Day 79 - Arc de Triomphe - Victory

                                        
 

2018 SES PIONEER WITH PURPOSE - EMILY PENN

Emily is an architect turned ocean advocate and skipper. After rounding the globe on a record-breaking bio-fuelled boat, she spent eight years at sea, exploring and discovering oceanic gyres – huge areas of plastic accumulation. Emily co-founded Pangaea Explorations, an organisation dedicated to marine education, conservation and exploration via a 72ft sailing vessel. Emily’s commitment to understand and inspire local and large-scale community involvement in tackling the issue of ocean plastic pollution is tireless, and it is for that reason that she was selected to receive the prestigious SES Pioneer with Purpose.

Photo by Emmanuel Lubezki - Emily Penn at sea

2018 SES EXPLORER OF THE YEAR - VANESSA O’BRIEN

Dual-national Vanessa became the first British-American woman to successfully conquer K2, the world’s second highest mountain, after a gruelling 16 hour summit push where she encountered deep snow, howling winds and temperatures down to -40 degrees centigrade. This was Vanessa’s third consecutive year attempting K2, and her team’s dedication and persistence paid-off as they became the only team to summit in 2017, following two years of no summits on K2. At the summit, Vanessa proudly displayed British, American and Pakistani flags – representing her homes and her host country – as well as that of UN Women. In recognition of her outstanding grit, determination and ultimately successful expedition, SES was thrilled to select her as 2018 SES Explorer of the Year.

2020

2020 SES PIONEER WITH PURPOSE JOHN VOLANTHEN

2020 SES PIONEER WITH PURPOSE – JOHN VOLANTHEN

John is a world record-holding British cave diver who has been at the forefront of underground rescue and exploration over the last two decades. John began caving with the scouts at the age of 14 and continues to push the limits of underwater cave exploration to this day. In 2018, John played a key role in the Tham Luang Thailand cave rescue and was awarded the George Medal by the Queen for showing ‘great courage’. Using his background in medical electronics, John has built breathing equipment used to explore caves worldwide and designed and produced cave mapping technology. John lives in Bristol and spends his ‘spare’ time running ultra-marathons. 

2020 SES EXPLORER OF THE YEAR STEVE BACKSHALL

2020 SES EXPLORER OF THE YEAR – STEVE BACKSHALL

Steve captivates millions with his TV shows and expeditions ranging from the BAFTA-winning Deadly 60, to the critically acclaimed Big Blue Live, Alaska Live, Lost Land of the Volcano, Lost Land of the Jaguar and the adrenaline-fuelled series Steve Backshall’s Extreme Mountain Challenge and Down the Mighty River with Steve Backshall. His great passion is discovery – investigating new places and new species. He is prepared to go to the ends of the Earth to satisfy this passion. More recently, his book Expedition was published alongside his brand new 10-part TV series Expedition with Steve Backshall, which broadcast on UKTV Dave and saw him taking on physical challenges and encounters with extraordinary wildlife, in unchartered territory in the pursuit of new discoveries. Steve’s international acclaim extends off-screen too. Steve is an accomplished author penning both fiction and non-fiction books for adults and children. He is also a patron for numerous charities and an ambassador for the Scout Association.

Photo of Steve Backshall by Rohan Kilham.

2020 SES LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT DR JANE GOODALL DBE

2020 SES LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT – DR JANE GOODALL DBE

Dr Jane Goodall is founder of the Jane Goodall Institute and a UN Messenger of Peace. She began her landmark study into the lives of wild chimpanzees at Gombe in Western Tanzania on 14 July 1960 and that research continues today. Established in 1977, the Jane Goodall Institute has offices in 24 offices countries. Programmes created include the ongoing research at Gombe; TACARE – a community-centred conservation programme active in 6 African countries, that recognises the role that local people can play in conserving their natural world, whilst sustainably improving their lives; and two sanctuaries for orphan chimpanzees in South Africa and the Republic of Congo. In 1991 Dr Goodall founded Roots & Shoots with 12 high school students in Tanzania. Today, Roots & Shoots is active in more than 65 countries and empowers young people of all ages to become involved in hands-on projects for their community, animals and the environment we all share. In the past 30 years Roots & Shoots has involved thousands of young people in more than 100 countries who are now taking those values into their adult world. Dr Goodall is author of many books for adults and children and she features in countless films and videos. The recipient of many awards and honorary degrees, Dr Goodall continues to share her messages of hope and to inspire new generations to take positive actions for our world and all its inhabitants.

Photo of Dr Jane Goodall DBE by Stuart Clarke.