Julian Thomas (Band A: £1,500 → £3,500)

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Julian is passionate about Effective Leadership & the Transformative Power of Education

Julian is a Leader, Adventurer and Writer and he combines his experience of high-level organisational leadership with tales and lessons from some of the world’s iconic adventure challenges.

Many adventurers offer advice to business leaders from their experiences (and vice versa), but Julian is unique in having put them into practice in the workplace and in the field.


He is the 14th Master of Wellington College and Chief Executive of the Wellington Family of Academies and Schools. Wellington College is one of the world’s most well-known and highly regarded schools.

  • Named by the Evening Standard in 2016 as one of London’s most influential people
  • Named in the i25 in 2019 – independent education’s 25 most influential people

Unusually, for someone in this role, he comes from a humble background and his journey to the leadership of one of the world’s leading schools, and Chief Executive of a global schools group has left him with a passionate belief in the transformative power of education, and the need to create opportunities for social mobility.

He appears regularly in national newspapers and other media outlets as both contributor and subject of news and opinion pieces.


Julian has undertaken various extreme adventures:

South Pole Trek: A 1000 km, unassisted trek from the coast of Antarctica to the South Pole - a unique experience which changed his life.

Marathon des Sable (MdS): Having experienced the coldest place on Earth, Julian turned his attentions to the hottest place on Earth. The MdS is a 251 km 6-day ultramarathon across the Sahara desert.

Rowing the Atlantic: He is soon to attempt this feat which is one achieved by fewer people than have climbed Everest. If successful he will become, we think, the only person alive who has completed the “Ice, Fire and Water” trio of achievements.


Julian can speak on a wide variety of topics and will always tailor to the specific audience.He most usually talks on the subjects of effective leadership, getting the most out of teams, personal development and growth, making and achieving goals, and beneficial risk-taking.

He can focus on a specific topic such as educational leadership or trekking to the South Pole but prefers to mix in different elements of his incredible experiences showing how they are interconnected and how the lessons learned from one feed directly into the others.

Enquire below to book Julian for a conference or event...

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Talks on leadership and education include:

  • Why the UK education system is setting our children up to fail and what we can do about it
  • “Make it matter” – strategies for effective leadership and getting the most out of your team

Talks on Julian's South Pole Trek include:

  • "Going to Extremes" - lessons on leadership from the bottom of the Earth
  • "Just keep reaching for your hat" - keeping going when the going gets tough

Talks on the Marathon des Sables include:

  • “Into the Frying Pan” – the story of the world’s toughest footrace
  • Why the individual challenge of MdS is the ultimate test of teamwork

Talks combining elements of Julian's different experiences include:

  • "Ice, Fire and Water" - taking on the world's iconic challenges
  • What business leaders can learn from adventurers (and vice versa)
  • “Epiphany on a Liverpool Street escalator” - living a life less ordinary


Education, Adventure, Teamwork, Leadership


He has spoken to audiences of all sizes (regularly to 4000+) in a variety of locations in the UK and around the world, including Shanghai, Monaco, Mumbai and Bangkok.


  • Band A: £1,500 → £3,500

Get in Touch

For any information, or to make a booking, please contact us by completing the form below:

"I highly recommend Julian to anyone looking for a speaker who can inspire people to live their adventurous dreams, and who has the leadership skills required to help show them how to fulfil their ambitions."

- Piers Morgan, TV Presenter and Journalist

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