Mark Wood
Grant Thornton

Grant Thornton scales new heights with polar explorer

Business advisory firm Grant Thornton scaled new heights when polar explorer Mark Wood inspired guests at the firm’s ladies networking event by speaking about ‘maximising human potential’ and the extraordinary challenges he has undertaken. During his visit to Grant Thornton’s Leeds offices, Mark also gave an inspiring presentation to staff.

Mark, who last January became one of only eight people in history to ski solo and unsupported to the South Pole, was sponsored by Grant Thornton on his epic journey – he is also the only person to have done this back-to-back with just a few weeks between the walk to each pole. Mark also led a team that included Grant Thornton’s global head of marketing, Harrogate-based Jon Geldart, in an expedition to the geomagnetic North Pole. Mark discussed the challenges and exhilaration faced in his expeditions and how he has maximised his own human potential to gain the best from others in extreme environments.

Mark has raced dog teams in Alaska and has completed solo exhibitions to both the North and South Poles covering thousands of miles of Polar ice. In April 2013, he will be climbing Everest and linking with schools via Skype as part of his quest to inspire and educate children about the challenges and marvels of the extremes of our world. He has also featured in televised documentaries and worked with the BBC as a guide leading the Top Gear team in its ‘Race to the Pole’.

“Mark is truly inspiring – the lessons he has learnt about persevering in the face of adversity are ones which can be applied in any walk of life,” comments Somaya Akhtar of Grant Thornton who helps organise the ladies networking events. “He gave some fascinating insights into endurance and strength of character – talking about how anyone can ‘be extraordinary’ and overcome obstacles by having passion and being driven. Mark is a fantastic ambassador for Grant Thornton, embodying our own ambition to grow as a firm by unlocking our clients’ ambition for growth.”

The presentation was the latest in a series of events hosted by Grant Thornton for women professionals in the region. For more information about future events, please contact Christie Douglas at Grant Thornton on 0113 200 2628 or email

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