Bjørn Heyerdahl is an active explorer, environmentalist, internationally renowned speaker and consultant on humanitarian, environmental and development issues, with vast corporate and human development experience.
Bjørn is an explorer’s club member and the recipient of a silver medal from Mikhail Gorbachev at the 10th anniversary Green Cross International at the United Nations in Geneva, for an outstanding contribution to environmental issues and global conscientiousness.
Bjorn launched the Midgard expedition for sustainable development internationally at the explorers club in New York in 2003 and he was invited to speak about the Midgard expedition and a polymathic approach to solving global issues during the course of 2003.
He has also spoken at Liberty Life’s management academy in Johannesburg, during February, on polymathic leadership and personal effectiveness as well as at the following prestigious events:
The Explorers Club annual dinner in New York city during April 2003;
In Geneva at the United Nations on 31st may 2003 at the 10th general assembly of the Green Cross International;
At the Kon-Tiki museum in Oslo to the Norwegian members of parliament, shipping industry and exploration communities in early June;
At National Geographic, Washington, D.C.;
Again at the Explorers Club, New York, as guest speaker on 16th June;
At the Lowell Thomas annual dinner at the united nations in New York on 25th October 2003, on “the future of exploration – a global challenge”, where he was awarded the Lowell Thomas gold medal by the Rolex watch company for his contribution to the future of scientific exploration.
Bjørn has studied human nature in the hardest of workshops. It was during his six year sentence to detention and community service as a conscientious objector in the mid–eighties in apartheid South Africa that he began to explore firsthand the nature of organisations and the individuals within them. This interest led to further, more formal, research and study, on his release, and ultimately the development and launch of a series of personal, corporate, and community development programmes. His passion for finding solutions and working models of intelligent sustainable human habitation lead to the launching of the Midgard expedition and his working with eleven different African communities to provide such models. These have expanded with the needs of the clients, communities and eco systems they serve.
Bjørn is currently involved in the life of the Midgard community of consultants in programme development, facilitation and consulting with numerous public and private organisations and individuals. These include South Africa’s leading financial, property, transport agricultural, printing, import and export houses, as well as national media and communications networks, electricity distribution and management selection groups, who all enjoy his empathic and personalized approach.
Bjørn’s dominant focus is on effectively realizing human potential in respect of sustainable social, economic, environmental and lifestyle issues. He harnesses a range of disciplines in his individual and organizational development work and he is an acknowledged expert in the training and development of South Africa’s diverse people. He has an intimate knowledge of the unique conditions that exist in the new South African business and social environment and has consulted for and assisted foreign and local investors to understand the motivational needs, marketing strategies as well as the social, political and environmental issues extant in these times.
Bjørn is a keen mountaineer and a passionate environmentalist, and practical philosopher, and many of his development programmes take place in the high mountains of the Kwa-Zulu Natal Drakensberg, the rugged African wilderness, the islands off Mozambique and the Italian Rivera. These expeditions assist in breaking down barriers between people and distancing them from trivial office and social politics. Participants not only experience the benefits of the lectures, theory and consultancy, but enjoy a life experience in the best atmosphere for creative thinking, renewal and reflection.
Bjørn has a close affinity with his Nordic and Viking ancestry, which is traceable back to 812 ad. He has inherited and learned much of his adventurous spirit from his grandfather, Dr. Thor Heyerdahl, who crossed the Pacific Ocean on the balsawood raft “Kon-Tiki” in 1947. In recent years, Bjørn has featured has featured on national television and radio, due to public interest in his unique development approach. He has travelled and explored extensively and manages an international property portfolio.
Bjørn is the father of six children, is an amateur musician, enjoys mountaineering, exploring, wildlife and long distance swimming.
Bjorn Heyerdahl was invited to speak at the Lowell Thomas annual dinner which took place at the United Nations in New York in October 2003, on “the future of exploration – a global challenge”, where he was awarded the Lowell Thomas gold medal by the Rolex watch company for his contribution to the scientific exploration of existing tribal communities and demonstrating their relevance to current sustainable development.
- A users guide to intelligent life on Earth
This is your home. You Belong Here.
We are a genetic product of such crafting and grooming in this amazing Biosphere which we call Planet Earth and being re-introduced to our royal genetics and the true wonder of our potential and place as a global citizen is truly inspiring.
Bjorn emphatically impacts on his delegates at a much deeper, more fundamental level, not usually reached by “rah-rah” motivational speakers.
Get a clear understanding of the biospheric context of your life, look at yourself with a new understanding of the systems that have groomed your genetics and the systems that support your life, and be truly inspired to be the best human you can be.
We are not inheritors of the Earth – we are only it’s caretakers for our children…
The term “Global Citizen” has been bandied about a lot in recent years, but what exactly does it mean to BE a global citizen? What is the character of such a person, and what do we need to know and do on a very real, day-to-day level, to truly be effective in meeting current global challenges and especially to influence the circumstances and thinking of future generations?
Bjorn shows the inter-connectedness between all spheres of life and man’s relationship to them.
The Economics of Sustainability
Green design and sustainability is much more affordable than commonly thought!
Few man-made systems can withstand comparison with the Mother Earth and the way she goes about sustaining all life, in terms of efficient use of resources, Zero Waste or sustainability.
Bjorn shares an unexplored – and unexpectedly simple - set of principles and relationships that can be well used in any business or field of endeavour. The consequent efficiency in true sustainable design make it a critical area of financial sustainability for every organisation.
In essence: we cannot afford NOT to go “Green”, not only in altruistic terms of “saving the planet”, but also in terms of cold, hard, greenbacks (otherwise known as “the bottom line”).
The Future of Leadership
What will the leaders of our future look like? What will their attributes and characters be?
What is the nature of appropriate leadership in this era of dwindling resources, energy crisis and water scarcity?
What do current AND future leaders of industry need to understand about the context of their decision-making to empower them in business and personal contribution?
How do we harness new thinking on sustainability, global citizenship, and green technologies for the journey forward?
Bjorn pulls all this together and shows the connections that make the opportunities clear. He shares opportunities and insights for global leadership from a truly holistic viewpoint.
Team Leadership and Team Building
The Midgard expedition has examined many functional tribal peoples that have sustained abundant life in ecologically sensitive areas for more than a thousand years in many cases. Bjorn has distilled, for contemporary man, the lessons and essence of the institutionalised wisdoms as they apply to business, corporate and modern civil life.
These lessons come in the form of a one hour powerful presentation by Bjorn Heyerdahl that can be adapted in focus to include lessons specifically for the sales environment, to longer workshop style interventions to ensure the principles find implementation in your company life in the form of improved performance and effectiveness, improved sales and enhanced team work.
Over the last 15 years these interventions have assisted multi-national organisations and many local companies achieve their growth potential. Among them: Toyota South Africa, Liberty life, Eskom, Eriksson, Vodacom, Independent Newspaper group, M-Net and many others.
Bjorn has recently returned from Geneva (on the invitation of the Green Cross International and the Earth Charter Initiative) after presenting ‘Humanity in Context: Global Citizenship’.
Bjorn presented his topic to the United Nations (UNESCO and UNEP) too. This presentation is being used as a high level development programme for global leadership.
(‘Humanity in Context: Global Citizenship will interest company executives or government agencies interested in real issues of sustainability, environmental ethics and especially the development required for relevant leadership in these times of globalisation).
Bjorn will be presenting the 20th anniversary of the Green Cross International in Geneva, alongside Mikhail Gorbachev at the United Nations this September.
He has been asked to join their advisory board along with Ted Turner and Leonardo Di Caprio.
Bjorn currently and works from a farm situated in the Cradle of Human Kind.
“Thanks to people such as you who have been equipped with the passion and energy to try to make this incredible planet sustainable- there may be hope for the future, for animals and people. It is a great, important and urgent mission you are initiating.”
Jim Fowler, Hon. Pres: The Explorers Club, New York
“In the tradition of your grandfather, Thor Heyerdahl, may you explore for knowledge and share what you learn for the benefit of the world.”
Norman Baker, Navigator, Kon-Tiki & Ra Expedition
“In this era defined by mind-boggling technological achievement, we need ever more desperately to appreciatively understand our connectedness to the resources of our natural world. We have yet much to learn from the indigenous communities and their means of prospering sustainably from within the environment and specific natural resources. The importance and value of your project and mission is underscored by the support and recognition already received: we have so much to learn…so much to respect. Your mission is worthy of great and ongoing applause and will serve the explorers club well into the 21st century.”
Jim Cronk, Anthropologist, 23 March 2003
“I was very interested to read your expedition for sustainability and I wish you every success.”
David Attenborough, 24th May 2004
The silver medallion was presented to Bjørn Heyerdahl at the United Nations in Geneva by Mikhail Gorbachev for exceptional contribution to the activities of the Green Cross International furthering the principles inherent in the GCI:
“Your participation at our 10th anniversary represents the ongoing support of the Heyerdahl family of the green cross international and we rely on your input to guide us into the future on issues of global sustainability and intelligent human civilization.”
Mikhail Gorbachev, Moscow 2003