Fight or flight.
Our natural reaction to risk is hard-wired into our psyches.
We either rush headlong into the fray or run far away.
But what if there’s a different perspective? To surface the science of risk, we have connected with some truly remarkable people – Risk Ambassadors.
By uncovering their methods and mindset, we will reveal together how – when properly calculated and controlled – embracing risk can create extraordinary outcomes.
Our Risk Ambassadors have all met risk head-on overcoming prejudice or disability, defying the harshest environments or dangerous challenges. Or just said ‘yes’ when everyone else said ‘no’.
Both aspirational and inspirational, these remarkable people are testament to what can be achieved when risk becomes your guide and guardian, rather than something to be feared and shunned.
Following a severe cycling accident in 2010, freediver Johanna Nordblad almost lost her leg to necrosis. Only by keeping the wound open for 10 days could doctors save it, leading to three years of unbearable pain from nerve damage. Encouraged by the results of cold water treatments, she eventually sank into the icy depths, finding not only pain relief – but complete relaxation of body and mind.
Taking her freediving experience into freezing scenarios, she set a women’s ice-diving world record in 2015, swimming 50m under the ice between two openings in just a swimsuit.
After Covid-19 interrupted her bid to beat a newly-set women’s record of 80m and an unofficial all-time 102m, she returned undaunted to Finland’s Lake Ollori in 2021. Swimming horizontally under 60cm-thick ice without fins or a wetsuit, she broke both the women’s and men’s ice-diving record with an astonishing freedive of 103m.
Commando, climber and BASE jumper Tim Howell has spent most of his life matching risk to reward to achieve pioneering successes.
Aged just 18, Tim worked as a safari guide in South Africa’s Kruger Park among the ‘Big Five’, before returning to the UK to join the Royal Marines. As a commando and a Royal Marines Mountain Leader, the mental and physical toughness he has developed provides the perfectly apt rock for his passion for climbing, mountaineering, and Wingsuit BASE jumping.
Tim was the first British person to ski BASE jump, and has jumped iconic landmarks, including Table Top Mountain, Half Dome, Trident du Tacul, and the Grand Canyon. In August 2022, culminating with the Matterhorn, he became the first person in the world to climb and then BASE jump the six Great North Faces of the Alps.
Together, we will explore their unique approach when faced with the unknown, and surface their science to reveal that where there’s great risk, there’s also great opportunity.
We’re honoured our Ambassadors have seen something in us that chimes with their own ethos and spirit, and chosen us to share their stories.