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Spencer West
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Spencer’s charisma and dynamism captivate audiences every time he speaks. Whether addressing corporate leaders, nonprofits or the education world, listeners are mesmerized as Spencer describes his journey after losing both legs from the pelvis down at the age of five to last year, when he climbed, and summited, Mount Kilimanjaro using his hands and wheelchair. Spencer is a top-ranked keynoter, author of the best-selling book Standing Tall: My Journey, and star of the documentary Redefine Possible: The Story of Spencer West, which debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2012.

Spencer is loved by television and conference audiences alike for sharing his life lessons on how every individual or organization can tackle mountains and redefine possible.

 

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Ideal Audiences:

Student Leadership
Educator/Principal Meetings
University/College Events
Graduation Keynotes
Family/Community
Association Conferences

Non Profit/Associations/Chapters
Speaker’s Series
Corporate
Client Appreciation Events

Military Bases

 

Keynote Topics:

Spencer West invites corporate audiences to experience the transformation that can occur when we “redefine possible”. With his trademark humor and humility, Spencer spins a spellbinding story of the challenges he faced after losing his legs from the pelvis down at age five, and the journey of discovery that ultimately enabled him to summit Mount Kilimanjaro using his hands and wheelchair. Spencer applies the insights gleaned from a lifetime of overcoming obstacles to help leaders and employees identify their own roadblocks and push past them. His inspiring message and tangible life lessons motivate business audiences to believe they can tackle any goal, whether personal or professional.

Spencer is the author of the best-selling book Standing Tall: My Journey, and star of the documentary Redefine Possible: The Story of Spencer West, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2012.

Keynote speaker Spencer West lost his legs from the pelvis down when he was just five years old and faced overwhelming physical and emotional challenges. Rather than give up or turning inward, Spencer learned that by connecting with others and working to make the world a better place he could transform his life. Alternating between walking on his hands and using his wheelchair, Spencer has accomplished a list of feats, including building schools in poverty-stricken villages in Kenya and India, and walking 186 miles from Edmonton to Calgary in Alberta, Canada.. One of Spencer’s biggest achievements was climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro to raise money for a global clean water initiative while raising awareness of the devastating drought in Africa. Spencer’s inspiring story and valuable life lessons have been embraced by students and educators worldwide because he believes that it is possible for anyone, at any age, to overcome their personal roadblocks, embrace their own leadership skills, and become a force for positive change in the world.

Testimonials

“As Spencer’s vigorous and courageous spirit spread out to us, our eyes opened to the potential possibilities out there. His powerful and defiant attitude toward life proved that anything in this world is possible; if there is anything that stops us from continuing, it is the boundaries that we have created ourselves. Always remember, “Redefine Your Possible.”

“When I approached Spencer I was scared he might not understand my excitement. . . but he welcomed me with open arms and as I sat in the front row tears streamed down my face. . . . I have always been a leader, but on Friday I learnt what it meant to be bigger than myself. . . . I can change the world.”

“Spencer’s dynamic presentations to all of the grade 4-12 students in our district inspired and motivated each audience to make a difference. Hearing Spencer’s life story, and realizing that any barriers can be overcome with a positive attitude, left a lasting impression. Spencer magically connects with the students he interacts with; he makes each student he talks to feel important and empowered to make their schools and the world a better place. Spencer’s keynotes have had a lasting impact and our students continue to see him as their role model as they bring about positive change both locally and globally. We can’t wait to have him back to work with the elementary students in our district!”

“We already knew he would be a great speaker, but our expectations were exceeded. Personally, it was also just really an honour to have the opportunity to meet Spencer. Everyone enjoyed and everyone was inspired- goal achieved.”

“Your personal story touched everyone and your call to action at the end was perfect!  . . . I’ve received so much positive feedback following the breakfast; everyone loved meeting you and many have commented that now they feel even more compelled to continue with their volunteer work. Your enthusiasm is infectious!”

“Spencer really motivated our students to “be the change” and to imagine that anything in their lives is possible if they want to make it happen. Hearing about Spencer’s recent summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro, and also of his connections to Kenya, was truly inspirational. No one will forget their time with Spencer! “

“As a result of Spencer’s visit, I will try much harder to empower the victims of bullies and encourage them to step forward with their story. I will observe more closely and intervene right then and there if I see someone being bullied. I was bullied when I was younger and only one person stood up for me. I’ve told my story to lots of people, and because of Spencer’s visit, I know I want to tell even more people. I can see how Spencer overcame the bullying and is changing others’ lives.”

“It doesn’t matter if you are 15 or 105, Spencer West speaks to that little voice inside your head that often says “I can’t” and auto tunes it into a new attitude that has you believing that you can climb Mt Everest before breakfast.

Spencer’s journey is nothing short of amazing. Physically he defies the impossible and on the emotional level he makes you stop and rethink how we approach the different challenges we all have in our lives.

Spencer celebrates the things that make him unique. So many of our young people try to blend in with the crowd. Spencer reminds everyone he meets that its the things that make us different that make us special.

His story will have a lasting impact on our young leaders and community members that will motivate them to challenge the issues in our community that need to change.”

Full Biography

The life of visionary and activist Spencer West has been marked by both obstacles and triumph. After losing both legs from the pelvis down at the age of five, he entered a world that might have easily defeated him. Instead, he tackled challenge after challenge, learning to navigate in a world set against those with disabilities. His many accomplishments, played out on the global stage, led him to discover the techniques business leaders, professionals, educators and young people can use to redefine possible in their own lives and careers.

Whether headlining corporate conferences, filling stadiums, or leading volunteer excursions for youth and adults in Kenya, Ghana and India, Spencer’s words have encouraged millions to stand up to difficult times, face challenges, embrace change, and learn the tangible skills each one of us can use to redefine what is possible both for organizations and individuals.

Spencer’s journey was featured in the documentary Redefine Possible: The Story of Spencer West, which debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2012. He is also the author of Standing Tall: My Journey, in which he shares his incredible story with the world.

As a global speaker, Spencer has captivated hundreds of thousands with his keynote addresses on Redefining Possible. He has appeared countless times in the media (ABC News, 60 Minutes, CTV, BBC, TMZ and CNN) and shared the stage with luminaries such as former U.S. Vice-President Al Gore, Dr. Jane Goodall, Rick Hansen, Mia Farrow, Martin Sheen and Nobel Peace Laureate Betty Williams, Martin Luther King III, Ex-President Gorbachev, General Romeo Dallaire, Justin Trudeau, JR Martinez and musicians such as Macklemore, Jason Mraz, Hedley, the Kenyan Boys Choir, Jennifer Hudson and Nelly Furtado.

Spencer has received rave reviews from corporate and nonprofit audiences such as BlackBerry, KPMG, Microsoft, Campbell’s, Virgin, YPO, WPO, Business Leadership Network, Royal Bank of Canada, Universal McCann and the Jewish National Fund of Canada. As part of his mission to inspire young people, he is also in-demand in the educational world including the International School of Kenya, King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals in Saudi Arabia, Penn State University, Eastern Washington University, Washington State University, Toronto District School Board, University of Guelph and Nelson Education.

The life lessons Spencer has learned on his personal journey speak profoundly to audiences facing their own challenges. Spencer’s inspiring words have reached millions of listeners around the world, including corporations, students and educators, faith-based groups and families. Infused with humor and humility, Spencer’s speeches offer take-home tips and life-lessons on how to find opportunity in every challenge, instilling hope and empowering leaders so they can motivate others to create positive change.

 

HIGHLIGHTS OF SPENCER’S STORY INCLUDE:

  • Keynote speaker at the YPO/WPO Global Summit in Istanbul, Turkey
  • He climbed Mount Kilimanjaro on his hands and in his wheelchair in May 2012
  • He completed an epic 300 km (187 mile) trek on his hands and in his wheelchair from Edmonton to Calgary, Canada in May 2013
  • Recipient of the Fervent Global Love of Lives Medal from Taiwan’s Chou Ta-kuan Cultural and Education Foundation in 2011
  • He served as the Man in Motion Medal Bearer for the Rick Hansen 25th Anniversary Relay in 2011
  • Serves as an international leadership facilitator in countries around the world
  • In 2013, Spencer received an honorary Doctor of Letters, honoris causa from Thompson Rivers University

Recent Updates

herald

Legless trekker envisions clean water for the world

(Appeared in The Calgary Herald April 24, 2013) At first glance, a 300-kilometre trek from Edmonton to Calgary doesn’t seem […]

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ctv-calgary

Motivational speaker tells his story

(Appeared on CTV Calgary April 24, 2013) Click here to watch on CTV News Calgary

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ctv-edmonton

Spencer West We Walk 4Water

(Appeared on CTV Edmonton April 23, 2013) Click here to watch on CTV News Edmonton

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PROMO_W5_ReachForTheTop-Saturday7CTV

Spencer West’s Kilimanjaro Climb Featured on CTV’s W5

For most of us, climbing Africa’s tallest mountain is an impossible achievement. Now imagine doing it without legs. Well, that’s […]

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Spencer West at the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro

Legs Lost, But Still Climbing High

(Appeared in NPR October 18, 2012) — A lot of people would like to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. At a little over 19,000 feet […]

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