Bertrand Piccard

Around-the-World Balloonist
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Travels From: International
*Photo Credit: Andreas Schebesta

Dr. Bertrand Piccard is one of the most sought-after motivational speakers in the world. Born into a celebrated family of Swiss adventurers, Bertrand Piccard's grandfather Auguste was the first man to reach the stratosphere and his father Jacques designed the first tourist submarine and is holder of the deep sea diving record. Heavily influenced by this rarified atmosphere, Dr Piccard has explored most forms of free flight, from microlight aircraft and aerobatic hang-gliders to parachuting and ballooning.

He holds several records, including that of European Champion in aerobatic flight and the world record for altitude. Always interested in the study of human behavior in extreme situations, Bertrand Piccard was one of the pioneers of hang gliding and microlight flying in the 1970s and became the European champion in hang-glider aerobatics in 1985.

He seemed to be predestined to perpetuate one of the greatest family adventures of the 20th century. On the 21st of March 1999, balloonist Bertrand Piccard and his co-pilot, Brian Jones, landed the Breitling Orbiter 3 in the Egyptian desert outside the Oasis town of Mut and seized what had been hailed as the last great trophy in aviation: to circumnavigate the globe non-stop in a hot air balloon. Their voyage lasted 19 days and they traveled further and for longer than any other aircraft. It was Piccard's third attempt at the record and he has now sealed his place in aviation history. Their success has proven to be an inspiration to audiences hoping to achieve their own dreams. Incorporating slides from his historic flight, Dr. Piccard turns the voyage of his Breitling Orbiter 3 into a metaphor for life’s challenges, both personal and professional.

Co-author of
Around the World in 20 Days , Dr. Piccard is a practicing psychiatrist who combines a deep understanding of humanity with a brilliant sense of adventure and achievement. This scientist-adventurer, psychiatrist and aeronaut combines science and adventure to explore the human soul. He is also qualified in hypnosis and is an incredibly inspirational and motivational speaker, who draws on his background in medicine, people and personal life experiences.

Most Requested Topics:

  • Adventure is a State of Mind: In this uplifting presentation, Dr. Piccard motivates audiences to reach greater heights. This lifelong aviation enthusiast tells of his 19 day, 21 hour and 55 minute adventure through the 29,055 miles of sky over southern Europe, North Africa, Southeast Asia, the Pacific Ocean, Central America and the Atlantic Ocean, to his successful landing in Egypt, near the great pyramids at Giza. Behind the success lies seemingly insurmountable challenges of doing what no one had ever done before. With Dr. Piccard, you will live through and rise above the obstacles that caused previous attempts to fail -- hostile political conditions which threatened to abort the journey; antagonistic 200 mile an hour winds which threatened to blow the balloon off course; and surviving the challenging living conditions, including below zero temperatures, limited oxygen and sleep, grueling six hour shifts, and utter exhaustion. Audiences emerge energized and enthusiastic to face the turbulence of everyday life and work which lies ahead, and successfully navigate their own course through the horizons of the future. Piccard speaks from the unique vantage point of respected psychiatrist and veteran balloonist, combining his years of adventure experience with his understanding of human nature.
  • Be a Balloonist in Your Business
  • The Importance of Human Factors in a Technological Adventure
  • Team Spirit and Psychology of Communication
  • Communication, Between Technology and Philosophy
  • Coping With Crisis Situations
  • Managing Stress