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Jim McNeill

One of the world’s most experienced and respected explorers

Jim McNeill Biography

Jim McNeill has 38 years of creating expeditions, including 33 years of Polar expeditions. As a professional explorer he has worked with and advised many organisations including the UK Ministry of Defense and the Royal Scottish Geographical Society.

Jim has clocked up over 30 years of polar expeditioning; thousands of miles mostly on skis and dragging his world behind him, which has given him a huge breadth and depth of experience in surviving and working in extreme environments.

In 2001, Jim founded the “Ice Warrior Project” that gives “ordinary” people the chance to become polar explorers, achieving extraordinary feats of endurance for the betterment of humankind. His aim is to develop people, discover change and deliver it to global audiences in a way that engages others; fostering a better understanding of the world we live in.

Expert Areas

  • Extreme Environment Safety
  • Leadership
  • Training and Performance
  • Team building and motivation
  • Team Training
  • Expeditions
  • Survival
  • Logistics
  • Climate and other changes in the Polar Regions
  • Emergency Planning
  • Risk Management
  • Sponsorship from the property side of things

Organisations Jim has worked with

  • Consultant and Mentor to UK Ministry Of Defence
  • Elected as Fellow Royal Geographical Society, FRGS – 1992
  • Former Chair of the British & Western Europe Chapter of The Explorers Club
  • Member of the American Polar Society
  • Member of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society
  • Ambassador for Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme since 2000
  • Member of the Society for Human Performance in Extreme Environments
  • VP Arctic Expeditions for the Sea Research Society
  • Director of Arctic Expeditions for the Frozen Isthmuses Protection Campaign
  • Member of the Captain Scott Society
  • Friend of the Scott Polar Research Institute
  • Ambassador for Hauser Bears charity
  • Ambassador for Wolf Conservation
  • Role Model for Inspired Life Organisation

Jim McNeill Videos

Testimonials for Jim McNeill

By reducing the time for real syndicate formation by at least four days (according to the instructors), Jim McNeill and Ice Warrior made a profoundly positive impact on the Strategic Command Course at Bramshill. So much so that even seven weeks after the event the participants are still talking about it. We will be booking Jim and his team in the future.

Dr Mark Kilgallon

Consultant , The National Police Training College

We were delighted when Jim agreed to speak to our Executive Team and we were completely gripped when he shared experiences from his truly-remarkable career, from funny and emotive to absolutely terrifying. Jim has a wonderful insight into people and how to motivate them which coupled with his strong determination to succeed makes him an excellent leader. He was an inspiration to all of the team and certainly put into perspective how minor our challenges are when compared to the challenges of surviving a polar exploration.

Emma Clancy

CEO, Certsure

Can you pass on our thanks to Jim for giving us such an entertaining and fascinating account of his remarkable adventures.  He is an excellent speaker and engaged with our audience throughout the whole of his talk.  He was very friendly and amenable to work with and I really appreciated his patience in meeting our sponsors, committee and members.  It was a pleasure to have him with us and I hope he enjoyed his time with us too.  Over 750 of our members were in the audience and I think they all thoroughly enjoyed the evening.

Arts and Literature Society

Nothing less than inspirational… an authoritative blend of raw experience with practical coaching… energised an already highly motivated group of senior executives.

Price Water house Coopers LLP

I cannot recommend involvement with Ice Warrior highly enough. This is an extremely professional, committed and driven organisation which has much to teach people about how to achieve their personal and business goals

Jonathan Geldart

Global Director Marketing Communications, Grant Thornton International Limited

Excellent – very engaging, very relaxed style, with a good level of humor.  Jim talked about overcoming adversity by working a as a team, but also respecting each other as individuals and working with their strengths to help them and the team achieve why this was important.  The audience were very captivated and energized – lots of questions at the end and I’m sure the questions would have kept coming if we had the time.  Jim was very happy to stay and chat to people at the end, a very approachable person who is obviously very passionate about what he does which very much came across in his presentation.  I think a few people were even tempted to find out how to be part of one of his expeditions.


Jim McNeill‘s Topics


Leadership is all about the individual. Effective leadership is all about that individual performing. World-renowned explorer Jim McNeill has been developing and leading teams for the last 35 years, not only in the most extreme environments on earth but also in commerce, the military and the emergency services. Throughout his career, Jim has selected trained & led teams in situations where lives can be saved and lost and businesses succeed or fail on the quality of leadership and calibre of the team.


When facing the most extreme conditions Mother Nature can deliver and your team are at the absolute limits of human endurance, physically & mentally shattered, how can you ask them for more and get it? As a renowned explorer and BBC guide, Jim knows a great deal about motivation, teamwork & pushing the boundaries of performance. He draws on 35 years of experience from the boardroom to the Polar Regions with some harrowing and some funny anecdotes to share his lessons on how to achieve optimum engagement and performance, whatever the external conditions.


Jim describes himself as having a passion for getting the very best performance out of everyone; individually or collectively as a team. Through his inspirational project, Ice Warrior Jim has trained many people from all walks of life and every echelon of society to become competent sea ice travelers and go on to accomplish extraordinary expeditionary feats. Combine this experience with his fire & rescue and his corporate training it is easy to see that he certainly has something more than useful to offer on the subject.

Climate Change

The subject of global climate change has moved on. It’s clear, it’s here! The Arctic has long been recognized as a barometer of what is going on and Jim’s Ice Warrior Project plays a crucial role in gathering the scientific raw data and in delivering the reality of climate change to its audiences around the globe. Having started his working life in 1980 measuring the environmental impact of agricultural practices, which included ground-breaking work on the depletion of the ozone layer, Jim has had an extraordinarily close relationship with the Arctic Region over the past quarter of a century and is exceptionally well qualified to talk first-hand about the changes he has seen. With reference to the repair of the ozone layer over Antarctica, Jim leaves us with a powerful message of hope and even a call to action!


Jim has only ever had one real fear in life, and that is wasting it! Speaking passionately, amusingly & completely openly, he takes his audience through his amazing adventures so far: from high powered business executive, scientist & cold war military man to the Royal Household & current modern day explorer. He is involved in many current BBC productions, including Frozen Planet and is founder of the inspirational Ice Warrior Project. Jim shares life-changing and amazing journeys of discovery from the most extreme environments on earth.

Life on Expedition……in the freezer!

Over the thirty years of Jim’s Polar expeditions, there must be only a few questions left that Jim hasn’t answered about what it is really like on a seriously extreme expedition. Having spent so much time in incredibly adverse conditions, Jim challenges the audience to come up with a novel one whilst flitting through an array of humorous mishaps, failures, accidents, near disasters and strange happenings.

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