As the founder of 2041, Robert Swan is dedicated to the preservation of Antarctica, prevalent through his conservation work, educational films, public speaking and publication of Antarctica 2041: My Quest To Save Earth’s Last Wilderness with Gil Reavill.
In 1968, inspired by Robert Falcon Scott's Terra Nova Expedition, Robert’s first mission to Antarctica was fraught with bitter temperatures and unfortunate circumstances. Robert stayed at the Jack Hayward Base before commencing the longest unassisted on-foot journey ever made - a 900 mile walk to the South Pole. Once he reached the Pole, Robert found the ship that he was supposed be travelling on had succumbed to the Pole’s icy wrath, so in 1987 Robert travelled back to dispose of any traces the ship had left behind.
Robert returned on a mission named Ice Walk from 1987-1989, where he experienced first hand the effect global warming had on Antarctica after nearly drowning in unseasonable melted ice. Fuelled by what he saw, Robert filmed several educational videos in the Arctic wilderness.
Robert was the keynote speaker at the first World Summit of Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro, where he presented his 10-year mission to clean up Antarctica to world leaders. Just four years after the summit, in 1996, Robert and a team of 35 young adventurers cleared 1,500 tons of waste left over from scientific research - after 47 years, the native penguins could finally reclaim the beach, thanks to Robert.
Some may arrive at a world summit by car or train, Robert however embarked on the longest overland voyage in history for the 2002 World Summit for Sustainable Development in Johannesburg. With the intention of inspiring the youth to favour renewable energy, Robert proved himself to be one of the world’s most dedicated environmental experts.
In 2008, Robert opened the E-Base, a completely self-sustainable research facility in the South Pole. Robert and his son, Barney, lived in the E-Base for two weeks in 2017, proving that even in the harshest conditions, renewable energy is possible. Robert’s passion for polar conservation is infectious and widely recognised, and by 2025 he is determined to clean up 326 million tonnes of CO2 with the Climate Force Challenge.