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Liv Arnesen

Lecturer, Educator and Explorer
Country: Norway

Keynote speaker Liv Arnesen’s rich life experiences, both on and off the ice, have made her an internationally recognized leader and role model for women and girls. A self-proclaimed “keen” but not fanatical outdoors enthusiast, Arnesen is most interested in the development of adults and children. Through her diverse roles as a polar explorer, educator and motivational leader.

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Lecturer, Educator and Explorer

Liv (pronounced ‘leave’) Arnesen is a highly sought-after motivational speaker among corporations, schools and non-profit organizations. She has been named among Glamour magazine’s “Women of the Year” (2001); selected for the Scandinavian-American Hall of Fame’s “Trailblazer” award (2001); presented with the Norwegian-American Chamber of Commerce “Achievement Award” (2001); and recognized by the Russian Geographic Society with a “Diploma of Honor” (1999).

Arnesen ignites passion in others to reach beyond their normal boundaries and achieve their dreams by sharing her own stories about exploring some of the most remote places on earth.


February 2001 — Arnesen and American polar explorer Ann Bancroft become the first women in history to sail and ski across Antarctica’s landmass — completing a 94-day, 1,717-mile (2,747 km) trek.

1996— Arnesen climbs the north side of Mount Everest, getting to within 6,200 ft (1,900 m) of the summit before altitude sickness forces her to descend.

1994 — Arnesen makes international headlines by becoming the first woman in the world to ski solo and unsupported to the South Pole — a 50-day expedition of 745 miles (1,200 km)

1992 — Arnesen leads the first unsupported women’s crossing of the Greenland Ice Cap.


Liv Arnesen was born in 1953 in Bærum, Norway on the outskirts of Oslo where at an early age, her parents immersed her in their passions: cross-country skiing and polar history. Her love of athletics and the outdoors eventually led Arnesen to compete in orienteering and cross-country skiing, as well as to coach high school students in advanced-level cross-country skiing.

After her South Pole trek in 1994, Arnesen founded her own company, “White Horizons”, which she has changed to a shareholding company called “Liv Arnesen AS” provides motivational lectures and team-building programs to kids and adults.

She is author of, Snille piker går ikke til Sydpolen (Nice Girls do not Ski to the South Pole), which is about her 1994 expedition. She has authored a management book with Norwegian Jon Gangdal, Kan Jeg? fra drøm til virkelighet (Can I do it? From Dream to Reality) and recently authored a kids book “Sydpolen”. Beyond exploration, Arnesen has taught and coached high school and college students for more than 20 years and is involved in the rehabilitation of drug abusers. She holds degrees in Norwegian language and literature, history, sports and counseling and a Master of Management.

Arnesen spends many of her summer holidays in the Arctic at Svalbard (Spitsbergen) as a tour guide for Svalbard Polar Travel — a company for which she worked as marketing director prior to her 1994 South Pole expedition. Arnesen also enjoys hiking, kayaking and bicycling and is an insatiable reader.

Since the Bancroft Arnesen Expedition, Arnesen and Bancroft’s inspirational story has helped spark Bancroft Arnesen Explore, designed to share Ann and Liv’s stories with audiences around the globe through multi-media presentations, short films, workshops, curricula andlectures as a way to motivate people to reach for their own dreams, particularly women and girls.

Arnesen’s expeditions have been featured by the BBC, CNN, CTV, National Public Radio, NBC Nightly News and NBC’s Today Show. She also has been featured in national print publications, such as People, USA Today, New York Times, Ladies Home Journal, Glamour, Current Biography Magazine, Outside, Sports Illustrated, Sports Illustrated for Women, O, the Oprah Magazine, and Time for Kids, as well as more than 50 international newspapers and magazines in Japan, Russia, Scandinavia, Germany, England, Australia, Italy and Chile.

Arnesen lives in the outskirts of Oslo, Norway.

    Keynote by Speaker Liv Arnesen

    Self Management

    The self management lectures and work shops are based on Liv’s solo and unsupported expedition to the South Pole in 1994.

    The expedition was not simply about a ski tour of 1,200 kilometres and 50 days of solitude in the polar desert, but deals just as much with the motivation of the enterprise, and the practical and psychological preparations.

    Lectures and seminars with the emphasis on various subjects, such as:

    • Dare to Dream
    • Realizing your own dream
    • Self management for greater self-esteem
    • Accepting responsibility for your own feelings and reactions
    • Learning not to blame others, but to take the consequences of your own decisions
    • Learning to concentrate on your own abilities
    • Self management in defining and attaining goals
    • Self management through psychological training


    Keynote by Speaker Liv Arnesen


    The Mount Everest expedition of 1996 was conceived as an experiment in leadership and the interplay of personality.

    All participants underwent comprehensive tests before departure, and analysed the results together. The outcome was the hitherto most successful expedition from the north side – 8 of 10 climbers reached the summit.

    The leader, Jon Gangdal, and Liv were those who did not. This was a catastrophic season on Everest, twenty six people perishing. All our members, however, returned safe and sound. The main casulty was Liv, who developed incipient high-altitude cerebral edema, but turned back in time.

    These are the subjects dealt with:

    • Building a team: How to assemble a good one?
    • How can an existing team be made to work better?
    • Communication
    • Leadership
    • Leadership in a crisis
    • Participation and responsibility versus individuality
    • How can disunity and tactical issues be dealt with?
    • How do you make sure that everyone shares the objective?
    • The level of risk
    • “The phsychological contract”
    • Offensive tactics
    • Defensive tactics
    • Stress factors
    • Reactions to stress
    • How to cope with setbacks?
    • Even the best need…


    Keynote by Speaker Liv Arnesen

    Solo to the South Pole

    “Live your Dream” or “Nice girls don’t go to the South Pole” are the titles of Liv’s lecture on her solo journey to the South Pole in 1994.

    • This lecture is not simply about a ski tour of 1,200 kilometres and 50 days of solitude in the polar desert, but deals just as much with the motivation of the enterprise, and the practical and psychological preparations.
    • The lecture uses multi-media, with slides and videos made on the expedition, and a sound track with music in addition to the winds from Antarctica.



    Other Keynotes by Speaker Liv Arnesen

    Keynote Topics

    • Live the Dream!
    • Inspiration & Motivation
    • Personal Integrity
    • Project Planning
    • Self Management
    • Team Building
    • How to cope with setbacks
    • Communication
    • Perseverance
    • Goal Setting
    • Risk management
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Liv Arnesen’s Keynote Speaking Topics