Speaker: Simon Wheatcroft

Aventurer and Technologist
Simon was born with the genetic eye disorder Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) resulting in Simon becoming blind at the age of 17. After a number of difficult years of adaptation Simon headed to California with an idea. To climb a mountain, Simon had never climbed or even hiked up a mountain before but how hard could it be? It turns out climbing a mountain with zero experience and zero sight is indeed difficult! For the first time in his life Simon quit because he couldn't see. It wasn't the difficulty of the mountain, it was Simon's lack of vision that defeated him on that day. Returning to the UK Simon vowed never to quit again because he was unable to see. Now all he needed was a challenge? How hard could it be to learn to run solo outdoors when you are blind? Once you have achieved that how far can you run? Can you go further? Harder? Lets make it a true challenge! Simon began a truly remarkable journey of adapting technology to achieve what once seemed impossible. Training outdoors solo on the open road. Partnering with leading tech firms and connecting with hundreds of people around the world Simon has achieved incredible goals. Competing in numerous ultra marathons and even running his first ever marathon – NYC 2014. But if you are going to run such a marathon why not start in Boston, run all the way to NYC, after all its about the adventure! Simon is always looking for new technology to adapt to achieve even grander adventures. But what if the technology doesn't exist yet? You make it. Leveraging his experience with working with leading tech firms and institutions, Simon is creating the next generation of technology that will continue to enable himself and others to achieve the impossible. Simon's unique blend of ferocious drive, backgrounds in technology and psychology enable him to push the boundaries of possibility.

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Talk: Using technology as a blind long distance runner

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