Oxford University’s Pete Goss on innovation, technology, challenge and adventure

All Pete’s projects follow a theme of innovation, technology, challenge and adventure and it is for this reason he is a faculty member of FIPP’s Executive Programme for Innovation and Change.

Pete is perhaps best known for his heroic rescue of Frenchman and fellow competitor Raphael Dinelli from mountainous Southern Ocean seas and hurricane force winds in the 1996 Vendee Globe single-handed round the world race, for which he was awarded the MBE by Her Majesty the Queen and the Legion d’Honneur by the French President.

But Pete has also walked to the North Pole, kayaked around Tasmania, built Team Philips – arguably the most advanced sailing catamaran ever, and recreated the voyage of the smallest migrant vessel ever to make it to Australia, by building the wooden lugger Spirit of Mystery, amongst many other adventures.

In all his projects, he has had to develop for an unknown future, battle against change and drive innovation. He has seen many occasions in which innovation makes the difference between life and death.

While not your expected business school session, Pete explains that turning knowledge and understanding into competitive advantage for an organisation and oneself requires courage. 

For senior management, going back into the classroom may seem daunting – admitting, even though you are at the top of your game, that you still have things to learn. But by putting yourself forward, you are showing determination and courage in the face of danger and tackling your own challenges in life. Executive education is a great opportunity to experience that. While we may think that our life is uniquely difficult, it really is not – and we can be just as courageous as the others.

As participants return to their organisations following an inspiring week in Oxford, this sense of enthusiasm and openness will be critical. As Pete says, “Life hangs on a very thin thread and the cancer of time is complacency. If you are going to do something, do it now. Tomorrow is too late.”

Last chance to join this year’s EPIC – and meet Pete face-to-face

It is not too late to join like-minded peers on this year’s EPIC, taking place on 6-10 July in Oxford, UK – though you only have few weeks to make a ‘business-changing’ decision. After that it will be too late.

EPIC class 2 ()

Find out more about the course by downloading the EPIC brochure and timetable.

If you have any questions email Christine Huntingford or Jenny Stubbs.

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