Russ Costa – high risk decision making (#122)

Russ Costa is an Associate Professor of Honors & Neuroscience at Westminster College in Salt Lake City, Utah, where he teaches interdisciplinary courses about minds, brains, behavior, data, and science. He studies attention and perception in the cognitive neuroscience laboratory using electroencephalographic (EEG) techniques, and decision-making and risk-taking outside of it using a set of mixed and ever-evolving approaches. He regularly presents to professional and public audiences in the mountain communities of western North America about decision-making in high-risk environments, including in snow and avalanche terrain.

Sibusiso Vilane – Grand Slam explorer (#121)

Sibusiso Vilane was the first black person to complete the Explorers Grand Slam by climbing the 7 summits and reaching both the North and South Pole. He is an inspirational speaker, expedition leader, and marathon runner. Previously he served as Chief Scout of Scouts South Africa. He is married and has 4 children.

Bex Band – The Ordinary Adventurer (#120)

Bex Band is an adventurer, blogger and conservationist. Her adventures include hiking 1000km the length of Israel, kayaking the width of the UK against plastic pollution and kick-scooting the length of the USA. Noticing a real lack of women in the outdoors, she founded Love Her Wild (, a women’s adventure community now with over 10,000 members. She's been named one of the ‘UK’s 30 most inspirational entrepreneurs‘ by Business Leader, has been awarded Legacy Maker on the San Miguel alternative rich list, won the Next Generation Award and was shortlisted for a National Diversity Award.

Nigel Vardy – Mr Frostbite (#119)

Frostbite in Alaska, Appendicitis in Greenland ,Near Drowning in Borneo, Rope Failure in the Kumbu, Reported missing in Annapurna.  Would you go climbing with this man..??? Some people call him brave, some call him mad.  To face the thin air at high altitude takes a bit of both, but to Nigel Vardy, there is nothing like being on a high mountain.  Losing limbs to severe frostbite would put off all but the few, but to Nigel it was the springboard to climb, achieve and conquer. Over the past 30 years he has climbed across the world, set mountaineering records and spoken to schools and businesses across Europe. He continues on life's adventure, forcing new boundaries and new experiences every day of his life... As Nigel says - "I don't want to die in an unused body..."

Saray N’kusi Khumalo – motivational mountaineer (#118)

Saray Khumalo is an award-winning mountaineer, a Mandela Libraries ambassador and the first black African woman to Summit Everest and ski to the South Pole. She is a motivational speaker and transformational coach who uses her journey as a mountaineer and executive to nudge coachable individuals and teams into peak performance. She believes that the sky is not the limit and we should therefore all aim higher than the sky in everything as we change the narrative for the next generation. She is on a quest to complete the Explorers Grand Slam, a challenge that has only been completed by 67 people around the world.

Joanna Karselis – film composer (#117)

Jo is a composer and singer-songwriter living in Birmingham, UK and is a proud honorary Brummie. She specialises in scoring plays, games and films, and particularly enjoys writing for piano, violin, electronics, and orchestra. She collaborates closely with the directors she works alongside. The features REUNIFICATION and THE BELLWETHER that Jo has scored are available to stream via Amazon Prime.

Cathy O’Dowd – mountaineer (#116)

South African mountaineer Cathy O’Dowd is the first woman in the world to climb Mount Everest from both sides. She works as a motivational speaker, using story-driven expedition case-studies to share ideas about mitigating risk, team leadership and project management with her corporate clients. Cathy live in the Pyrenees mountains, in Andorra, where she does rock-climbing, ski-mountaineering and canyoning. In summer of 2020 (Covid-19 allowing) she will be doing an exploratory sea kayak expedition along the coast of Greenland. 

Huw James – science explorer (#115)

Huw James is a Welsh Science Presenter. He’s presented live science to over 750,00 people on 6 continents and had over 2 million views online. His background is in Astronomy and Space Science and Geology. He now makes educational material including films, photography and live classroom talks in geographically interesting locations worldwide.

Jack Kirby – science & industry curator (#114)

Jack Kirby is Group Head of Collections Services for the Science Museum Group. He has worked with diverse communities in London and Birmingham and curated collections of national significance. Jack has responsibility for caring for, digitising and managing the Science Museum Group's internationally outstanding collection. Based in Manchester, UK, he leads teams across five museums and two collections facilities, from County Durham to Wiltshire.

Prof. Thomas Hills – evolution of cognition (#113)

Thomas Hills suffered from a minor head injury as a child that led to a mild case of retrograde amnesia.  He's pretty sure he never actually woke up from that.  This returned when he took mefloquine while in Ghana, with its fantastical and often violently lucid dreams. While a PhD student in biology studying how worms search, he continued his psychonautic explorations, looking for the trapdoor in his mind. He floated from Texas to Indiana to Switzerland to the UK. He eventually wound up as a Professor of Psychology, studying mental search and still waiting to wake up.

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