Tech pioneer and endurance runner, Simon Wheatcroft, refuses to let blindness hold him back. Whether he is competing in ultra-marathons, climbing mountains or going about his day to day life, he combines the use of technology and his fundamental belief and trust in his own abilities and body to overcome what many would consider insurmountable barriers and achieve his goals.
Simon’s unique blend of ferocious drive, along with his background in technology and psychology, enables him to push the boundaries of possibility and challenge the audience to explore what they can achieve.
Leveraging his experience of working with leading technology firms (IBM, MIT and Google), Simon now seeks to create the next generation of inclusive technology that will continue to enable himself and others to achieve what many bystanders would consider unattainable – always working to ensure the provided solutions address true needs and account for future implications.
This has included creating such diverse technology as robotic control systems for individuals with motor neurone disease, AI machine learning switching systems and the sonification of data analysis.
Simon has also improved the inclusivity and diversity of the hackathon scene by creating hackcessible – a user led accessible hackathon event.
Simon’s incredible achievements have garnered significant media attention worldwide. He regularly features on TV – with special features on the CBS News Sunday Morning Live programme and BBC Click – and in the news, including a feature article in the New York Times after becoming the first blind man to run the New York Marathon solo.
Simon’s keynote titles include, but are not limited to:
Running the line
understand how technology can be used and adapted to expand the realm of possibility for all and how the obstacles affecting a visually impaired person can be used to create a product to benefit the general public.
Diversity in technology
understand how developing and adapting technology can break down barriers, increase diversity and create better solutions within a problem-solving community.
Quitting and Failure
learn how to identify the delicate balance between what truly defines quitting vs failure and what can be learnt from adversity and failure and how it can result in a positive conclusion.
Understanding the end goal
how working backwards allows you assess potential risks and then strip down and simplify life into achievable tasks and ambitions.
Teamwork, leadership and motivation
how to put together the best team for the job and use your vision to inspire them to achieve things they never thought possible.
Diversity and technology
understand how embracing, developing and adapting technology can break down barriers, increase diversity and create better solutions.