At a glance:After losing both legs from the pelvis down at the age of five, Spencer tackled challenge after challenge, learning to navigate in a world set against those with disabilities. As a global speaker, he has captivated hundreds of thousands with his keynote addresses.
After losing both legs from the pelvis down at the age of five, Spencer tackled challenge after challenge, learning to navigate in a world set against those with disabilities. As a global speaker, he has captivated hundreds of thousands with his keynote addresses, Redefining Possible and No Can’t, No Won’t, Only How.
Spencer West has shared the stage with luminaries such as former U.S. vice-president Al Gore, Dr. Jane Goodall, Rick Hansen, Mia Farrow, Martin Sheen, Martin Luther King III, former president Mikhail Gorbachev, Prince William, Orlando Bloom, Natalie Portman and musicians such as Macklemore, Jason Mraz, The Kenyan Boys Choir, Jennifer Hudson and Nelly Furtado. And, he was honored and humbled to be invited, by Demi Lovato, to appear as an opening act, on her North American 2014 World Tour where he spoke to hundreds of thousands of her fans.
Spencer is the author of the best-selling book Standing Tall: My Journey, and star of the 2012 documentary film Redefine Possible: The Story of Spencer West. He has been featured countless times in the media, including on 60 Minutes, ABC News, BBC, CNN, CTV and TMZ. He is the recipient of the Fervent Global Love of Lives Medal from Taiwan’s Cultural and Education Foundation, and served as the Man in Motion Medal Bearer for the Rick Hansen 25th Anniversary Relay of Difference Makers.
Spencer has accomplished many amazing things throughout his journey to redefine his own possible. In 2012, he was the featured keynote speaker at the YPO/WPO Global Summit in Istanbul, Turkey, and climbed Mount Kilimanjaro on his hands and in his wheelchair to bring the world’s attention to the devastating drought in Kenya. In 2013, Spencer completed an epic 300 km (187 mile) trek by wheelchair and on his hands from Edmonton to Calgary, Canada to raise awareness and money for Free The Children’s clean water projects. But Spencer did not stop there. In Spring 2014, he headed on a 10-week cross-Canada road trip called “The We Create Change Tour”to bring thanks to schools and corporations throughout the country.
Spencer continues to spend his time speaking to audiences around the world and facilitating trips in Free The Children communities teaching others how to transform lives where the need is greatest.
“Just because the world tells us something is impossible doesn’t mean we have to believe them.”- Spencer West
No Can't, No Won't, Only How: Overcoming Obstacles to Make a DifferenceKeynote speaker Spencer West lost his legs from the pelvis down when he was just five years old and faced overwhelming physical and emotional challenges. Rather than give up or turning inward, Spencer learned that by connecting with others and working to make the world a better place he could transform his life. Alternating between walking on his hands and using his wheelchair, Spencer has accomplished a list of feats, including building schools in poverty-stricken villages in Kenya and India, and walking 186 miles from Edmonton to Calgary in Alberta, Canada.. One of Spencer's biggest achievements was climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro to raise money for a global clean water initiative while raising awareness of the devastating drought in Africa. Spencer's inspiring story and valuable life lessons have been embraced by students and educators worldwide because he believes that it is possible for anyone, at any age, to overcome their personal roadblocks, embrace their own leadership skills, and become a force for positive change in the world.
Redefine Possible: Lessons for Tackling Mountains in the Corporate WorldSpencer West invites corporate audiences to experience the transformation that can occur when we "redefine possible". With his trademark humor and humility, Spencer spins a spellbinding story of the challenges he faced after losing his legs from the pelvis down at age five, and the journey of discovery that ultimately enabled him to summit Mount Kilimanjaro using his hands and wheelchair. Spencer applies the insights gleaned from a lifetime of overcoming obstacles to help leaders and employees identify their own roadblocks and push past them. His inspiring message and tangible life lessons motivate business audiences to believe they can tackle any goal, whether personal or professional.
Spencer is the author of the best-selling book Standing Tall: My Journey, and star of the documentary Redefine Possible: The Story of Spencer West, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2012.