Youngest Solo Pilot to Circumnavigate the Globe, One of Australia's 50 Great Explorers, Plane Crash Survivor, Incomplete Paraplegic, and Best-Selling Author

Ryan Campbell

At a glance:

From a world record breaking pilot to paraplegic plane crash survivor. Ryan Campbell is a leader in helping individuals and organizations to not only Overcome Adversity and Navigate Change, but use those challenges to Build a Better Future. Now Available for Virtual Programs.
From a world record breaking pilot to paraplegic plane crash survivor. Ryan Campbell is a leader in helping individuals and organizations to not only overcome adversity and navigate change, but also to use those very same challenges to build a better future.
Few people have encountered the extreme, polar opposites of success and tragedy that Ryan has, let alone by the age of 26. As the youngest person to fly solo around the world, Ryan’s life changed in an instant following a very serious light plane crash.  He survived against all odds and was admitted to a spinal rehabilitation ward as a complete paraplegic with no movement from his waist down.  Ryan proved his mental fortitude as a record-breaking pilot but demonstrated his mastery by learning to walk again and fighting his way back into the sky.  This gamut of human experience led Ryan to develop his Mindset Toolbox and 3 Step Checklist to Navigating Change – ways of thinking that allow individuals and organizations to overcome adversitynavigate change and build a better future.

Born and raised in an Australian coastal town, Ryan discovered his passion at a very young age — flight. Aviation would be the dominant fixture in the young Australian’s life, providing some amazing but also traumatic, life-altering experiences.

As a 14-year-old fixated on becoming a pilot, Ryan took on a number of after school jobs to finance his flying lessons. Shortly thereafter, he went on to achieve his first prominent goal in life as he flew an airplane solo for the first time on his 15th birthday.  The passionately determined young man soon found himself researching a goal so lofty it had never been accomplished before—to fly a single-engine airplane solo around the world as a teenager.

The next two years of Ryan’s life would prove to be transformative. He was forced to grow up at a young age as he personally fundraised $250,000, trained, and planned for a world circumnavigation. Ryan made international headlines as he flew his way around the globe in a rented airplane, including a feature story on 60 Minutes, countless television appearances, radio, and print interviews. The world watched this young man chase his dreams. It was an expedition for the history books.

Ryan’s life blossomed as he was named one of Australia’s 50 Great Explorers, the 2013 Australian Geographic Young Adventurer of the Year, and finalist for Young Australian of the Year. Life after the world flight was all about awards, sharing his story through speaking engagements, and writing a book to be imminently published titled, ‘Born to Fly.’ The young kid from a normal, Aussie family even met The Royals. Life was quite good.

In an instant, Ryan’s life changed following a very seriously light plane crash in 2015. He survived against all odds and was admitted to a spinal rehabilitation ward as a complete paraplegic with no movement from his waist down.  With a further five breaks in his back and broken bones ranging from his face to his feet, Ryan needed to tap into everything he learned during his global expedition and  more. The biggest undertaking of his young life was just beginning.

Ryan is a master of adversity and an ardent believer that life is won and lost above the shoulders—your mind can be either your most powerful asset or the determinant of your failure. He proved his mental fortitude by making history as a record-breaking pilot but demonstrated his mastery by learning to walk again and fighting his way back into the sky.

Now based in Nashville, Tennessee, Ryan is equipped and eager to transform your organization with a unique, unpredictable, and uplifting keynote. Ryan is on a mission to make your organization soar!

  • Becoming TurbulenceTough - Your ticket to overcoming adversity, navigating change and building a better future

    We all face turbulence, but the secret to smoother air lies in ones willingness to fill their Mindset Toolbox with the tools used to divert around bad weather and overcome change, challenge, crisis and adversity. Organizations are constantly struggling to find the right tools they need to not only overcome and re-invent, but ride out the roughest bumps.

    In this session, Ryan Campbell uses Aussie storytelling to deliver the experience earned tools, mindsets and strategies to not only navigate today, but build a better future.

    Your audience will learn how to:

    -Adopt a TurbulenceTough mindset for life

    -Navigate change quickly and confidently using the proven 3-Step Checklist

    -Use adversity as a fuel for building resilient individuals and teams

    -Find confidence in your ability to overcome all change and challenge through filling your Mindset Toolbox

    -Use change, challenge, crisis and adversity as propellant for building a better future
  • Your Healthy and Positive Mindset Allows You to Change the World, One Patient at a Time - Sincerely, A Patient

    World record-breaking pilot and plane crash survivor Ryan Campbell understands the power of the healthcare industry from a unique perspective - that of the spinal cord injury recovery ward.

    Five breaks in his back, a fractured orbital, a shattered ankle, and a complete spinal cord injury at L1 left Ryan in hospital for six months as he began his journey back to walking and flying again. One of the largest contributors to Ryan’s recovery was the empowering healthcare environment, and he is now on a new mission to help those healthcare industry members who are struggling through their own change and adversity journeys.

    The global healthcare system is experiencing immense challenges as a direct result of the pandemic. Always a high pressure and ever-changing world, COVID-19 is placing new and unexpected demands on day to day operations, leading to constantly evolving operational processes, high-stress workplace environments, paralyzing workloads, and healthcare workers who are now in need of their own care.

    Immense fatigue, both mental and physical, is a threat to the core workforce of the healthcare industry. The negative effects from poor mental health in the workplace are extensive, and a threat in and of themselves.

    The remedy? A strong yet simple foundational approach to ensure all healthcare industry personnel have the tools they need to succeed both personally and professionally.

    Through virtual or in-person, Ryan’s dedicated healthcare industry sessions will not only provide a much-needed morale boost but will ensure the front-line workers and industry professionals are being provided with the tools, tactics, and mindsets to combat the change, challenge, crisis, and adversity that they are currently facing.
The impact Ryan had in helping us realize how often we deal with and navigate through change along with insights and tools on how to navigate through change was so valuable.  I left his talk better equipped and in search of my own Pink Cadillac!

—Fortune 500 Financial Services Firm

Ryan’s story is an example of someone that has determination, resilience and purpose. He knew he was born with purpose and was not going to let adversity stop him from fulfilling that purpose.  If anything, he took those challenges head-on which made his journey even more adventurous.  Truly inspiring!

—Ronda Cavanagh, Wawa

He’s the real deal. Thank you Ryan for speaking to my business, sharing your story and your lessons of perseverance and gratitude. You deliver a captivating keynote with stories that touched us at a deep emotional level. Your inspiration and positivity were infectious. I look forward to our continued journey together. In times like these, we need more Ryan Campbells in the world.

—Jerry Curtin- CEO, COR Wellness

I’ve been a speaker for over 30 years and I’ve seen them all. Ryan Campbell is something very special, indeed. Ryan grabbed my attention and never let go as his story captivated me as it does his audiences. Ryan’s presentation can elevate an entire event.  

—Joe Calloway Hall of Fame Speaker and 8 time author

It was a pleasure to have Ryan as a guest speaker at our product launch event. His storytelling was captivating

—Leon Mervis, Managing Director, Bremont Australia

Ryan has a natural ability to communicate with an audience with great humility and humor. Ryan is a natural choice when looking for a speaker

—Mark Rowe, General Manager, SAAA Australia

Your willingness to interact and talk with our clients certainly made the night a fun, enjoyable, and successful occasion.

—Martin Bros.

Ryan captivates an audience both young and old. I highly recommend him for your corporate event.

—Martin Ongley, National President at Ausfly

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