Host of Angry Planet
George Kourounis is one of the world's most active storm chasers, a renowned global adventurer, explorer and television presenter. Based in Toronto, his efforts to document nature's worst weather conditions have taken him all over the globe, into places most normal people are fleeing from. Whether it's a tornado outbreak in Kansas, a monster hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico, forest fires in British Columbia, or even an erupting volcano, he's usually in the middle of the action with his camera rolling. His adventures have been seen around the world on the Discovery Channel, National Geographic Explorer, BBC-TV, CNN and of course, his own adventure TV program Angry Planet which has been broadcast in over 100 countries. The program airs on OLN, City TV, The Travel Channel, The Weather Channel, Halogen TV and others.
Kourounis started chasing tornadoes and other storms over 15 years ago and has continued to expand his explorations to include all types of extreme natural phenomena. By sharing these adventures with the world, he hopes that he can inspire people to break out of their routines and do something that they consider a little bit scary.
Kourounis is a member of the Explorers Club, the Royal Canadian Geographic Society, the Canadian Council For Geographic Education, and was nominated for Gemini awards in 2008 and 2009 for his work on Angry Planet. He won the Stefansson Medal from the Explorers Club Canadian Chapter in 2015 for his "outstanding contributions to science and to public education." He was named one of Canada's Greatest Explorers by Canadian Geographic.
Face Any Storm
Facing Any Storm
What does it take to succeed, even when faced with a "storm" of challenges? George Kourounis compares his storm chasing and eco-exploration experiences to the types of challenges we all face—in both our personal and our professional lives. He uses the lessons learned from his own life or death adventures in the worlds most remote places to articulate down-to-earth strategies for meeting the challenges of challenging times. With dramatic video clips and stunning photography from around the world, Kourounis draws parallels on his experiences from setting goals, taking risks and living facing countless "storms" of the figurative and literal kind. The same skill set used to face the most dangerous weather can also help us work through our everyday workplace and individual challenges. Kourounis shows us how it's done.
Flirting With Disaster
Most people try to minimize the amount of risk they face in their lives. George Kourounis explains why this way of thinking rarely produces great results, and how your comfort zone is a terrible place to be. It is only when we embrace our fears and use them a motivating force instead of crippling us into inaction, that we are really able to achieve great things that we never thought possible. In this thought-provoking and anecdotal talk, Kourounis relates how he has been able to manage risk, fear and reward in some of the most hostile and dangerous environments where risk takes on true life or death meaning. These lessons can be directly transposed onto daily decision making in all areas of our lives.
George Kourounis' experiences facing down extreme weather and natural disasters is unparalleled. In this presentation, he describes his scariest and most rewarding experiences and how they have sculpted his outlook on the world. It is an inspiring, personal chronicle of his quest to encounter and study some of the most awesome and powerful forces of nature. With a colorfully-detailed multimedia presentation, featuring actual video clips from many of his adventures, Kourounis will demonstrate how and why he tests his own physical endurance to pursue and understand the forces of nature that affect our planet and the life inhabiting it.
Supplemented with thrilling video and stunning photography, your audience will be swept up and brought along on a world wide thrill ride from the depths of erupting volcanoes to the path of oncoming tornadoes, from the beachfront of a hurricane landfall to the hottest and coldest places on Earth. Awe inspiring, educational , inspirational and entertaining, Kourounis' unique experiences, and his zeal for sharing his adventures will have you audience on the edge of their seat one minute, then laughing at his equally epic misadventures the next.
Making Fear Disappear
Some consider George Kourounis to be fearless, but nothing could be further from the truth. It takes a certain kind of person to drive into the eye of a hurricane, to dangle from a rope over a steaming volcano or to jump into a pond with thousands of hungry piranhas, and although Kourounis has done all these things (and much more), he was not without fear. By understanding why we are afraid to do something and by analyzing the possible outcomes, he shows that fear is not only something that can be managed & controlled, it is a vital element to accomplishing anything worthwhile. Whether in business, personal challenges or extreme exploration, fear is what gives us an edge. It is that force that keeps us in check and without it, we are prone to making reckless decisions. Kourounis teaches your team how to harness their fear, and use it to their advantage.
On the Front Lines of Climate Change
From chasing hurricanes and tornadoes to exploring some of the most remote and ecologically sensitive places on Earth like Antarctica and the Greenland ice cap, George Kourounis has been on the front lines of climate change for years and has witnessed first hand the effects of our changing environment. What is really going on? Are we to blame or is this due to some other, naturally occurring phenomena? These questions and more will be covered as Kourounis pulls back the curtain to reveal the truth about climate change in a dynamic, engaging way, punctuated with a rich multimedia presentation showcasing some of his most poignant and sometimes terrifying encounters with the fury of nature, including being at ground zero during hurricane Katrina. His observations and experience give this "Master of Disaster" a unique perspective on how we got into this situation in the first place, what the average person can do to make a difference, and what we can expect the consequences of inaction to be in the near, and distant future.
Canadian Red Cross
We recently had the privilege of having George present at our conference for Emergency Management professionals. George's passion for nature was clearly evident throughout his session and kept the audience engaged with his stories and images. How he tied his experiences in to meet the needs of this particular audience was excellent. Despite having celebrity recognition, his modest approach to his experiences drew the audience into his adventures. His session was ranked one of the best by the audience of the three day conference. I would strongly recommend George to be part of any Conference or as a public speaker at an event. While being engaged as an audience, people will walk away with a greater appreciation for the forces on this planet and the delicate balance we as people share with nature.
The Royal Canadian Geographical Society
I have been the fortunate recipient of a steady flow of very appreciative comments about the Spring Speakers Series, some saying that it was the best talk that they had heard in years. Over and above the fascination that so many people have with the extremes of nature, you have a rare ability to connect with the audience and draw in each person as if they were sharing the adventure with you.
Pacific Northwest Chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture
What a delight to have such an inspiring presentation kickoff the conference; the photos and film clips were truly amazing. I always wondered who was standing on the edge of the hurricane or other disaster, documenting the action. Now I know, and I'm grateful for that.
Alberta Teacher's Association
George was simply an outstanding motivational speaker who went well beyond his speaking role to assist our Conference Team throughout the entire conference. He was well received by delegates and made a special effort to connect with each and every individual in attendance. If you have the opportunity to work with George, I know you and potential clients will be the better for the experience.
Working with George Kourounis at our recent TEDxMilton event was a pleasure and an honour. George fixates the audience with his tales of exploration and danger. The TEDxMilton committee was elated that George would take the time out of his busy schedule to come out to our Inaugural TED Talks event. We wish him well as his future engagements unfold and hope to see him back for a future TEDx event in Milton again.
Ontario Science Centre
At the Ontario Science Centre, our "Meet the Stormchaser" program featuring George Kourounis was a huge success. The multi-media, the stories, the interaction with our visitors, all far surpassed our expectations. George wove excellent science content into his presentation and worked well with our staff, visitors and media. We look forward to having George back for special programs in the future.
- TED Speakers Sparking Change at TEDWomen: Jessica Jackley in the New York Times
- Entrepreneurship From the Kitchen to the Boardroom: Introducing New Speaker Vikram Vij
- Diversity First Look: Ta-Nehisi Coates' New Book, Between the World and Me
- Business Strategy The Straight Shooter: A Profile of Dragons' Den's Manjit Minhas