Charles R. Scott

National Geographic-featured Family Adventurer and United Nations Climate Hero

Charles R. Scott worked at Intel Corporation for 14 years including five years in Intel’s venture investing group, where he developed the corporation’s clean technology software investment strategy. In 2011, he left Intel to focus his energy full-time on writing, speaking, and completing endurance challenges with his family linked to environmental causes. In the summer of 2009, he and his eight-year-old son cycled the length of mainland Japan, 2,500 miles in 67 days. The United Nations named them “Climate Heroes,” as they raised money for a tree planting campaign and promoted the UN’s efforts to combat climate change.  His book about the Japan ride, Rising Son: A Father and Son’s Bike Adventure Across Japan, offers a nudge to anyone who feels the urge to shake things up and reminds us all of the most precious gift a parent can give a child: time. His writings have been published by CNBC, the Huffington Post, MSN, and the United Nations.  His family adventures have been featured in television and radio programs, magazines, and newspapers around the world.

Scott’s keynote talks are ideal for corporate audiences looking to find passion beyond the paycheck, meaningful ways to connect with their children, or with an interest in the environment. They’re also perfect for school children (grades K-12), universities, environmental groups, cycling groups, and endurance enthusiasts. Scott has spoken at IFC-World Bank, Harvard Business School, Yale School of Management and many computing and environmental conferences.  The United Nations featured him as their “Expert of the Day” on World Environment Day, and he has given multiple presentations to students at the United Nations International School (K-12), as well as at schools around the country.

Scott competes in Ironman triathlons, marathons and other ultra-distance races, and also has served as a guide to blind athletes in these events.  He ran his first marathon at age 13, and in 2010 ran 46 miles across the Grand Canyon and back in one day.  In the summer of 2011, Scott cycled for 46 days around Iceland with his 10-year-old son and four-year-old daughter.  In November 2012, he cycled solo for 26 hours from New York City to Washington, D.C. to support an environmental rally organized by the environmental group to oppose the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. In the summer of 2013, he and his children cycled 1,700 miles of the Lewis & Clark Trail, collecting data for a project with Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation. National Geographic published his essays from the trip on their Intelligent Travel blog, and The New York Times featured an interview with Scott about the adventure.  He blogs about his family adventures at

Scott has a BA in Philosophy (magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa) from Vanderbilt University and a Masters Degree from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.

Description of Presentations

Tales from a Family Adventurer:  Author and Family Adventurer Scott shares entertaining and sometimes harrowing stories from the adventurous family endurance challenges he has taken with his two young children across Japan, Iceland and Western Europe.  He offers encouragement and tools to the audience to come up with their own adventures, unshackle themselves from sedentary living, too much stress, self-imposed limits, and anything else that gets in the way of pursuing a healthy, meaningful life.  Excerpts from a Series of Family Adventurer Talks

Take a Radical Sabbatical:  Scott, whose own sabbatical from Intel Corporation was featured in magazines, newspapers and TV shows around the world, describes the value of including a mid-career break as a way to re-energize corporate executives and even accelerate their professional advancement.  He gives tips on creating a sabbatical that actually helps your career.

What Do You Want to Be When You Grow Up?  After receiving acclaim for a speech entitled, “What Do You Want to Be When You Grow Up?” to the graduating class at the United Nations International School, Scott was invited to deliver the inspirational talk annually during graduation week and asked by CNBC to write a series of essays on the topic.  Arguing that the answer to this question is the work of a lifetime, he explores how to create a meaningful life that encompasses much more than just a professional title.  

Racing an Ironman Blind:  In August 2012, Scott and Charlie Plaskon completed the New York City Ironman Triathlon, swimming 2.4 miles, cycling 112 miles, and running 26.2 miles in just under 15 hours.  Charlie is 69 years old and blind, and Scott served as his guide.  In this entertaining and moving presentation, the two athletes explain how they did it and challenge the audience to rethink the limits we all place on ourselves. Excerpt of Racing an Ironman Blind school presentation 

Why Haven’t We Figured This Out Already? Seeking Work-Life Balance:  Drawing on his own attempts to meet his commitments as a professional at Intel Corporation, while being present as a husband and father, Scott explores why most of us struggle with this challenge, and he offers ideas for creating more balance in our lives.

Pro-Business, Pro-Environment:  You can be both. Scott draws on his experience at Intel Corporation, where he worked on private sector environmental initiatives and developed the corporation’s clean technology software investment strategy.  He offers the audience ideas to combine a passion for protecting the environment with the power of the market economy.

Praise for Charles R. Scott’s Talks

“Charles Scott came to International Finance Corporation in the middle of a huge organizational restructuring, a time of low morale. He opened our eyes and challenged us to look at the positive aspects of the changes and encouraged us to make the most out of it. He emboldened us to reject all the excuses that are dancing in our heads about how things will not work out and instead dare succeed in our new roles. Thanks so much for lifting our spirits and rekindling our passion for helping the poor and disadvantaged in this world!”

—Macarena De Martini, Global Manufacturing, Agribusiness & Services,

International Finance Corporation

“Every time I hear you speak, I learn something new!  Your tone, connection, and tips were wonderful, and I got a lot of good feedback from faculty/administration as well as the students.  Really inspiring and wonderful.”

—Michelle Bertrand, Director of Alumni Relations, United Nations International School


“Big thanks for speaking to our group! The feedback has been very positive… You also had some great catchy quotes that I already heard people repeat and I expect to hear more of those from our guys when we try to muddle through problems at work. “Stop coming up with excuses. Just find a way.” I know I will hold myself and my team to that!”

—Irina Likhachova, Senior Communications Officer, IFC Portfolio and

Operational Risk Department, World Bank Group

“Charles is an inspiring speaker and provocative thinker.  I’m the CEO of a company and came out of his workshop not only with practical ideas to improve my business, but creative ideas on how to add adventure to my life.”

—Becky Sharpe, President/CEO, International Scholarship and Tuition Services, Inc.

“Charles is an inspiring speaker.  His presentation made me challenge the norm around my personal and business life and elevate my expectations of both.”

—Joleyn Smithing, President, Collegiate Sports Data

“You were both inspiring and your words both educational, and confirming – for our students and staff alike.”

—Susan Gilbert, Principal of Siwanoy School,

about the “Racing an Ironman Blind” presentation with Charlie Plaskon


“The children (and faculty) were all inspired. The message was loud and clear and the children all clearly enjoyed every minute.”

—Trudy Davis, Junior School Assistant Principal, United Nations International School


“Terrific night!  We all conferred, inflated with joy, about how you have made a conscious decision to make the most of life and leave nothing to regret. A lesson unto itself. Thanks for your gift to all of us.”

—Eric Marcos, owner of Bicycle World


“The United Nations Environment Programme set up the ‘Climate Heroes’ campaign to reflect the urgency of tackling climate change. Charles Scott and his son are among the first of this heroic group.”

—Achim Steiner, Executive Director, United Nations Environment Programme

“Thank you so much for the wonderful presentation today. It was so uplifting and enjoyable for our students. Just what we needed in the Middle School!”

—Elaine Kelly, Middle School Assistant Principal, United Nations International School

Praise for Rising Son

“They came.  They pedaled.  They conquered.”

Parenting Magazine

“Almost all cyclists can identify with the concept of perseverance to some degree, and it’s impressive that Sho learned this lesson at only 8 years of age.”

Bicycle World

“Ride of a lifetime”

The Tennessean

“If ‘very aspirational and a little bit crazy’ sounds like the kind of sabbatical you’d love, take a cue from Charles Scott.”

—Kiplinger’s Personal Finance

“I only wish that all authors who want to self-publish wrote as well, and were as professional in their presentation… Certainly sounds like there are more family biking adventure books to come [from Charles].  And that is a good thing.”

—A Traveler’s Library

“The trip of a lifetime.”

Examiner News

“One of the most interesting parent/child travelogues you’ll ever read”

—My Mom Shops

Praise From 10-Year-Old Siwanoy Students for Scott’s Ironman Presentation

“Charles, you inspired me to give up some of my time to help others.”

—Emma M.

“Charlie and Charles, you are amazing role models to me and the whole world!”

—Henry G.

“Now I want to help people so they can do things that they can’t normally do.”

—Joshua T.

“Charles, if I did what you do, I’d consider myself a hero.”

—Joe P.