Travels from California, USA
Wasfia Nazreen's speaking fee falls within range: $10,000 to $15,000
Wasfia Nazreen is a National Geographic Explorer & Adventurer and the only woman to hold these simultaneous titles. Although she is most known for being the first Bangladeshi and Bengali in the world to climb the Seven Summits, aka the highest mountains of every continent, her passion has always been driven by causes close to her heart.
She has won numerous national and global awards for her activism and commitment to empowering women through the field of adventure. She was named by Outside magazine as one of 40 women in the last 40 years who have advanced and challenged the outdoor world through their leadership, innovation, and athletic feats, and by Men’s Journal as one of the 25 most adventurous women of the past 25 years.
She is the founder of Osel Foundation, which empowers marginalized girls from Bangladesh and Nepal through the outdoors. As an Expedition Expert for National Geographic, and in her own capacity, she takes leaders on journeys into nature to connect with self, humanity and the earth so that together we can commit to solutions that will create positive change for our planet. The award-winning shortfilm Wasfia, produced by Apple Inc. can be seen at wasfianazreen.com or National Geographic.
Nazreen currently is working on her memoir and two film projects based out of Los Angeles.
Mountaineer and women’s activist, Wasfia Nazreen details her incredible journey as the first Bengali (not to mention Bangladeshi woman) to reach the Seven Summits - a project she embarked on as a means to inspire and empower girls throughout southeast Asia. Nazreen grew up in a conservative culture where girls’ destinies are chosen for them. From a young age they are prepared for an arranged marriage, or as Nazreen calls it, “the ultimate mountain.”
“I went back to nature and I found my strength in knowing that everything in nature was changing,” she recalls this chaotic period in her life.
Years later, working as an activist in different parts of Bangladesh, she began to realize that women were at the forefront of every movement in the country, though this aspect was never explored in the media. By 2010, she had come up with a campaign to put the resilience and power of Bangladeshi women on the international stage. Her endeavor would lead to four years of grueling fundraising and outreach efforts, sleeping on people’s couches, and jumping through bureaucratic hoops trying to enter countries that had no travel agreements with Bangladesh.
And then of course, there was the actual feat of climbing seven of the most challenging peaks in the world. “Everytime I hit a wall,” Nazreen shares, “I remembered, ‘If I fail, I fail the people who are waiting for me at home.’”
Mountaineer Wasfia Nazreen uses her death-defying experiences summiting the Seven Peaks to address conservation, sustainability, women’s empowerment, and educational reform. Nazreen’s diverse life gives her a unique perspective on building resilience and overcoming adversity: the adventurer and human rights activist grew up in conservative Bangladesh, served as an aid worker helping refugees and former sex workers, and lived on people’s couches for 4 years while she juggled the logistics and finances to get to the top of Everest. Her remarkable story, unbreakable spirit, and eloquent way of conveying both have made her a global inspiration and in-demand speaker.
Wasfia shares her journeys and leads mediation & empowerment workshops in a myriad of venues worldwide. She has spoken at numerous corporate & non-profit events, including World Economic Forum (WEF/Davos), The American Center (U.S. Embassy in Bangladesh), Paris-Sorbonne University, Town Hall at Apple Inc., House of Commons - U.K. Parliament, Liberation War Museum - Bangladesh, National Geographic Society, Edinburgh University - Scotland, European Business School Universität at Oestrich-Winkel - Germany, Agnes Scott College, TEDx - Dhaka, Scholastica, Lightning in a bottle festival (LIB), Chittagong Grammar School (CGS), U.S. State Department - DC, Burton Snowboards HQ, JAAGO Foundation, Jivamukti Yoga - Berlin, American School Dhaka (AISD), United Nations - NYC, Dhaka University, International School of Dhaka (ISD), Sunbeams School, The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies (BCAS), Library of Tibetan Works & Archives (Dharamsala), Nepal Tourism Board, Rich Mix - London, Sakhyadhita - Thailand, Roland Berger - Frankfurt.
Wasfia addresses the following topics:
• Women’s rights
• Sports and Adventures
• Risk Taking
• Peak Performance
• Equal pay
“Wasfia is our dream incarnate. She makes us touch the sky, she makes us take leaps of faith, she is why little girls continue to dream.”
— MUNIZE MANZUR, PRINCIPAL, SUNBEAMS SCHOOL
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