Francis Tapon is a TEDx speaker who has hiked across America four times, walked across Spain twice, and has traveled to over 100 counties. He has written two books, Hike Your Own Hike and The Hidden Europe. He is currently on a four-year voyage to visit all 54 African countries. He has a Religion BA from Amherst College and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Francis Tapon’s mother is from Chile and his father is from France, but Francis was born in San Francisco. He is fluent in English, French, and Spanish. He struggles with Italian, Portuguese, Arabic, and Russian. If you point a gun to his head, he’ll start speaking other languages too.

He earned a Religion Degree with honors from Amherst College. He also has an MBA from Harvard Business School. After Harvard, he co-founded a robotic vision company in Silicon Valley. Then he decided to change his life forever.

In 2001, he sold the little he had to hike the 3,000 km Appalachian Trail. Then, after consulting for Hitachi, he visited all 25 countries in Eastern Europe in 2004. He consulted at Microsoft before hiking the 4,200 km Pacific Crest Trail in 2006. In 2007, he became the first person to do a round-trip on the Continental Divide Trail—a seven-month journey spanning 9,000 km. In 2008-2011, he visited over 40 European countries, but focused on revisiting all the Eastern European ones. In 2009, he climbed up Mont Blanc and walked across Spain twice. He’s backpacked over 20,000 kilometers (12,500 miles) and traveled to over 100 countries.

He is the author of Hike Your Own Hike: 7 Life Lessons from Backpacking Across America.

He also wrote The Hidden Europe: What Eastern Europeans Can Teach Us.

He is currently on a four-year journey to visit all 54 African countries. His goal is to wander to all 193 countries of the world, see what we can learn from them, and share it with everyone.

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The Unseen Africa

From 2013-2017, Francis is traveling to all 54 African countries. In this custom speech, he will share his latest experiences with you. He will cover the economic revolution that rolling throughout Africa. Where are the best opportunities? What are some of Africa’s remaining challenges? What are some unknown parts? What’s life really like on the ground? What are some of the cultural oddities? These are some of the many questions that Francis will answer during his comprehensive presentation.

What Can Eastern Europeans Teach Us?

He will deliver a fascinating 90-minute multimedia presentation about Europe’s hidden side. Discover the side of Europe that few know. See hundreds of photos covering 25 Eastern European countries. Francis will discuss the upcoming 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall – and what we can learn from it. He will also discuss the current state of Eastern Europe along with the future opportunities and challenges in the region. He will share personal travel anecdotes that will make you laugh. Discover why and where you should go to in Eastern Europe.

How Travel Transforms

Based on Francis Tapon’s TEDx Fillmore speech, this speech begins with the hypothesis that travel can bring wisdom and can transform you. He cites examples of prophets, secular people, and his own experiences. He will show images of the 4 times he walked across America and his 3 years in Eastern Europe. This speech can will be tailored for organizations. For example, Microsoft had Francis speak at their global conference, where he shared the Top 7 Things You Can Do To Improve your Organization.

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