Chris Hadfield

  • Toronto, ON
  • Range USD On Request

Tagline: Inspired Leadership

Talent Highlights

  • Astronaut | First Canadian Commander of the International Space Station (2013)
  • Referred to as “the most famous astronaut since Neil Armstrong,” Colonel Chris Hadfield is a worldwide sensation. 

  • Probe the life and accomplishments of the retired astronaut, first Canadian Commander of the International Space Station, musician, speaker and book author. 

  • Awarded with the Order of Canada, the Meritorious Service Cross, and the NASA Exceptional Service Medal.
  • He was named the Top Test Pilot in both the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Navy, and has been inducted into Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame.

Colonel Chris Hadfield woke up the world (on Twitter) every day while living aboard the International Space Station for over five months with the words “Good morning, Earth.” Since blasting off from Kazakhstan in December 2012, Hadfield has become a worldwide sensation, harnessing the power of social media to make outer space accessible to millions […]

Colonel Chris Hadfield woke up the world (on Twitter) every day while living aboard the International Space Station for over five months with the words “Good morning, Earth.”

Since blasting off from Kazakhstan in December 2012, Hadfield has become a worldwide sensation, harnessing the power of social media to make outer space accessible to millions and infusing a sense of wonder into the collective consciousness not felt since man first walked on the moon.

Called “the most famous astronaut since Neil Armstrong,” Hadfield, now safely back on Earth, continues to bring the glory of science and space travel to everyone he encounters.

Chris Hadfield is the pioneer of many “firsts.” In 1992, he was selected by the Canadian Space Agency as a NASA Shuttle Mission Specialist¯Canada’s first fully-qualified Space Shuttle crew member. Three years later, he was the first Canadian to operate the Canadarm in space, and the first Canadian to board a Russian spacecraft as he helped build the Russian space station, “Mir.”

Chris Hadfield | Inspired Leadership

In 2001, Hadfield performed two spacewalks¯the first Canadian to do so¯and in 2010 the CSA and NASA announced Hadfield’s third mission: commanding the International Space Station (ISS)¯again a first for a Canadian.

Hadfield launched into space on December 19, 2012 and took command of the ISS in March, 2013. His multiple daily Tweets and photographs from space made people see the world differently. His accessibility, whether answering questions such as, “How do you wring out a washcloth in space,” via Skype or collaborating with The Barenaked Ladies for a song sung by nearly a million people simultaneously, endeared him to all while he orbited Earth.

A heavily decorated astronaut, engineer, and pilot, Hadfield’s many awards include receiving the Order of Ontario, the Meritorious Service Cross, and the NASA Exceptional Service Medal. Chris Hadfield was named the Top Test Pilot in both the US Air Force and the US Navy, and has been inducted into Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame. The author of the internationally bestselling book, An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth.

Additionally, Hadfield is an adjunct professor at the University of Waterloo and with Masterclass online, an adviser to SpaceX and Virgin Galactic, and chair of the board of the Open Lunar Foundation. His keynote presentations have been called “an astonishing display of visual storytelling” by Harvard Business Review.

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Keynote Topics

Commanding a spaceship takes superb leadership. The vehicle is complex, the team is international, the crew is on their own, and the stakes are at their highest — huge financial consequences and perpetual life or death situations. 

 Only one Canadian has ever held that command — Colonel Chris Hadfield. Through his 25 years spent in the Royal Canadian Air Force and 21 years with the Canadian Space Agency and NASA, he has developed and honed leadership theories and practices that have taken him to the very top. 

A uniquely experienced leader, Hadfield will help your team lead more effectively. He combines fundamental leadership theories and original insights with examples from his own experiences as a US Navy top test pilot, NASA’s Director of Operations in Russia, NASA Astronaut Chief of Space Station Operations, and as a Commander of the International Space Station. 

How to manage through complexity and change

Being a commander of a spaceship means facing the highest of stakes — human lives, irreplaceable and expensive equipment, and worldwide scrutiny.

Colonel Chris Hadfield commanded the International Space Station for six months off planet, and is experienced in managing people, complexity, and change under extreme circumstances. Surrounded by life-threatening risk, his daily routine was to prepare for and solve worst-case scenarios, from both a team and leadership perspective, while cultivating an optimistic and positive work environment.

Hadfield draws from his experiences and lessons learned during his 21 years in the astronaut corps to share the best strategies and tactics to help individuals, teams, and leaders prepare for and meet the challenges of our rapidly changing world.

Key subjects include:

  • Learning how to be comfortable with ambiguity and approach it with curiosity and possibility.
  • How to best manage stress and lead under pressure.
  • How to build resilient teams and encourage collaboration amongst diverse teams.

In the past 10 years, there has been $264 billion invested into 1,750 different space companies and, as technology continues to improve, this is only going to accelerate. With governments enabling commercial space stations and tourist spaceflights, a global demand for Earth observation and high-speed telecommunication, and private companies landing on the Moon, space business opportunities have never been greater.

Colonel Chris Hadfield has not only piloted and commanded spaceships, he is also a leader and innovator in the business of space. He is a director of public and private companies; an advisor to SpaceX, Virgin Galactic, Astrolab, and Planet; chair of the Open Lunar Foundation; and leader of the Creative Destruction Lab-Space international tech incubator.

In an age where the global space market is expected to reach $750 billion within the decade, Hadfield provides audiences with an insider’s look at this growing industry. He explores the factors that have contributed to its growth and provides an analytical look at the opportunities ahead as more and more businesses and nations come to rely on space assets and commerce.

Colonel Chris Hadfield’s The Apollo Murders is a bestselling Cold War thriller set in 1973, that explores the dark heart of the space race. While it was Hadfield’s first fiction title, the inspiration behind the book is based on true stories that only an insider could ever know. 

Hadfield takes audiences on a journey through the fascinating, technical, and thrilling stories behind the space race that he discovered while researching the fiction series. Hadfield combines these with his own personal stories of launching into space, living six months off-planet in the darkest dark, and hanging on to the outside of a spacecraft while orbiting the Earth at 17,000 miles per hour, to give audiences a perspective of what it’s really like to be an astronaut. 

Starting from the beginning — when landing on the moon was a dream and an international competition — and ending in today’s landscape of international cooperation, Hadfield shows what is possible and what might have been. 

Colonel Chris Hadfield has worked with countless students and teachers, from pre-school to post-doctoral, for decades. Speaking in schools and at education conferences throughout his 35-year-career as an engineer, pilot, and astronaut, his rare mixture of personal experience, memorable ideas, and a warm, fun, interactive style has influenced a generation.

His extensive teachings from Earth orbit, recorded on-board the International Space Station, continue to be seen by millions via YouTube.  

Hadfield strongly believes in the necessity to give every student the tools and the inspiration to succeed. His face and accomplishments are in Canadian science textbooks as both a role model and clear example of where STEM education can lead.

Using real-world examples from his unique experiences, he enables audiences to see beyond their normal horizons, and helps give them the tools and ideas for personal growth and achievement in learning. 

Colonel Chris Hadfield shares a selection of stories, images, songs, and ideas in a musical presentation that delights audiences of all ages.

Performing songs like his evocative “Beyond the Terra”, which looks away from the land to the skies, Hadfield ties his presentation together with incredible tales from over the course of his career, including his experience as the ISS commander.

Suitable for audiences big, small, and in-between, Hadfield customizes his performance to his audience.

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