Recently at the RSGS, we have been preparing for the start of our highly regarded Inspiring People talks programme for 2021-22. In the past, our inspiring speakers have brought us amazing stories of journeys and adventures, and refreshing insights into current issues, and our programme this year is no different, featuring a stellar line-up of speakers, all with compelling stories to share.

This year’s programme marks the first time that we will be featuring a mixture of both online and live talks, as Covid still impacts venues and live event planning, but we are hoping that this will allow the events to be especially accessible to everyone all over Scotland and beyond. All Inspiring People talks in 2021 will be online every Wednesday at 7:30pm. In the new year, as the ongoing restrictions continue to ease, we hope to once again be hosting in-person talks at our 13 local groups, in Aberdeen, Ayr, Borders, Dumfries, Dundee, Dunfermline, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Helensburgh, Inverness, Kirkcaldy, Perth and Stirling, as well as hosting several more talks online.

The first talk of our programme is set to go ahead online on Wednesday 22nd September with Gitonga Wandai, a Kenyan hiker with a dream to inspire a generation to ‘do what makes their heart dance’, explore the outdoors, and protect their local environment. In his talk, Gitonga will speak on his bid to become the first black Kenyan to summit Mount Everest, and with British filmmaker Joe Bunyan, will screen a live showing of their award-winning film Gitonga.

Some other brilliant speakers in this programme include: cave diver Jill Heinerth sharing stories of her adrenaline-fuelled expeditions; former professional mountain bike racer and Active Nation Commissioner for Scotland Lee Craigie on cycling from Edinburgh to Copenhagen; wildlife cameraman Gordon Buchanan on his experiences filming wild cats around the world; CEO of the Scotland Malawi Partnership David Hope-Jones speaking on Scotland and Malawi’s relationship; adventure kayaker Sal Montgomery on kayaking through Bhutan; and an array of other fascinating speakers making up the best national talks programme in Scotland. The full programme for 2021-22 can be viewed at

Our Inspiring People talks programme was preluded by An Evening With Colonel John Blashford-Snell on 15th September. The online event with the legendary explorer resulted in a night of entertainment, hilarity and inspiration that was very well received by those who attended. We now look forward to bringing this level of enjoyment to our audience every Wednesday online until the new year. Read about the remarkable Colonel Blashford-Snell in our recent blog.

Tickets are now available for all online Inspiring People events before the new year. Tickets are free for RSGS Members, Students and U18s, and £6 for general admission, and can be reserved at Get your tickets now for what promises to be a popular programme of talks.