Paul Niel

Paul Niel is a Hong Kong based social entrepreneur, future thinker and adventurer.

Paul’s passion is the exploration of the unknown – the borders of technology and the last white spots of this planet. He supports and sponsors enterprises that use exponential technologies to solve grand challenges.  He is co-founder of Peared, a lifestyle company for older adults and helped start Luxarity, a Hong Kong based enterprise with a mission to up cycle luxury fashion.  He is also an active angel investor supporting small and innovative businesses in Europe and Asia. In addition Paul works with charities in Nepal, Hong Kong and Kenya to address social integration and rural development. He is an ambassador for the Exponential Organisations (ExO) Program and an alumni of Singularity University.

Singularity University was founded by inventor, futurist and AI expert Ray Kurzweil under the support of Google and NASA. Every year a small group of outstanding global talent gets selected to attend its lectures on future, non linear technologies to solve mankind’s largest issues. Over the last year it has launched ground breaking innovative companies like Made in Space, Matternet and Modern Meadows. Paul is Singularity’s ambassador in Hong Kong and director of the Global Impact Competition: Smart Cities. The ExO Program focuses on the application of latest technologies to leverage openness, transparency and abundance within an organisational structure in order to create faster and more efficient structure equipped for the opportunities and challenges of the next decades.

After graduating from University of Vienna, where he read statistic and was early developer in machine learning, Paul worked for more than a decade in finance which took him to New York, London and led him ultimately to Hong Kong. His passion to explore the planet led him into adventures and expeditions around the globe and into more than 85 countries. In 2013 he claimed the top of Mt Everest, the highest mountain in the world, as well as Lhotse, a day later, becoming one of only ten climbers ever having achieved this. He has also successfully climbed the highest mountain on every continent, the seven summits. Most recently he was exploring a yet undiscovered, remote corner of Eastern Tibet.


Exponential Organisations – transform your company from linear to exponential
In 2012, Kodak Corporation, a 100-year-old, Fortune 100 company, went bankrupt. In the same year, Instagram (also in the photography business) was acquired by Facebook for $1 billion with only 13 employees. This is a classic example of a “linear” versus “exponential” company. In this talk I share the Exponential Tools and how companies can prepare themselves for the upcoming disruptive change.

Also offered as workshop

Exponential Thinking – trends of the future

What exponentially advancing technologies will transform or disrupt the world around us in the next two to 10 years? How will artificial intelligence, robotics, 3D printing, synthetic biology and infinite computing transform your business and industry? I will discuss how we intuitively think linear and what we can do to prepare ourself for this breakthrough technologies.

Also offered as workshop

A checklist for big dreams

I started dreaming about climbing the highest mountains when I was six. But dreams don’t need to stay dreams. This lecture focuses on how I came to set myself big goals and making them reality – building successful startups, supporting lifechanging charities and climb the highest peaks in the world

Risk Management on top of the world

Climbing mountains bears inherent risk, but being a mountaineer does not mean to be a risk junkie. In this lecture I share my analytical framework of risk management and how it can be applied to business, career and sports.


Thank you Paul very much for your excellent lecture, which was much appreciated by all Royal Geographical Society attendees. You presented a unique combination of the fabulous achievement of your expeditions, together with photographs, stories and wit, which made it a very special event. You have a wonderful ability to entertain people, whilst engaging them about topics of some complexity. The large audience was well rewarded for their attendance to hear of your talk.
~ Rupert McCowan, Director Royal Geographical Society – Hong Kong

Paul’s story was ‘top of the world’ as he shared his very personal experiences at our AustroCham luncheon on being the first Austrian to climb two 8000m peaks in 24 hours, with his ascent of Mt. Everest and Lhotse earlier this year. A truly inspirational and moving roller coaster of a presentation – that drew on the emotions and was delivered with wit and warmth from ‘one’ who has truly been tested. Any attendee at such a gathering will not come away without being inspired. I would highly recommend Paul to anyone looking for a speaker outside of the norm of typical corporate speakers.
~ Wilhelm BRAUNER, Chairman of Austrocham

Mike Walsh

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Graeme Codrington

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