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December 17, 2020

Erik Vermeulen – Behavioural Economics Professional Speaker in South Africa

Behavioural economics speaker and adventurer, Erik Vermeulen

Behavioural economics speaker in South Africa, Erik Vermeulen is also a, business culture speaker, adventure speaker, employee engagement speaker and customer engagement speaker.

The two keynotes that are the most relevant post 2020 are the adventure motivational keynote, 800 and Shark in the Vending Machine.

800: Lessons from walking eight hundred kilometres with South Africa’s sporting heroes

Behavioural economics speaker, Erik Vermeulen's adventure motivational keynote.

In 2020, while South Africa and the world were gripped in Lockdowns as a result of COVID-19, behavioural economics strategist and adventurer Erik Vermeulen co-created “The Battle of the Sports” – an ambitious project to harness the sporting talents of SA’s top sportsmen in an expedition to determine which sport produces the toughest athletes.

The challenge he set them was to cover a course of 200 km in under 96 hours; unsupported and unassisted under his leadership. The goal? To unite South African sporting fans behind a reality-style TV show in order to raise funds for COVID-19 relief to support vulnerable communities.

With 4 teams, representing the sporting codes of cricket, rugby, soccer and running, competing in the challenge, Erik was afforded a front row seat to the strategies the competitors used to excel on the international sports field.

And while the sporting heroes had to cover 200 km, Erik accepted the challenge to walk 800 km in just under 5 weeks.

In this presentation, Erik shares not only those nuggets from players like John Smit, Jenna Challenor, Teko Modise and Makhaya Ntini, but he also reflects on the strategies he employed to lead expeditions to the highest mountains on the planet and to get through not 200 km, but 800 km during the Battle of the Sports.

Perseverance, uncertainty, insane goals and a deadline that looms ever closer along with team dynamics create the perfect storm to determine a great finishing time or total failure.

The team’s’ performances are well documented in the TV series and documentary, but what about the behind-the-scenes action? What about the leadership and performance hacks that Erik used to keep the athletes engaged, moving forward and to complete the toughest challenge of their lives?

Combining vivid imagery and video from the 4 expeditions, Erik shares his behavioural insights – the same ones he’s used to merging cultures in the banking industry, create world-class service standards for an airline, build the culture of a SA medical scheme to win the Financial Intermediaries Award as the best in South Africa; and help a mobile phone provider sell over 60 000 phones in a saturated market in under 3 weeks – to help you and your business not only weather the COVID-19 storm, but also build a compelling 2021.

There’s a Shark in the Vending Machine

Erik Vermeulen uses his engaging style and unique insights into behaviour and decision-making to illustrate and explore the biases that skew our perception of the world around us.

He has a 21-year consulting track record and sits on the Faculty of the
Johannesburg Business School as lecturer in the Executive Education track on Behavioural Economics.

We all think of ourselves as rational human beings making reasonable decisions in our daily lives. But social scientists assert that this is seldom the case – that our decisions (with our time, our money, our attention, our relationships) are indeed truly rational.

Rather, we make emotional decisions and then try to rationalise them after the fact. When we’re faced with complex decisions, our brains are wired to take shortcuts and our feelings get in the way.

Tailor-made for each audience, Erik looks at the cognitive and emotional biases that affect our seemingly rational decision-making and shape our behaviour. He examines these from the viewpoints of both consumer and producer of information and applies these principles to marketing, customer engagement, customer experience, as well as employee engagement.

In a post COVID-19 world characterised by uncertainty and volatility, understanding how to effectively influence decision-making is more important than ever. We’ve seen the results of “herd-mentality”, of fake news and emotional biases on our communities, our countries and our
businesses. Understanding the power of behavioural economics in shaping behaviour and results is more important than ever in providing insights into your company’s approach to marketing, sales, customer experience and internal culture.

About Erik Vermeulen

Erik Vermeulen is a global business consultant and keynote speaker, specialising in corporate behaviour strategies. Erik explores trends and behaviours that have shaped the business world and delivers ones that are required to motivate and improve performance in this world.

His strategies allow companies to create more profitable behaviours by examining how their teams work and how they interact with their employees as well as their customers.

Erik is an avid multi sport endurance athlete who is drawn to explore the outdoors and test human potential along the way.

He is a partner in The Munga, a crazy 1060 km single stage MTB race traversing some of the toughest terrain south of the Equator.

He pioneered, and directs, The Munga Trail, a 400 km trail run that is featured by Runners World International as one of the toughest races on the planet.

As a partner in Xplore, the business facilitates and leads other expeditions on foot and on MTB to extreme and often times inhospitable corners of the world.

In June 2018, Erik launched 7.2º, an ambitious project to reach both North and South Poles & all 7 Summits (the highest peaks on each continent) in a world record-breaking time of less than 138 days.

He has served long-term consulting contracts with some of the world’s largest companies and leaders in the global marketplace. His clients have found that Erik has the ability to put plenty of real-life business issues into perspective and offer realistic alternatives to team and leadership issues.

He is frequently singled out for his enthusiasm, down-to-earth attitude
and refreshing approach to people.

Erik has helped an African mobile phone company say “Jambo Greatness”, and they delivered on the promise.

He’s shown the staff at Africa’s most profitable airline how they can “Lift you Up”, and a medical aid scheme how to become “Pacesetters”.

He’s even managed a to get the IT division at a major bank to “Simplify
Complexity” and a children’s cancer charity to understand “How Now Brown Cow?” to transition to bigger things.”

Behavioural economics consultant and professional speaker, Erik believes that you cannot motivate people, rather he takes a highly effective behavioural approach to leadership that allows him to influence what people are motivated to do!

He shows companies how to build “virtual” teams that include both their
employees and their customers, making a significant impact on
the bottom-line.

Find out more about Erik on his website or fill in the form below.