Brad Ludden | Speakers Connection

Brad Ludden

  • Top 10 CNN Hero for 2016
  • Humanitarian, Founder of First Descent – a free outdoor adventure program for young adults with cancer
  • Professional Athlete – World Champion freestyle kayaker


Each year CNN honors 10 Heroes, men and women whose causes they support vary as much as their backgrounds and who have dedicated their lives to changing the world. In December 2016 Brad Ludden was featured as one of the “CNN Heroes” for 2016 and his efforts were highlighted at “CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute,” a global broadcast event , co-hosted by Kelly Ripa and Anderson Cooper. CNN aired this special 10th-annual show live from New York’s American Museum of Natural History.

Brad was born in Wyoming and raised in Northwest Montana. He spent his days in the outdoors with his family hiking, camping, fishing, hunting, skiing and, of course, kayaking. Of all his passions, kayaking caught his eye the most. His parents gave him his first kayak when he was 9 and at age 12 he was traveling and competing internationally.


First Descents

A first descent is the first time anyone has successfully navigated a river or a section of a river, but it’s also a metaphor for traveling along uncharted waters. It’s the first time you face a serious illness, approach a workplace challenge, overcome an addiction, or any FIRST that you have not conquered before.

While Water Rapids – Managing Change, Stress and Innovation

Brad knows a thing or two about change, stress and being innovative. He has faced it countless times while preparing to kayak over the biggest drop, run the nastiest rapid, or power through Herculean water. He has faced huge pressure to paddle very, very dangerous stretches of rivers. Friends have died. Injuries have been sustained. The river can be daunting.

For Brad Ludden Availability



KEYWORDS: CNN Top 10 Her, Change, Stress Innovation