Johan Ernst Nilson


“I’m not a politician - I can´t change the laws. I’m not a scientist - I can´t prove the numbers. But I am a window - I go to places where scientists and politicians have never been to document Indigenous Peoples, wildlife and nature in the most unexplored areas of our planet."

Team Re:wild member Johan Ernst Nilson started his life as an environmental explorer and activist in 1994 after a bet with a friend; was it possible for a piano player from Stockholm to bicycle 7500 km to the Sahara in Africa?

Johan won the bet after 52 days and a new world of adventures started - kite surfing over Greenland, hiking across the Serengeti, kayaking across Europe, sailing the North West Passage, driving across Africa and one of his greatest achievements, The Adventure Grand Slam (Skiing to both the South Pole and North Pole and climbing the Seven Summits). 

To date, Johan has accomplished over 60 expeditions in 179 countries, spent more than 3000 nights in a tent and is in the Guinness World Records and member of the Explorers Club.

Johan’s interest for philanthropy started in 1997 when he spent 100 days in a research station in Antarctica to produce a short film about something the scientists called “Global Warming.” Fascinated by the subject, Johan started to study climate change and human interference with nature. Since then, Johan has documented wildlife, oceans, glaciers and tribes around the world to gain a better understanding of how we can best help the planet we are slowly destroying. 

Johan has collaborated with organizations including WildAid, IUCN, UN, amfAR, Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, Explorers Club, IPCC, Unicef, Andrea Bocelli Foundation, Snow Leopard Foundation, Non-Violence and Everest Summiteers Association.