Speaking Tour 2015

Erin’s North America & Australia speaking tour is in full swing! The adventure philanthropy message resonates with a diverse audience of students, corporations and civic organizations. Not only does Erin convey the excitement of travel and adventure, but also the responsibility of giving back to the communities she visits.

A seasoned professional speaker, Erin has an open, lively style, filled with stories and insider tips. She tailors each presentation to the specific interests of the group and engages with her audience, honestly answering questions about travel, philanthropy and personal choices.

Here Erin provides an overview of the benefits of adventure philanthropy and a glimpse of her impassioned storytelling:


“Erin spoke with polish and enthusiasm, inspiring a sold out Commonwealth Club crowd with tales of her adventure philanthropy and the potential for their own.”

George Dobbins, Vice President of Programs, Commonwealth Club

“REI Los Angeles / Orange County recently partnered with Erin. She was fantastic! Her presentation was inspiring and educational for our REI customers about the different ways to adventure travel and give back to hosting communities.”

Lyndie Bradshaw, Outdoor Programs Outreach Market Coordinator, REI


“Erin’s presentation was engaging, entertaining and best of all she challenged our people to get involved in a way that best suits our skills and resources.  Erin has a unique ability to deliver a professional yet totally personal story.”

Chris Klug, Global Business Manager, Microsoft

“Emma Willard School was treated to the adventurous, philanthropic, and entrepreneurial spirit of Erin Michelson. Our students received practical advice [with a] honest discussion about physical and mental strain, stories, photos, and a generous Q&A session.”

Julie Clancy, Head of School’s Office, Emma Willard School

Speaking Topics

Living an Adventure Philanthropist Life

This presentation gives us a snapshot of Erin’s two years (2011-2012) traveling to more than 60 countries and all 7 continents while volunteering with global humanitarian organizations. Erin’s stories about her experiences and the people she meets show us how philanthropic giving and volunteer experiences can enrich our lives—from preserving wildlife in Mozambique to working with children in South Asia. Erin is living the Adventure Philanthropist life. And you can too!

Why Giving Away Time & Money is Good Business

We discuss how your business can benefit from engaging in charitable giving. From online business and blogs, to retail products and B2B services, Erin provides concrete examples of how companies can incorporate philanthropy into their business plan to not only enhance their standing in the community, but deepen their relationships with their existing customers and attract new ones. Philanthropy is all about engagement and Erin shows how giving away time and money can help build big business.

The Joy of Giving

While the idea of “philanthropy” can be off-putting, we’re doing it all the time: buying Girl Scout cookies, sponsoring our best friend’s 3-day walk, contributing to the collection basket. This presentation provides an overview of the basics of giving, answering questions like: How do I give? Where should I give? What causes need support? The goal is to help you frame a personalized philanthropy plan that is in line with your giving budget and values.

The Joy of Volunteering

This presentation gives the inside scoop on how to have a meaningful volunteer engagement. The focus is on how to find the right volunteer opportunity for you — the right cause, the right location, the right way to donate your expertise. We look at both episodic and long-term volunteering, as well as local and international opportunities. Most important, we discuss the ethical issues that can arise when working with nonprofit organizations.

Global Outings: Solo RTW Trips for Women Travelers

This presentation looks at the logistics of solo round-the-world travel. Through her stories of adventure and mishap, Erin provides practical tips for long-term travel, including staying safe on the road, navigating language and cultural barriers, and living out of one suitcase for two years. In addition, Erin’s tales delve into the emotions that can accompany solo travel, such as boredom, loneliness and fear. More than stories on how to survive on the road, these are stories of how to thrive on the road.