The Man Who Walked Around The World: Jean Béliveau at TEDxWaterloo

The Man Who Walked Around The World: Jean Béliveau at TEDxWaterloo

His story is remarkable. He is the man who walked around the world. In August 2000, Quebecois Jean Béliveau, 45, experiencing a mid-life crisis, chose to shut down his successful factory and leave a loving family to embark on an adventure of learning. It became an odyssey of over 11 years that would see him walk 75,000 km through five continents and 64 countries. Dedicating his walk to peace, Béliveau says, "This is not my walk but the walk of Humanity. I am only a tool for a collective aspiration."

Béliveau, born in Asbestos, Quebec, is the eldest of five children. He grew up on his parents' farm, eventually going into the neon sign industry. But the Quebec ice storm of January 1998, along with a self-admitted mid-life crisis, caused him to rethink his life and he decided to do something different: to walk around the world. Rallying to the suggestion of his wife, Luce Archambault, he dedicated his walk to peace; the projected ten years to accomplish his goal coincided perfectly with UNESCO's International Decade for the Children.

It took 134 months to accomplish his goal, and he arrived back home on October 16, 2011, having walked 75,543 km. These days the father of two knows that promoting the cause of peace for children through public speaking and writing will keep him busy for at least another decade.

Jean's website:


In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)

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