2008 Jury Member

The Rolex Awards for Enterprise

Location: Chile

Rodrigo Jordán
Chile, Born 1959

Nominated by Time magazine in 1994 as “one of the 100 young leaders for the new millennium”, Dr Rodrigo Jordán, leader of the first successful South American expedition to Mt Everest and K2, has applied his mountaineering leadership and team-building skills to business and education.


His mountaineering successes gave him the idea of launching his own company called Vertical in 1992. This organisation, along with the charitable foundation, Fundación Vertical, delivers outdoor education and training services to corporations and individuals, particularly children from inner-city areas.

By involving children in nature conservation, Jordán hopes to rear future generations of environmentally conscious people. “Those who have not had the opportunity of experiencing and enjoying nature as children will not understand the ethical and economic reason for protecting it as adults,” he explains. A civil and industrial engineer, Jordán earned a Ph.D in organizational development from Oxford University and is today a lecturer in leadership at the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile.

In 2004, he was awarded the Order of Gabriela Mistral for his significant contribution to Chilean education. The following year, he was elected chairman of the Chilean National Foundation for the Alleviation of Poverty. He is currently serving his third term as chairman. His latest endeavours in exploration include an unsupported 400-kilometre crossing of the Ellsworth Mountains in Antarctica and a successful ascent of Lhotse, the world’s fourth-highest mountain. In 2008, he took part in an international kayaking and mountaineering expedition, sponsored by National Geographic and New York’s Explorers Club, to document climate change.

Other 2008 Jury Members