NSB Logo Dr. Joe MacInnis Dr. Joe MacInnis

Dr. Joe MacInnis


Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Member of the Titanic Discovery Team

Joe MacInnis is a medical doctor, explorer, and storyteller who studies leadership and teamwork in life-threatening environments from the deep ocean to outer space. His pioneering research on undersea science and engineering projects earned him his nation’s highest honour —the Order of Canada. He’s led thirty expeditions under the Atlantic, Pacific and Arctic Oceans including the first team of scientists to dive under the ice at the North Pole. Dr. Joe’s presentations distill what he’s learned from a decorated career in high-risk environments with a focus on creating hyper-effective teams by sharing principles of deep leadership and team genius.

Keynote Speeches

DEEP LEADERSHIP: How to be a Better, Faster Leader

Dr. Joe was the team leader on two $5-million engineering projects beneath the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans. His latest book, Deep Leadership: Essential Insights from High-Risk Environments was based on his experiences on undersea engineering projects and interviews with shuttle astronauts and soldiers serving in Afghanistan. In this visually-driven presentation, he uses dramatic stories to distill what he learned about strategic imagination, the power of language, the strength of stamina and how these three principles make you a better, faster leader in your office or workplace.


TEAM GENIUS: How to Accelerate the Genius in your Team

Dr Joe has worked on high-risk undersea engineering projects with teams from the US Navy, the French and Canadian governments and the Russian Academy of Sciences. In this visually-driven presentation he reveals the team genius needed to pilot a research sub three miles under the ocean, work on a Canadian Special Forces team and spacewalk on the International Space Station. He uses the $30-million James Cameron-National Geographic science dive into the Mariana Trench to examine the primary principles of team genius: deep empathy, deep eloquence and deep endurance and how to use them to accelerate your team’s genius.

TITANIC DREAMS: The Opposite of Safety

Dr Joe was the co-leader of a $5-million Imax film expedition to the Titanic and has made two 4,000 metre dives to the Mount Everest of shipwrecks. He was the journalist on James Cameron’s $7-million live-from-the-Titanic broadcast for the Discovery Channel. In this visually-driven presentation, he shows how going too fast . . . ignoring iceberg warnings . . . locking up the binoculars . . . making the wrong turn . . . are metaphors for safety and performance issues in our personal and professional lives. Using real-life examples, he warns against false assumptions, creeping complacency and reveals how vigilance and persistence accelerate safety.

Audience reviews:

  • Our guests were blown away by Joe's presentation and left the dinner in awe. He took our client’s breath away! She was so inspired by his experience and saw the clear fit between his message and it’s relation to the weather – something of great importance to The Weather Network! He was fantastic to work with, very accommodating and engaged guests from the moment he arrived. - Event Planner at The Weather Network
  • Thank you for your fantastic contribution to our conference in Monte Carlo. You brought character, insight, experience and wisdom to the audience. Everyone enjoyed the session tremendously.

    - President, European Petrochemical Association
  • An inspiring presentation with breath-taking video clips. It fit in beautifully with the theme of our meeting.

    - Vice President, Toshiba
  • A perfect closing keynote for our inventors and innovators conference. And thanks for leading this morning's eighty-foot dive off the north shore of Nassau. Our team loved it.

    - CEO, Symantec

Speaker Biography

“In this beautiful, broken world of collapsing ecosystems, failed states and toxic lies,” says Dr Joe MacInnis, “ we need dynamic tools to navigate personal and professional change.” Dr Joe has spent a lifetime analyzing leadership and teamwork in high-risk environments including the deep ocean, the battlefield, governments and corporations.

Dr Joe Macinnis holds the honour of being  among the first to dive to the Titanic, and the resulting IMAX Titanic movie was inspiration for director James Cameron’s Academy Award winning movie of the same name.  MacInnis further worked with Cameron on the IMAX film Aliens of the Deep and he was a medical advisor and journalist on the James Cameron-National Geographic seven-mile, science dive into the Mariana Trench.

Supported by the Canadian government, Dr Joe led ten research expeditions under the Arctic Ocean. MacInnis constructed Canada’s first subsurface research laboratory; the only freshwater underwater lab, the only under-ice station and it was the only “free “submerged habitat in the world at the time. It was inspiration to Pierre Trudeau, who himself was a diver and a year later Trudeau asked MacInnis to help write Canada’s first national ocean policy.  Macinnis is also the first person to explore the freezing waters beneath the North Pole. Dr Joe has worked on more than fifty undersea science and engineering projects with the U.S. Navy, the French and Canadian governments and the Russian Academy of Sciences. Along the way, he spent two years as a consultant to Canada’s Privy Council Office and seven years as a consultant to the TD Bank Group.

He has written nine books. His latest, Deep Leadership: Essential Insights from High Risk Environments, was published by Random House.