Tom Nash

Inspirational Speaker, Club DJ, & Author
  • Tom Nash, a quadruple amputee, transforms adversity into advantage, sharing insights on moving beyond resilience to embrace antifragility, drawing from his remarkable journey of survival and success.
  • With a career spanning from successful DJ to co-owner of a platinum-producing record label, Tom captivates audiences with his dark humor, wit, and personal stories, offering grounded life philosophies and inspiring perspectives.
  • Nash is a sought-after speaker known for his candid approach, making him a powerful voice on overcoming challenges and thriving in the face of adversity.

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Tom Nash’s dry wit and contrarian nature throughout keynotes delight the curiosity of his listeners. Drawing from the life experience imbued upon him, Tom exemplifies the anti-victim; the modern-day iconoclast we didn’t know we needed, until now.

Club DJ, Author and Speaker Tom Nash lost all four of his limbs after a devastating brush with a deadly disease over twenty years ago. Coming as close to death as one ever can, he spent over 18 months in hospital, surviving a coma, life support and having to re-learn to walk using prosthetics. Since then, Tom has learned not just to survive but to thrive.

Navigating life with prosthetic hooks for hands, Tom launched a career as a musical artist, first as a guitarist in a band, later as a nightclub DJ. Tom subsequently went on to enjoy remarkable success in the music industry, starting his own nightclub brand in 2006, curating music as DJ Hookie and producing numerous records. He has since gone-on to become one of Australia’s most in-demand DJs, playing sell-out shows across various countries and playing host to some of Australia’s biggest music festivals. He is the co-owner of a successful Entertainment company, and a platinum-producing record label. The nightclub brand he started became the longest running weekly club brand in Australia.

Tom is now an Global Keynote Speaker, inspiring audiences with thought-provoking takes on Antifragility —moving beyond resilience — and how embracing challenges can turn adversity into advantage. He has graced the stages of some of the world’s largest conferences and festivals including TED and SXSW. Tom’s unique talent for captivating people with his personal story, his dark sense of humor and his incredible wit are distilled into grounded philosophies for life from which everyone can draw wisdom. Tom's unapologetic attitude towards dealing with adversity renders him deserving of the platform he so eloquently uses, speaking openly with sincerity and candor to a full gamut of audiences.

Tom’s latest book ‘Hook, Line & Sinner’ was published through Penguin Random House in 2023, and his TEDx talk has amassed over two and a half million views.

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Speaker Video

The perks of being a pirate | Tom Nash

BECOMING ANTIFRAGILE—The Adversity Advantage

With so much talk of ‘resilience’, one must wonder... is resilience really sufficient? Sometimes it’s not good enough to simply resist challenges; often we must grow from them, using them to become better versions of ourselves. In ‘Becoming Antifragile’, Tom discusses his process of going beyond resilience, and using adversity as an advantage.

From mental agility to modern stoicism, using cognitive restructuring to reframe challenges and adapt to ever-changing landscapes can be the difference between sinking or swimming. A quintessential example of how to live as though that which does not kill you, has the potential to make you stronger.


DESIGNING FOR ONE, DESIGNS FOR ALL—Innovation with Universal Design

What hacks can be used to make design unique? Designing systems, products or environments for the average person under perfect conditions seeks to satisfy the group, while often failing to serve each individual. Conversely, Innovating with Universal Design in mind, solves problems that are obvious for the individual but which often have unintended positive consequences for the wider population.

Many technologies designed with limited abilities in mind have gone on to become crucial and ubiquitous tools favored the world-over by broader populations despite their abilities or limitations. Universal design has the ability to solve problems previously shrouded by the naivety of narrow objectives, and broaden the canvas of opportunity for unique design and innovation.


CREATIVE PROBLEM SOLVING—What disability can teach us about thinking laterally

What do a Global Pandemic and the loss of all four limbs have in common? In his light-hearted yet captivating take on adversity and pragmatism, Tom Nash elucidates the links between being forced to think differently to solve problems, and the lateral thinking methods involved in overcoming challenges.

From overcoming the roadblocks of Path Dependency and Defensive Decision Making, to dividing and conquering problems creatively, identifying false assumptions and testing ideas that others don’t bother to. An uplifting discourse which takes solace from the knowledge that no matter what threats lurk on the horizon... we all have it within us to overcome them.

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