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The Origin of the 27ºNorth Name

In the early part of the 15th Century, the known world of Europe seemed to end at the little village of Sagres, at the extreme southwest corner of Portugal. Not far beyond Sagres, heading south to the virtually unexplored west coast of Africa, most sailors believed that the end of the ocean was to be found beyond the latitude line of 27˚ North of the Equator. No one knew what happened if you dared to sail across that line, but the two possibilities were generally agreed upon: either you fell off the edge of the Earth, or you continued closer to the equator, where the sun touched the horizon, the ocean boiled, and your ship would be consumed by flames.

Sometime around 1420, the Portuguese nobleman Infante Henrique, Duke of Viseu, now more commonly known as Henry the Navigator, established the Escola Nautica, the renowned School of Navigation at Sagres. From this vantage point with all of Europe behind him and the unknown world lying beyond, Henry believed the time had come to explore beyond the 27th degree latitude…beyond the known. Believing that the risk would yield ample rewards, he commissioned vessels to chart new pathways to secure riches from the world for his country. And he succeeded.

Henry’s navigators deployed new mapping techniques, a new type of ocean-going ship, the Caravel, and new route strategies to leave Portugal’s competing countries in its wake. It virtually guaranteed the country’s role as a global economic power.

Like Henry, businesses today face a greater unknown. In light of substantial social problems that are being laid at the door of big business, no longer do the old models hold up. Regulatory and other pressures are challenging your success, making it more difficult to make a profit.

At 27ºNorth, we are inspired by Henry the Navigator and the great respect he held for mapping the unknown world so that others might travel in safety and prosperity.

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To find out more about how 27ºNorth can help your organization, please contact us at:

97501 Franklin Ridge
Suite 100
Chapel Hill, NC 27517