Homeward Bound

A leadership outreach initiative for women with a science background

The education programme has five components delivered over a year, remotely prior to the voyage, on-shore in Ushuaia and on-board the ship. These components are woven together into an integrated programme delivered by an expert faculty partnered with leading scientists. The programme comprises lectures, exercises, personal coaching and extensive open discussion – in forums, in teams focussing on areas of interest identified post selection of participants, and in triads (learning teams of three).

  1. Leadership development

This component aims to provide insight into your leadership mindset and style, and the impact that this has on your ability to act as a leader in our world. A range of diagnostic tools will be used supported by dedicated coaching including LSI 1 & 2, 4Mat, and MSCEIT. Participants will work on developing and articulating purpose and values, and explore motivation for leading. Emotional intelligence will be explored – what it means to recognise, understand and manage emotions in ourselves and others, how to give and receive feedback constructively, and how to manage the difficult conversations. The challenges that women in science face as leaders will be addressed, identifying key topics that are particularly relevant for the group to apply their collective expertise and as a basis for collaboration. Remote global faculty present in a series of videos and these include Dr Jane Goodall, Dr Susan David, Dr Robert Kaplan, and Christiana Figueres.

  1. Strategic capability

The ability to realise the benefits that a strategy promises is typically a challenge for organisations, teams and individuals and this capability is vital for a leader to have impact. This component of the programme aims to provide an understanding of how to map strategy in order to clarify and communicate it, and then prioritise and align resources to make strategy happen. Strategic capability will be explored in both an organisational and personal context. By understanding organisational strategy the participants will be able to contribute to and lead strategy execution more effectively. The personal strategy map will be used as the framework to bring together the learning from the whole programme, to establish a basis on which to make the conscious choices required to live a more purposeful life, and to embed new behaviours into habits. Strategic conversations will be facilitated on specific strategic issues to explore how to have a greater influence and impact in addressing complex problems affecting the future of the planet.

  1. Personal visibility & science communication

A key gap between the will to lead and the ability to lead is finding and projecting your voice – being visible by which we mean networking, presenting, public speaking, speaking up in meetings, using social media, writing, media engagement and influencing. Personal visibility – showing up and being vulnerable to personal issues – is also a part of the programme, as is collective visibility. You will learn the fundamentals of visibility and gain practical skills. You will learn the fundamentals of science communication including how to tell a good story to the right audience about what matters in your area of specialisation. It’s your opportunity to visualise yourself in the future and create a new narrative around your work and your professional and personal visionary goal. Your visibility plan will be aligned with your personal strategy and incorporated into your map and action plan.

  1. Science collaboration

A key objective of the Homeward Bound initiative is to establish a global community to collaborate towards impactful outcomes. The science component of the programme will provide education to enable a shared understanding on particular topics including the Antarctic environment. The programme will leverage the collective knowledge and expertise of the participants to collaborate on chosen subjects. Participants will learn about each other through the popular ‘Symposium at Sea’ presentations that take place on board.

  1. Reflective Journaling as a program tool

This is going to be introduced in 2017 on the feedback from participants. It is a means to focus more time for reflection during the year and on the ship.

Reflective journal writing is evidence of reflective thinking and involves a description of an issue or experience as well as an exploration or critical analyses and explanation of events. Reflective writing is a process where you can learn from your experiences and can be used to ‘reflect forward’ to the future as well as to learn in the present by ‘reflecting back’ on the past.

It is important that women have the time, particularly on the ship, to process the learning and insights generated not just by the shared learning, but also from conversations between many likeminded people.

This is a rare opportunity for all of us.

Outline Programme

Component Remote Delivery On-Shore in Ushuaia On-Board Ship
Leadership Diagnostic tools, individual coaching The impact of your leadership style and mindset How to apply the insights in a leadership context. Theory of change.
  Team dynamics on ship
  Leadership skills on ship
  Emotional Agility Purpose, values and motivation to lead Personal coaching


  Leadership in a science context, gender in our world Exploration of emerging shared issues in 2018 participant group; key readings Global faculty videos

Open discussions

Strategy Strategy Mapping fundamentals Homeward Bound strategy and our part in it Developing a personal strategy map and making it happen
  Setting up the Personal Strategy Map Contributing to organisational strategy
  Strategic conversations
  Personal coaching
Visibility Visibility fundamentals and priorities Social media planning Developing a Visibility Plan
  Raising your profile for funding Visibility in a science context
  Essentials of high impact science communication Introduction to concept and key skills Using skills in the Symposium at Sea
  Personal coaching
Science Knowledge sharing and education Symposium at Sea; Science Lectures
  Topic survey; set up project work Collaboration and project work
Reflective Journaling Introduction to the tool and methodology Sharing the year so far Populating personal journal with significant insights and decisions


And remember: this is done in the midst of icebergs, penguins, whales and women!



Homeward Bound – the book

In 2016, we were part of a documentary (Beautiful minds – agents of change; working title), largely funded by Good Pitch Australia, Screen Australia, Screen Queensland and Fabian Dattner. This film is an interrogation into leadership in our world, seen through the eyes of the women participating in the inaugural trip.

This is likely to be released between October 2017 and April 2018.

At the time of writing we are unsure if additional footage will be captured from the 2018 voyage and/or whether additional women will be selected from the second voyage for the documentary.

However, it is our intention that we will facilitate writing the ‘book’ of Homeward Bound, likely using the second group as collaborators.

This is in early design but the intention is, over ten years, to give every group a visible collaborative voice through Homeward Bound.





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