Image – Homeward Bound founder Fabian Dattner and Christiana Figueres, HB4
Words by Fabian Dattner
I feel like the six years since Homeward Bound was born have been an immersive and continuous lesson in collaboration, understanding (really understanding) diversity and inclusion, and coming to care about the intersectional nature of our lives almost as passionately as I care about our planet. I appreciate that some people have been studying in this context far longer than I have and I bow to their knowledge and experience. For myself it this period has opened up deep insights about myself as a leader, about the challenges women (and men) face, and about the possibility of a grace-filled world where we seek to understand each other, rather than only be understood.
I also recognise in this journey the incredible importance of women – all ages, sizes, ethnicities, LGBTQI+, languages, cultures, geographies, or levels of education.
Every day of my life I meet people with hope and fear about our future, almost in equal measure. Men and women now know much more about what’s working and what’s not working in our world and, to varying degrees, the cost of complacency both personally and collectively.
We can see what is happening to the people we live with, as they grapple with uncertainty and the constantly changing landscape that affects the most simple of plans for families, businesses, countries and our planet. We know that we now face a climate crisis not a climate change. We know that boundaries that humans should live within are being overreached, and that flood and fire follow in their wake.
We also know the magic human community is capable of with shared intent. I have seen it in bucket loads with the extraordinary dedicated, loving and immensely capable people I work with. I have seen it planet wide in the humble intelligence and reach of the women of Homeward Bound, reaching around our planet with their ideas, expertise and capabilities.
It was never my intention as a leadership expert working with men and women to become a leadership activist, but that is where I find myself today. I encourage men and women everywhere to be more as leaders and to expect and ask for more from leaders above them.
At Homeward Bound during the virtual year that precedes the global meet up we focus on the personal legacy of leadership; your own leadership philosophy and your willingness to deep dive into the stories you tell yourself and how they translate into how you behave. We help leaders think carefully about the choices they can make and the benefits of a more constructive mindset. We create abundant space to reflect. We facilitate deep insight into the power of visibility and why this matters so much for women with a STEMM background. We build personal agency – no matter the level of the individual – and we do this all to shared purpose. Together we collaborate for a more sustainable future.
Over and over I observe women parking ego and personal gain for legacy, bringing their willingness to learn more, do more for future generations to their conversations..
I know a lot is being written about women and women’s initiatives are everywhere. Eventually these conversations and the increasing visibility of women will lead to more women leading. It is what I hope for, why Homeward Bound exists, and why the many contributors – faculty, coaches, Board, donors – give what they do.
I don’t have this passion just because I am a woman, but because I think it’s time. It will be a good thing for all of us.
Women will not exclude men. They will welcome all to the table, listen to all voices.
That is why we need them to lead.
This ability will rescue us from ourselves.