homeward-bound-icon_leadership60ABOUT

Homeward Bound is a groundbreaking leadership, strategic and science initiative for women, set against the backdrop of Antarctica.

The initiative, turned global movement, aims to heighten the influence and impact of women with a science background in order to influence policy and decision making as it shapes our planet.

Launching in 2016, Homeward Bound has gathered the first 76 of a targeted 1,000 women from around the world, all with critical science backgrounds, to undertake a year-long state-of-the-art program to develop their leadership and strategic capabilities, using science to build conviction around the importance of their voices. The inaugural program culminates in the largest-ever female expedition to Antarctica, in December 2016, with a focus on the leadership of women and the state of the world.

The inaugural 2016 voyage takes place from 2 – 21 December. Applications for the next program, departing in 2018, will open 17 January 2017. There are already hundreds of women wait-listed for the second program.

Brief History

The project was the idea of Fabian Dattner (leadership activist and partner at Dattner Grant) and Jess Melbourne Thomas (Antarctic Marine Ecological Modeler). The two collaborated for six months to gain the support of significant scientific bodies, and women of influence. In November 2015 the project went viral globally, and by mid-2015 the inaugural program was fully subscribed. The 76 women selected are from around the world and include: astronomers, engineers, physicists, science communicators, Antarctic and Arctic specialists, doctors and social scientists.

The project is supported by a world leading global faculty who are experts in their various domains, including a filmed faculty with contributors such Dr Jane Goodall (primatologist and environmental campaigner); Franny Armstrong (film maker behind ‘The Age of Stupid’, 100 most influential women); Dr Sylvia Earle (global leading Marine Biologist, explorer, author, and lecturer); Christiana Figueres (Former Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change); Dr Amy Edmondson (Novartis Professor of Leadership and Management at the Harvard Business School); Dr Susan David (Co-Founder and Director of the Institute of Coaching, awarded speaker and coach, Harvard A-lister); Clare Bowditch (award-winning Australian singer and activist); Dr Robert Kaplan (developed Balanced Score Card strategy execution methodology); and Valerie Taylor (shark expert, known for her conservation advocacy and films).

The Homeward Bound documentary, “Beautiful Minds – Agents of Change”, is being made with celebrated production house Bunya Productions managing the project. It has been selected this year as part of the global Good Pitch initiative, which matches film projects with a significant opportunity to change the world with philanthropists.

Project Objectives:

  • To elevate each participant’s leadership capabilities.
  • To educate the team on the science of what is happening to our planet.
  • To refine participants’ skills to design and execute strategy, and to create plans for future collaborations as women working towards a sustainable future.
  • To enhance these skills, over a 10-year target, with 1000 women networked and skilled to affect change.
  • To create active, non-hierarchical collaborations among the women both in small groups and as a collective.
  • To be 100% self-funded, i.e. not ‘not for profit’ and not ‘for profit’. Instead, all the women pay a small contribution to the ship and everything else is donated because of the deep belief in the value of women’s leadership in our world at this time.
  • To have a global focus.
  • To contribute to and elevate the broader societal conversation about the role of women in leading the world toward a more sustainable future.

How: 

  • At sea for twenty days, led by Greg Mortimer OAM, setting sail from Ushuaia in Argentina on 2 December 2016
  • Twelve days of state of the art leadership and strategic planning training delivered by Kit Jackson, Fabian Dattner and other experts in their fields
  • Six days of a cutting edge science education program incorporating the most up to date and relevant research about the state and functioning of our planet delivered by leading Australian academics
  • Primarily underwritten by Dattner Grant (see Support for further details)

Why Women:

  • Globally, women are underrepresented in leadership positions and change has been incredibly slow, despite increasing dialogue and process/systems changes.
  • Women are emerging from college degrees as significant percentages of graduates and they take up a significant percentage of our workforce. However, they are in the profound minority globally when it comes to executive decision making roles.
  • By giving these women the leadership and strategic skills, a sound understanding of the science, and a strong purposefully developed network they will be able to impact policy and decisions towards a sustainable future.

girls Photo by Jess Melbourne-Thomas

Why Antarctica:

  • Regions of Antarctica are currently showing amongst the fastest responses to climate change seen anywhere on the planet
  • The study of Antarctica and the Southern Ocean, and their roles in the climate system, provides critical insights into global-scale change, and the influence of human activities on environmental change
  • The continent is iconic as a wild, beautiful and unique environment that has captured the imagination of many leaders in the past
  • By taking this journey together we envision the experience will create strong bonds, inspire action and lead to extraordinary collaborations between the women

reflectionPhoto by Mary-Anne Lea

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