Fabian Dattner, co-founder of Homeward Bound, lets us in on the unfolding of the inaugural voyage

It’s hard to explain what is happening on the MV Ushuaia, on a ship in the Southern Ocean, surrounded by icebergs and the vast, white, compelling scope of an Antarctic archipelago seen through every window. I wish that the world could see this. I wish those who worry or at worst have lost faith in their leaders could observe this miracle of common intention.

76 women – physicists, mathematicians, engineers, doctors, marine ecologists, astronomers – down on the floor, working together on butcher’s paper, as our ship drifts between majestic ice mountains.

They are talking about the difference between leadership and management, they are working out how they spend their time, and what would happen if they spent more time on the leadership of people and less time on the management of process. They are exploring the things that really matter to them, and they are building a level of trust and openness that is staggering; and we are only on day 3 of the voyage.


The ship has become our common home, the captain and crew, the service staff and guides are slowly finding their way to watch this extraordinary event.

“Never seen anything like it,” said the Argentinian captain. “A privilege for us all to be supporting you.”

Already the women are talking about developing a crisis management project for Homeward Bound women – where critical events can be shared, sorted and managed by the women, together. They have an idea for building a crowdfunding resource for women who would not otherwise be able to fund their spot on this adventure. There is talk, generated by a cognitive neuroscientist on board, of producing 3D images, based on MRIs, of each beautiful mind on board.

They drink, they play, they are already collaborating on a multitude of ideas to bring us together, as women have done for aeons.

It is an impossible privilege to watch this go live before my eyes.

Fabian Dattner is the co-founder of Homeward Bound. Read more about Fabian on the ‘Faculty’ page.

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