Upon graduation of the HB program, each participant becomes a member of a global alumnae network (which we aim to number 1000 by 2027). This network is called The Convergence, and it was so-named by members of the first graduating Homeward Bound cohort.
The name reflects two phenomena that parallel key aspects of the Homeward Bound initiative:
- The Antarctic Convergence is a significant natural boundary – unique to this polar region – where the relatively warm waters of the world’s southern oceans meet the cold, north-flowing Antarctic waters. Crossing this threshold means entering a zone rich in marine, land and bird life that is rare on the other side. For the participants of Homeward Bound, crossing this threshold also serves as a metaphor in their leadership development journey. Having completed 11 months of their program largely online, once on-board together and voyaging into Antarctic waters, they cross into exploring unique personal and collective territory, rich with diverse and meaningful experiences.
- ‘To converge’ is to meet, to come together. The HB alumnae network is a space in which women sharing a background in STEMM and the experience of Homeward Bound also bring a unique combination of talents, skills and passions. In this space, there is opportunity for connection and collaborations that can serve as a testament to the greater power of ‘we’ rather than ‘I’.
The naming and subsequent framework of representation that was set up by the cohort also reflects a key tenet of Homeward Bound – that this is a collaborative endeavour, shaped by the feedback and ownership taken by all those involved, not just a few ‘at the top’ of a leadership structure.
Five women from the inaugural HB program – Betty Trummel (US), Shelley Ball (Canada), Raeanne Miller (UK), Sarah Brough (Australia) and Deb Pardo (France) – volunteered to form The Convergence Steering Committee (TCSC) in June 2017 for a one-year term. Their intention was to be a conduit between alumnae and HB leadership, to facilitate connection and information exchange, to offer support to new cohorts, to provide updates about what alumnae were up to and how alumnae could be involved in HB projects. They have been doing this for more than a year now, connecting via social media and other platforms.
Sarah, Deb, Raeanne and Shelley have since retired as TCSC members, and Betty is getting ready to hand over to a new generation of alumnae to lead TCSC. We thank them all for their contributions in this role. As at February 2019, Ghislaine Platell (HB1) is the first of the new representatives to continue this important support initiative, and others are currently being recruited.
Connect with TCSC on our HB Teams page.