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.
In June 2017, 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) for a one-year term.
The intention of this team 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, and they did this via social media and other platforms. Though inaugural committee members began stepping down over time, Shelley and Betty remained in service until early-2019, at which point new recruits were called for. In March 2019, a new TCSC took over the reins (10 members from across all graduate cohorts). The Committee now consists of:
Ghislaine Platell (HB1), Xuehua Zhang (HB2), Colleen Fitzpatrick (HB3), Lauren Sandon (HB1), Sandra Velarde (HB2), Sandra Kerbler (HB1), Stephanie Langerock (HB3), Natalie Unterstell (HB3), Gaia Dell’Ariccia (HB2), and Anabella Palacios (HB3).
We thank all committee members, past and present, for their contributions in this role.