The Homeward Bound Project is an extraordinary initiative for global sustainability through wise, far-sighted leadership.
Leadership is a big issue throughout the world today, as millions of people express frustration at the poor quality of leaders in politics, business, even faith communities and families.
Homeward Bound asks the simple question: what if we could shape a more sustainable world simply by strengthening the voice and clarity of women in leadership positions around the world?
Women are usually the wise negotiators of families, communities, companies and countries. We are the ones who tend to be good at resolving conflicts, finding situations where everybody wins. We are the primary “nesters” – and the Earth is everybody’s ultimate nest, which we humans have fouled terribly in our foolish quest for unfettered economic growth. While many men are good at these things too (and thankfully we have incredibly talented such men at SANBI), empathy, public-benefit thinking and wise management are often feminine traits, which both women and men can express. Leadership based on feminine wisdom is likely to help turn the tide of environmental and social injustice.
Homeward Bound (http://homewardboundprojects.com.au/) targets women leaders in global change science from around the world. Phoebe Barnard, head of SANBI’s climate change bioadaptation and biodiversity futures research, is sadly Africa’s only representative on the maiden Homeward Bound voyage to Antarctica in December 2016. Prideel Majiedt, assistant head of SANBI’s marine program, hopes to raise enough funds to get on the next voyage in 2017-18.
The 78 women selected worldwide for the 2016 trip will receive state-of-the-art leadership coaching and tools for time management, decision-making, conflict resolution and sustainability strategy. We sail from Ushuaia, Argentina on 1 December via Elephant Island, the scene of some of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s most harrowing adventures with his men as they escaped from the ice-locked HMS Endurance in 1916. During the three-week expedition, we will be coached by Dame Jane Goodall, ocean champion Dr Sylvia Earle, UN climate supremo Christiana Figueres, filmmaker Franny Armstrong, Harvard Fortune 500 leadership coach Dr Susan David, and Australian leadership expert and Homeward Bound visionary, Fabian Dattner.
Homeward Bound aims to enhance the influence and impact of women leaders in science on the way the world is run. We know our current economy and societies have failed miserably at ensuring long-term well-being for many of our people and our future children. Let’s try to get Prideel Majiedt and other SANBI talented women on the boat in future years.