Former Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Christiana Figueres is among key world leaders to join Homeward Bound, a global leadership initiative for women with a background in Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths and Medicine (STEMM).
More About Homeward Bound
Homeward Bound is a year-long program aimed at boosting women’s participation in global leadership and facilitating collaboration between them. Up to 100 women participate annually in this transformational program covering leadership, strategy and visibility over twelve months.
The program culminated into a three-week voyage, with the largest ever all-female assemblage to Antarctica which recently concluded in it’s fourth cohort. The journey started with the idea that a new model of leadership is essential to handling the unprecedented challenges and opportunities posed by the 21st century.
A Leadership Initiative
The initiative aims to create a global community of 1000 women leaders advocating for collaborative methods and personal commitment. This new model is defined as one that is more collaborative, inclusive, more legacy minded and more trustworthy with assets, people and money.
In its final month, the program has incorporated the voyage to Antarctica in which participants gained insights to issues of leadership, science, strategy and visibility. It is an integrated program delivered by an expert global faculty, supported by recorded content from leading experts and influencers within their fields. Lectures, personal and leadership development tools, coaching sessions, visibility training and the opportunity to develop meaningful collaborations were part of the curriculum.”
More On Christiana Figueres
Known for her distinctive brand of collaborative leadership and diplomacy, Figueres joined UNFCCC, the world body’s initiative on climate change in July 2010, months after the failure of the first conference in Copenhagen. As UN climate chief, she brokered the landmark Paris Agreement in 2015, defying the odds to unite nearly 200 countries on accelerating efforts to reduce carbon emissions and keep global warming below two degrees.
Having completed her assignment at the Paris climate change conference (COP21), Figueres remains involved in efforts to tackle climate change. In 2018, she travelled to Antarctica as part of Homeward Bound. Now, she is accelerating her commitment by mentoring 20 members of the Homeward Bound network who will be leading, participating in, or observing the negotiations at COP25 and beyond.
Women Who Participated
Including three women of Indian origin, namely Pallavi Prathivadi who is Academic General Practitioner, Department of General Practice, Monash University; Victoria, Australia, Mita Brierley who is Chief Business Officer, Astronomy Australia Ltd; Sydney, Australia and Aparna Lal who is a Research Fellow and Program Lead, Spatial Epidemiology, Australian National University ACT, Australia.
Pallavi commented, “I am really passionate about improving women’s leadership. We need to maximize what it is to be a woman and take that to incredible leadership positions in all fields like finance, business but particularly in STEMM. I am hoping we will get more Indian participants in programs like this, in order to encourage women who are so successful in STEMM fields to take on leadership positions and change science and STEMM policy.”
Aparna Lal said, “I believe we need great diversity and inclusion of voices at the decision-making table when we talk about climate change and environment. I not only want to be at the table when these decisions are being made, I want my voice to influence the nature and direction of this conversation.”
Mita Brierley born in Kerala, India, says, “I always had this urge to make a difference in the world. As I have gotten older and became a mother of young boys, my goals have changed more and I want to make an impact now.”