My Antarctic Expedition, March 2016 – South Again
I am beyond thrilled to participate twice in the International Antarctic Expedition, the last great wilderness on Earth, with one of the most incredible people I know – Sir Robert Swan, OBE.
In fact, Rob is the first person in history to walk to both the North and South Poles, he is a man of endless inspiration for environmental preservation and leadership, wonderful friend, and great mentor to me for the past seven years.
Below is our International Antarctic Expedition Film (18 min in total). Meanwhile, check out my polar plunge in -2C water at 13:21. ❄ Some more thoughts from me at 14:43.
Why we Went
First, because of Rob himself. Polar explorer, environmental leader and public speaker Robert Swan, OBE founded 2041. Swan has dedicated his life to the preservation of the Antarctic by the promotion of sustainability to combat the effects of climate change.
Second, because of the cause. Interestingly, Antarctica is not a country: it has no government and no permanent population. In fact, the entire continent is set aside as a scientific preserve per the Antarctic Treaty which is up for revision in the year 2041.
What happens then is Sir Swan’s worry: different countries have already started claiming parts of the continent. Regrettably, territorial claims come with exploitation. Yet, is humanity visionary enough to leave one place alone?
Third, because we need to carry the cause forward. Of course, the participants in the yearly International Antarctic Expedition build on Swan’s dedication by informing, engaging and inspiring the next generation of leaders to take responsibility, to be sustainable, and to know that now is the time for action in policy development, business generation and future technologies.
Certainly, through the Antarctic Expedition, 2041’s vision is to have committed leaders, emerging from every corner of society, working together to create a sustainable world. More about 2041 here.
Who we Were
The Antarctic Expedition 2016 participants: 140 reps from industry (Siemens, Google, Shell, Etihad, Lockheed Martin, etc.), NASA, governments, schools, top universities (INSEAD, Harvard, Stanford, LBS), start-ups, management consulting firms, and more.
What we Did
Most of all, we did countless workshops on sustainability! In addition, we did a lot of work on leadership, group work, story telling, inspiring others, and positivity. Also, hiking, running away from wildlife and getting blown away by winds and nature’s magnificence.
Antarctica is by far the hardest place I know to talk about. Whenever I try to describe the experience of being there, words dissolve. There are no points of reference. Really, in the most literal sense, Antarctica is inhuman.
What we Took Away
Last, the International Antarctic Expedition gave us inspiration, leadership, knowledge, motivation. Climate change is blatantly obvious in the Antarctic. We must all work to protect our world for future generations.
Indeed, we must remember that, as Sir Robert Swan says,
“The greatest threat to our Planet is the belief that someone else will protect it”.
Our individual efforts all count, every one of us makes a difference. Ultimately, there is so much left in this world that’s worth fighting for.
In conclusion, would I jump in the Antarctic water again? 100% YES!
Thank you Robert Swan and 2041 Foundation. I am now going back to writing for Our Breathing Planet, more inspired than ever.
Zornitza S. Hadjitodorova, Our Breathing Planet, Founder
Related Stories: My Antarctica Expedition and Robert Swan’s “2041”