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‘Symposium as Sea’ in Antarctica

last modified Oct 21, 2018 01:28 PM
c2014 student Hannah Laeverenz Schlogelhofer has returned from an expedition to Antarctica as part of the Homeward Bound Leadership Programme.
‘Symposium as Sea’ in Antarctica

by Laura Trotta

Homeward Bound is a year-long programme for women in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine (STEMM).  It is a highly competitive programme which works to develop the leadership styles of women in STEMM.  The aim is to have 1,000 women take part over the next ten years to build a global network “to influence policy and decision making as it shapes our planet”.

Hannah was part of the 78 women from all over the world selected for this programme. She felt that the entire process from submitting the application to the completing the three-week expedition to Antarctica was a learning experience. Leading up to the expedition, she took part in an online year-long leadership programme. This helped the participants to take stock of their leadership style and to develop their own rather than copy the styles that they have seen before. It is also meant for them to define leadership so that it is inclusive to women. They formed groups to focus on specific topics and strategies.

The programme closed with a three-week expedition, where the groups delivered presentations covering climate change, plastic pollution and energy transition. They also shared their own work in the “Symposium at Sea” enabling collaborations with fellow scientists.

Not only did Hannah get to navigate large ice blocks on a double barrelled ship instead of an ice breaker while they were heading back from the southernmost point but she was able to see humpback whales, seals and penguins.  They visited the Argentinian, American, British and Chinese research stations on the Antarctic continent who fed back the impact of global sustainability has had on the Antarctic.

To find out more about Hannah’s experience, please visit

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