Greening the Antarctic Leadership Venture: Preparing Leaders for a Sustainable Future
AbstractIn 2008, the Wharton Leadership Venture Program and the Initiative for Global Environmental Leadership cooperated to bring an environmental theme to the Antarctic Leadership Venture. This week‐long experiential leadership education trek takes place on King George Island. Wharton MBAs camp out, trekking in an ecologically rich maritime Antarctic environment, primarily working on leadership skills and team dynamics. Following the first year’s experiment, the author volunteered to organize environmental curriculum ahead of the 2009 trek, as a representative of IGEL within the Venture Office. This paper details lessons learned from both 2008 and 2009, and proposes strategies for keeping the Antarctic trek rich with environmental education opportunities moving forward. The paper identifies other candidate Ventures for curriculum development both environmentally and in the broader theme of sustainability. The author recommends that the Venture Office continue to actively engage students on environmental issues ahead of the Antarctic Venture, and continue to welcome trail guests as appropriate. The author recommends that IGEL reevaluate and redefine the role of the IGEL Fellow: to make them responsible for curriculum support ahead of the trek, and perhaps for elements on the trail as well. The author identifies the Atacama, Patagonia, Adirondacks, and Mount Kilimanjaro treks as Ventures with the right foundations to reevaluate for sustainable curriculum development. The author considers what the next steps for both the Antarctic and other potential sustainability‐themed Ventures might look like, and urges that they be taken.