True North goes due South … again!

Bain Team Embarking 2

Last year, 5 Bain employees travelled for two weeks over land and sea to the world’s harshest continent. Their mission: to raise awareness of protecting Antarctica, ‘the last great wilderness on earth,’ and to promote sustainable living. The trip was a transformative experience for all five.

In just a few short weeks, a whole new batch of “Bainies” will be heading to Antarctica for that same transformative experience. We are delighted to announce that 4 Bain folks will be joining Robert Swan and the 2041 team to write the next chapter of this unbelievable story. They are: Srivatsan Rajan (Office Head of Bain India), Luba Mandzy Herring (Consultant of London), Siddharth Sastri (AC of New Delhi), and Diego Arguelles (AC of Mexico).

In just a few short years, Bain involvement in the 2041 expedition has grown from one Associate Consultant’s pipedream to a four-person expedition. This growth has been fuelled by the passion of the individual expedition members and further empowered by the support and excitement of the full Bain team behind us. This is our story so far:

2010: My pipedream

It started back in 2010, when I was in my penultimate year at the University of Bath. I had a pipedream: visit the great continent of Antarctica. With a bit of luck and a lot of perseverance, I became part of the March 2010 International Antarctica Expedition. (You can read more about that experience here.)

The Antarctica expedition is run by an organisation called 2041. 2041 is led by polar explorer and sustainability leader Robert Swan OBE, the first man to walk to both the North and South Poles. Antarctica is currently protected by a treaty that prohibits drilling or mining until the year 2041. 2041 is devoted to the preservation of Antarctica by educating tomorrow’s leaders on sustainability issues and inspiring them to take action.

Each year Robert selects 80 emerging leaders from companies around the world to join him on this voyage. Together, the team sails to the most fragile continent on earth to learn, not only about Antarctica’s fight for survival, but also how to be responsible leaders of the future.

My 2010 experience on the Antarctica expedition continues to fuel my passion to help create sustainable change. In October 2011 the next chapter of the story began as my own passion extended to other colleagues within Bain & Company.

2011-13: A spark ignites in London

As soon as I joined the London office of Bain & Company in 2011, I started working to connect the efforts of Robert Swan and the 2041 team with Bain’s deep commitment to sustainability. I introduced Robert to key members of the London office. Robert’s unbelievable passion and mantra of ‘actions not words’ struck a chord with Bain, and one of our senior leaders agreed to support the venture of getting a “Bainie on the boat.” A number of young Bain colleagues applied to 2041, and Robert selected two ‘youth’ members to join him on his journey. In the coming months, several of our management team also approached me about joining the expedition, and slowly but surely the Bain contingent grew from one to five.

Five Bain employees left for Antarctica in February 2013: Subash, Harriet, Sam, and Neysa from London, and Prateek from Delhi. They received tremendous support and enthusiasm from around the globe. Their role on the boat was not just to participate, but to help build and deliver 2041’s expedition programme. The team delivered workshops on one of Bain’s key toolkits for realising results and embedding change: Results Delivery®. The Bain team also held one-on-one working sessions with all 77 participants to help turn their pledges and passion into action and results.

2014: The mission continues

On their return from the expedition the team have continued to spread the message about the 2041 experience, igniting the passion in even more of our colleagues. In March 2014, Bain folks representing Mexico, India, and the UK will be present on the boat.

It is incredibly exciting to see passion for Antarctica to grow to include more and more Bain colleagues across the globe. The 2014 Bain team will set sail for Antarctica on March 8th. Keep following this blog for videos, pictures and updates leading up to and during the expedition and our progress in supporting 2041 to achieve their mission to protect ‘the last great wilderness on earth.’

– Ben, Senior Associate Consultant in London

2 Responses to True North goes due South … again!

  1. Pingback: Leadership: Combining inspiration and impact | The Founder's Mentality℠ blog

  2. Pingback: Exploring leadership in Antarctica | Bain Social Impact Blog

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