Why The World Needs Outward Bound
started in 1941 during the darkest days of WW2 as an authentic, rigorous, and adventurous “training for life” program; an educational experience focused on effectively preparing young people for an unpredictable future that offered an alternative to traditional models of education.
Today, in the face of increasingly complex and ever-evolving social, economic and environmental challenges, Outward Bound programs are more relevant than ever. Developments of the last decade, and most critically in the last two years, have accelerated the urgency of the following issues:
- Rising mental and physical health challenges in young people around the globe, particularly in the wake of the Covid 19 pandemic;
- The climate crisis;
- Increasing social isolation, fragmentation and polarization, a side-effect of technology’s increased role in our lives and society;
- Employability challenges and the gap between skills needed for the future and those developed through “formal” education.
All of these forces have been identified by the World Economic Forum (WEF) as amongst the most significant risks facing humanity. In what should be a time of great opportunity, people from all walks of life and all corners of the globe are increasingly disconnected – disconnected from themselves, from others and from the natural environment. Far too many suffer from a lack of confidence; a lack of physical activity and time in nature, and a lack of foundational “life skills” that lead to employability, to the development of positive well-being and the ability to achieve one’s full potential.
Outward Bound is uniquely positioned to address these pressing needs given our long history, global scope, and capacity to engage at multiple levels – local, regional and global. Outward Bound’s innovative “outdoor learning” approach directly addresses the global risks identified by the WEF through the offer of “a broader space for learning.” Our empowering educational programs allow participants to spend immersive time in nature in order to establish greater connections to themselves, to others, and to the natural world, and to build their personal and social resilience.
Now, more than ever, the world needs Outward Bound.