For many of the twelve Israeli and Palestinian business leaders, the highlight of the ten-day expedition in May 2011 was the 3am hike to the top of the Velebit mountain range.
From the top, the leaders – the newest members of OB Peacebuilding’s Palestinian-Israeli Emerging Leaders Program- watched the sunrise over the Adriatic Sea, hugging and congratulating each other for making it to the top. The hike was one of many memories of the expedition that will inspire the efforts of these traditional enemies to work together throughout the next year and years to come.
This group of carefully selected business leaders represents the third cadre of the Palestinian-Israeli Emerging Leaders Program, a shared experiential learning and leadership development initiative that seeks to build trust among and increase the leadership skills of the participants. The experience begins with a ten-day wilderness catalyst expedition and continues throughout the year with workshops in the region and two retreats. A joint effort of Outward Bound Peacebuilding and Search for Common Ground Jerusalem, the program empowers emerging leaders aged 25-45 from different sectors and backgrounds to launch initiatives that improve their local communities and reach across the Israeli-Palestinian divide.
Wild boars, nightly newscasts, and a heavy diet of sardines were other highlights of the 2011 Croatia expedition. Facilitated by OB Peacebuilding’s own Nettie Pardue, Director of Programs, and hosted by the Outward Bound Croatia team represented by executive director Vladimir Mesaric (Dado) and program manager and instructor Orsat Kratofil, the program is a successful example of the collaboration Outward Bound Peacebuilding seeks to initiate with Outward Bound Schools and Centers around the world.