Globally we are experiencing complex environmental challenges of international importance, including climate change, habitat destruction, loss of biodiversity, pollution and water scarcity. The environmental, social and economic impacts are all too apparent—depleted and degraded ecosystems that have adverse impacts on human health, food security, and social and political stability.
There is a key role for science in developing solutions to these problems but it requires scientists to be able to lead, communicate and collaborate with others in different science disciplines and with those outside science and academia.
As one past participant commented: “I found myself leading a major interdisciplinary project with several European partners and I was flying blind, having to learn on the job”
Barefoot have collaborated on a number of leadership programmes for scientists, researchers and engineers – for example, we have worked closely since 2009 with Stanford University’s Leopold Leadership Programme http://leopoldleadership.stanford.edu
The demand for these skills is the greatest amongst those in mid-career. They have advanced enough to have opportunities for leadership and influence, whilst still having much of their career still ahead of them.