Outdoor Education & Wharton School
International experts in leadership and innovation training recently took part in a customised outdoor education programme at Tai Poutini Polytechnic.
Dave Ritchie, head of department Outdoor Education, devised a trip designed to showcase different activities. ‘With the sea, mountains and rivers within easy reach of the West Coast, I came up with a journey that’s unique to New Zealand, challenging and inspiring, and demands physical competence in several different disciplines.’
Guests included Preston Cline, associate director of Leadership Ventures at Wharton business school in America, and Rodrigo Jordan, founding director of Instituto Vertical, an adventure education and expeditions company based in Chile.
As part of its MBA programme, Wharton offers students the opportunity to participate in handson leadership and team building experiences in various locations around the world. Instituto Vertical delivers such programmes in Chile and, as a result of its connection with Instituto Vertical, TPP has been invited to create a New Zealand experience.
TPP has an excellent reputation for its outdoor education programmes and Ritchie is passionate about the value of leadership training delivered outdoors. ‘There are some things you just can’t learn in the classroom. Taking students outdoors takes them out of their comfort zone, creating high levels of uncertainty and ambiguity, but also helping them learn how to make decisions, solve problems, think creatively and work as a team.’
That, ultimately, is what it’s all about: communication, teamwork and developing skills that can be successfully applied in any setting.