FoundLost is an expedition community giving people across the globe chances to join one-off, objective-based expeditions to the most remote corners of our planet. Our youth expeditions are aimed at ambitious 16–24 year olds with a thirst to take a step back in the outdoors. Visit to learn more.

In 2014 I was attending a Royal Geographic Society talk given by Alastair Humphreys, a charismatic and accomplished explorer who talked about years of enthralling expeditions such as cycling around the world, rowing across the Atlantic and walking 1,000 miles through the empty quarter in Oman. …

FoundLost is an expedition community giving people across the globe chances to join one-off, objective-based expeditions to the most remote corners of our planet. Our youth expeditions are aimed at ambitious 16–24 year olds with a thirst to take a step back in the outdoors. Visit to learn more.

In 2009, we had a dream to give every young person the opportunity to take a step back from daily life and challenge themselves physically and mentally for a cause. That dream culminated in 6 life-changing expeditions, which you can read about here.

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Walking 1000 miles across the Gobi Desert 2011. Emmanuel Berthier ©.

Each of our expeditions, from walking across the Gobi Desert to Cycling across Canada, have a focused scientific or humanitarian objective. Our most recent expedition to the “Land of High Passes”, in Ladakh, India, saw a group of 16 young people become the youngest team to summit the 19,000 foot Parangla Pass and trek 150 kilometers deep into the Himalayas. …

On a rainy day in 2008, two 15 year olds decided to walk across England to support two causes they cared about.

Nine months later, after a steep learning curve that included plotting the route, sourcing sponsors and training for the grueling 600 km we planned to walk in two weeks, myself and Charles Waite-Roberts successfully completed the challenge. The experience of combining philanthropy and an endurance expedition changed both of our lives for the better.

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Charles and I at the start of our first expedition: walking 600 kilometers across England for two causes we cared deeply about. Charles went on to become an international rowing athlete, representing Great Britain.

After the first expedition — I couldn’t get enough. I embarked on expeditions around the world — each more challenging the next — for causes I cared deeply about. In the process, I became the youngest person awarded a Fellowship of the Royal Geographical Society in Asia and studied at Harvard. Whilst on this journey, I recognized that there are myriad youth looking to join tough expeditions with scientific, humanitarian or philanthropic purposes. …

When we set about starting Pathship, we were in the midst of an Education Technology ecosystem that favoured vanity metrics and expansion, over personalization and empathy. We didn’t think that the future of education lay in cold, passive and somewhat sterile MOOCs or automated course materials. Great education experiences are distinctly human, and at Pathship we wanted to use technology to enhance that.

At Pathship, we have three core focuses to make learning a life-changing experience in the world of tomorrow:

  1. We believe in the power of a great teacher —All of us can recall one or two teachers who changed the way we think, influenced a love for a subject, even a career… Yet many of today’s EdTech companies dilute, even replace, the power of a great teacher. We believe first and foremost in the power of great instruction and our products will always put humans at the center of our education experiences. We’re constantly exploring and building new ways to use technology to massively improve instructor-led learning. …

Since time incarnate, labeling kids smart has been part of the fabric of education. I, along with millions of kids across the globe, was thoroughly acclimated the fact that a few kids (never myself) being labelled more intelligent than others. However, research is indicating that labeling kids smart could be detrimental to their development. For today’s students, being labeled smart can cause several problems:

  1. It makes it difficult to handle failure
  2. Kids who are constantly told they are smart are generally taught to avoid risk
  3. Relativity: if one child is smart, then several others, relatively speaking, are ‘dumb’
  4. It makes kids complacent and a little…

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20 years ago, if you told a marketer that they could alter and optimize their campaigns after going live, they would have laughed at you. The internet turned the world of marketing on its head and provided endless new opportunities for reaching your target audience. Today, HR is on the cusp of a similar revolution.

There was an old joke in the marketing world before the internet: when you asked a customer “How did you hear about us” they responded in one of three ways:

  1. They don’t know
  2. They don’t know they don’t know
  3. They feel bad that they don’t know so they make up the first thing that comes to…

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Recently, Quartz published an article about the number of employees a company can have before it becomes difficult to maintain culture. The article is based on research conducted by Robin Dunbar, a professor of Evolutionary Psychology at Oxford University, who finds that the ‘magic’ number of relationships an average human can maintain is 150. This, Robin postulated, was the carrying capacity of a troop of monkeys. As with troops, his research found that companies face sudden cultural changes and new challenges once they grow more than 150 staff.

Part of the reason companies of less than 150 people have such strong culture is because every person knows all their colleagues, so communication is excellent. In an environment where everybody knows each other’s roles and responsibilities and has the chance to build relationships with almost all their colleagues, knowledge transfer occurs naturally. These organizations benefit from flat hierarchies, consensus-based decision making and assumptions around ownership of strategies and tasks. However, once the number of staff surpasses 150, relying on people alone to communicate important company information is a risky business. These challenges of enabling effective knowledge transfer exacerbate as companies become larger, where divisions become complete silos. …

This article is a part of the Spotlight Series, that focuses on showcasing Pathship’s employees and the problems they are solving to revolutionize online education.

In mid-2015, Todd Gibson interviewed for a role at Pathship with co-founders Zach and Chris. Within two weeks they offered him a job and he had convinced his wife along with their two young children to migrate from California to Hong Kong. At over 13,000 kilometers, the journey would be once in a lifetime for many — but for Todd, this was a trip he had already made decades earlier. …

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If you’d like to know the archetype company that will survive and thrive in the 21st Century, read no further than the World Economic Forum’s 2016 “Future Workforce Strategy” report. The report discusses some fascinating trends that they have observed and companies have reported about disruption, the changing nature of jobs and the evolution of skills in industries.

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2015–2010 Employment Outlook and Skills Stability (Source: Future of Jobs Survey, World Economic Forum)

Demand for Employment & Skill Stability

The key focus lies with two questions:

  1. Will there be a high or low demand for skills in a particular industry?
  2. What will the stability of skillsets in those industries be like?

The World Economic Forum’s 2016 “Future Workforce Strategy” report shows that almost no industry has both stability in future employment opportunities or skills. The growing trend we’re seeing is that skills that matter in today’s workforce will mostly be irrelevant tomorrow. The rest of the report goes on to highlight the most effective ways that companies can prepare themselves for a radically different world that has a need for fundamentally different skills. Companies today are beginning to realize that their inability to cope with challenges and grasp future opportunities is a consequence of the instability of their staffs’ skillsets, and how change is managed and implemented within their organizations. The majority of those surveyed in this report agreed that an “insufficient understanding of disruptive change” was the greatest barrier to the implementation of change. …

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Dilettante technology investors and founders’ tunnel vision on ‘exit strategies’ is shortening the longevity of their companies and consequently could be creating a bubble.

IN early September, the technology review published an article suggesting that technology is exponentially shortening the lifespan of companies; indeed we see that in the last fifty years the company life span for S&P 500 companies has shrunk by over 60%. …


Christopher Schrader

Founder of the 24 Hour Race and FoundLost. Youngest person to walk across the Gobi Desert. Lived with Nomads and cycled across Canada.

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