‘Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world.” – Margaret Mead

It was in 1986 that I joined a group of hikers, rock climbers and mountaineers in Mumbai, as a young and naïve enthusiast in his mid-twenties. And sure enough, I got the opportunity to do things on a grand scale with these stellar people. And once I got a taste of things to come, I latched on to the group and man has it been a journey!

Event led to event and project followed project, each one filled with amazing adventure, infinite excitement and remarkable achievements. I have benefitted from these like nobody’s business, and experienced untold joy through it all.

Outdoor Leadership, NOLS, Shantanu Pandit, Outdoor Pandit, outdoorpandit.com

Here are a few glimpses:

  • Rock climbing ventures in the Sahyadri
  • An expedition to the world’s third highest and India’s highest mountain, Mt. Kangchenjunga
  • An Outdoor Education Programme through a trust that we had formed, and which was based solidly on the concept of outdoor education
  • A business in adventure tourism
  • An extended period of years (which continues!) involving advocacy for safety in adventure programmes through yet another non-profit, with remarkable effectiveness in having influenced state-level policy on adventure programmes

And through all of these, a core group of people have persevered through thick and thin, showing remarkable resilience.

In the recent past I did a course called ‘Risk Management for Outdoor Programs’ conducted by Jeff Baierlein of ‘Viristar’. Talk of stellar people! He spotted stuff in a case study I submitted that could be of more value in broader contexts, encouraged me to write about the remarkable work done by our non-profit formed to do advocacy work in safety in adventure programmes, and then went on to write his own article where he compares our work with similar work undertaken in other countries. After which, Jeff suggested to the Association of Experiential Education (AEE) a webinar where I could present my views on developments in my home state, Maharashtra.

Absarokas, Rocky Mountains, NOLS, NOLS Course, Shantanu Pandit, Outdoor Pandit, Outdoorpandit.com, Outdoor Leadership

I of course knew about AEE, and have in fact been involved in writing the ‘Self Assessment Study’ required for the Accreditation Program of AEE where the Hanifl Centre for Outdoor Education was applying for accreditation (read about it here in my blogpost). To be given the opportunity of presenting on the AEE platform is indeed a privilege, and recognition of the years of humongous efforts put in by a multitude of people, all led by the ‘core group’ of people I refer to above.

About the webinar:


‘Risk Management Advances in Outdoor Adventure: A Historical Perspective From Maharashtra, India’.

Briefly, a note on the content:

I look at a few incidents & projects that I was involved in, their impact on me and others, and a recent regulation that we collectively influenced. As a framework, I use a Risk Management Model which covers a comprehensive set of Risk Domains with over ten components.

Date: March 23, 2022
Time: 10:30 p.m. IST (1:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time)

Zoom registration link:  https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZYrcO6vrz8oH9C7hVXn5bavXuwbyyW3Srur

The recording of the webinar will be available later on the AEE website (https://www.aee.org/).

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