Sunniva Sorby
Author: Hearts in the Ice

Sunniva Sorby

MI’19 – Polar Explorer

hearts in the ice

meet sunniva

Polar Ambassador, Author and Explorer Sunniva Sorby made history in 1993 as part of the first team of women to ski to the South Pole and in 2021 as the first duo of women to overwinter solo in the Arctic. With over 25 years in the polar regions as historian and naturalist guide she is an advocate for protecting the Polar regions through storytelling, citizen science, youth engagement and visual inspiration. An accomplished keynote speaker she co-presented at the UN Cop26 on the “Importance of polar education to understand climate change. Sunniva’s goal is to continue to inspire better service to the earth and to each other through a project co-created with Hilde Falun Strom “Hearts in the Ice (HITI). Through HITI they have reached over 100,000 youth globally on subjects all related to climate change with the goal of turning climate despair into hope and action.

hearts in the ice
Nominated by: Milbry Polk MED'95
Class of 2022 Location USA
Author: Hearts in the Ice

My goal is to show what inclusive leadership looks like. It is diverse and it includes women in all types of roles and industries that have been otherwise dominated by men. The world of exploration is a great example. Ego gets us to the door of exploring but the purpose of the exploring must be for the sake of knowledge that serves to educate others. There is no bravado in that it is selfless. The knowledge, the understanding around bearing witness, and what gets shared, should be for the greater good. Exploration today should be something that elevates, educates and informs us all so that we can be better caretakers. I am using my voice and narrative to share how valuable explorers and exploration can be to engage the public in a way that is about all of us. When you blend science, exploration and youth, you have a powerful mix of ways to inspire and inform the next generation of explorers.

“I am fascinated by the human potential and how impactful we are when we share our knowledge and love of exotic remote places, and other cultures.”

- Sunniva Sorby
Sunniva drilling for ice cores
Sunniva drilling for ice cores Author: Hearts in the Ice

My first sighting of Antarctica was on my 67-day slog to the South Pole. Thirty years later, I started a program my Hearts in the Ice, in the Arctic of Svalbard. The lines of latitude and longitude converged with insights I burn to share. I am fascinated by the human potential and how impactful we are when we share our knowledge and love of exotic remote places, and other cultures. My life has been exploration, travel, community, connectivity and giving back, if even in small ways. It was on a voyage to Antarctica with guests aged 20-90 inspired to learn, that I learned about citizen science and its impact. The world of expedition cruise ship travel has the power to transform people and create ambassadors, individual by individual.

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