JCU Alumna and Environmental Activist Zornitza Hadjitodorova Returns from International Antarctic Expedition
JCU alumna and environmental activist Zornitza Hadjitodorova recently returned from her second International Antarctic Expedition with the 2041 Foundation. She was one of 140 representatives from government, industry, NASA, universities, and companies like Google and Shell, who attended workshops on sustainability and future technologies.
Zornitza currently serves as Corporate Social Responsibility Ambassador at Ingram Micro in Dubai, where she is Business Unit Manager and Head of Technical Training.
“I am beyond thrilled to have returned to the Antarctic, the last great wilderness on earth, with one of the most incredible people I know – Sir Robert Swan, OBE, a man of endless inspiration for environmental preservation and leadership,” says Zornitza, who graduated from JCU in 2005 with a degree in Business Administration.
Polar explorer Sir Robert Swan, OBE, the first person in history to walk both the North and South Poles, founded 2041 to acknowledge the Antarctic Treaty, which is due for review in the year 2041. At that time, Sir Swan worries that Antarctica, which is not a country, will be divided and claimed by several countries and its resources exploited.
“Climate change is blatantly obvious in the Antarctic,” said Zornitza. “We must all work to protect our world for future generations. We must remember that, as Sir Robert Swan says, ‘The greatest threat to our Planet is the belief that someone else will protect it.’ Our individual efforts all count, every one of us makes a difference.”
Zornitza has been concerned with protecting the environment since her childhood in Bulgaria. During her studies at JCU, she volunteered with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW). After graduating in 2005, she started her own project, Our Breathing Planet, a non-profit educational blog designed to inspire readers to protect the planet. While completing her MBA at INSEAD, she did an internship with Greenpeace International.
After her first time in Antarctica in 2011, Zornitza felt she had to go back. “My first expedition to the Antarctic quite literally changed my life. I felt the need to return and meet more people who were engaged globally in protecting the environment. These expeditions are a fantastic platform to exchange experience, come up with new ideas, and get inspired to do more,” she said.
Looking back on her time at JCU, Zornitza remembers it fondly. “My years at JCU were some of the happiest of my life. I met many people who cared about the environment as much as me and who were involved in projects for its protection, both locally and internationally. It was inspiring and humbling to meet others whose experience I could learn from, whose ideas propelled me further.”
She welcomes others to learn more about 2041 and their expeditions to Antarctica. She said, “Everyone can make small, simple changes that combined have a significant, positive impact.”
Watch the video from the International Antarctic Expedition 2016.