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Why Odyssey? | The Odyssey Story | Mission & Values

Why Odyssey?

As a committed contributor to a Global Culture of Sustainability, we’re excited to be working with schools that are leading the drive to equip and inspire a new generation of Global Citizens. Through environmental education, leadership training, cross-cultural dialogue and integrity-rich service learning initiatives, students emerge with essential life skills and become effective stewards of the natural world. But there’s more!

Every program we design means a new opportunity to contribute to local communities and service learning projects. Our field trips are designed not just with the school in mind, but with a deep appreciation of the positive ripple effects that can extend beyond the visiting student group. Our brand new facilities in West Java mean we’re now able to take this ethos even further as we’re helping to create an increasingly diverse range of employment opportunities in the areas where we operate.

The Odyssey story

Odyssey Institute was created in 2009 by two passionate educators and world travellers – Ben Tamblyn and Jamie Woodall. Drawing on their past experiences in designing and facilitating expeditions for youth, the company was born out of a vision for an Indonesian social enterprise dedicated to experiential education; a belief that to truly educate ourselves we must travel – hence the name: an “odyssey” is, quite simply, a meaningful journey.

Having formerly been involved in creating the experientially-focused Green Camp at the Green School in Bali, Odyssey Institute’s founders quickly recognized the demand from international schools for a service provider who could deliver exceptional field-trips throughout the Indonesian archipelago.

Ten years later, the company has grown into a vibrant social enterprise

Whether delivered from our facilities in West Java or anywhere else in the archipelago, Odyssey Institute’s programs take students on learning adventures that express a passion for experiential education and the pursuit of global citizenship.

Mission and Values

Odyssey Institute’s mission is to inspire and equip a new generation of global citizens. We champion the concept of experiential education and work with schools, teachers and partner organizations to deliver truly inspired, world-class learning adventures throughout the Indonesian archipelago.

We have five core values that drive everything we do

RELATIONSHIPS. COMMUNITY. SUSTAINABILITY.

Being of service to others and the communities we live in is an essential ingredient in the practice of Global Citizenship. We believe in cultivating humility, selflessness, empathy and artful listening skills. The result is a deepening of our relationships with each other and the natural world.

TEAMWORK. AFFIRM. COMMUNICATE.

A collaborative spirit lives at the heart of Odyssey Institute and we prioritize collaboration above competition. As a community of passionate experiential educators we work to identify needs, strengths and synergies and harness our full potential across language barriers and cultural differences.

RISK. INNOVATE. EXPLORE.

We believe a life well-lived must be filled with adventure! We are experts in safely taking students out of their comfort zones, in exploring our “edges”, in seeking out new people, places and things. These experiences create rich opportunities for personal growth.

OWNERSHIP. SKILL. VISION.

Leadership is an inward endeavor, for effective leadership demands self aware individuals. Anytime one is removed from their comfort zone, and confronted with a unique experience, all within the confines of an intimate community setting, ample opportunities for self evaluation abound.

Our learning adventures provide students with individual and group opportunities to identify issues and develop a pro-active, solution-oriented approach. We mentor empowered, self-aware leaders who feel inspired and equipped to deal with life.

HOLISM. MULTIPLE INTELLIGENCES. DYNAMIC EXPERIENCES.

We are committed to a holistic, experiential approach to education that celebrates all that constitutes human nature and what young people have to offer the world. To educate the “whole of a human being” means to provide stimulation (opportunities to learn) in each of the following five areas:

  • Mental
  • Emotional
  • Social 
  • Physical
  • Spiritual

We believe we must engage heart, mind, muscle and all other forms of human intelligence in the pursuit of learning. As professional educators, this provides us with a profound challenge, for we must also allow our own ability to facilitate learning to constantly evolve.

Who we are

Odyssey Institute employs the best and the brightest passionate educators dedicated to inspiring the next generation of Global Citizens.

At our headquarters in Bali, our senior administration team is comprised of program managers, logisticians and operations experts.

We’re a highly skilled, multi-lingual team with a ton of industry experience that makes everything “in the field” possible. Detail-oriented self-starters with excellent communication skills and we know our role is vital to the success of Odyssey Institute’s programs throughout the archipelago.

Our “in-field” teams are a multi-ethnic mixture of experienced educators, outdoor guides, logisticians and risk managers. They are well-versed in the methodologies of experiential learning

Our approach to education means we create meaningful learning opportunities which are inquiry-based, letting students discover their own lessons through thoughtful questioning.

Meet the team

Check out our bios to learn more about who we are and why we do what we do!

Meet the team

Check out our bios to learn more about who we are and why we do what we do!

Founder and Executive Director

Ben

Operations Manager

Zaki

Business Manager

Arman

Program Manager

Soel

Logistics Coordinator

Kadek

Marketing and Sales

Ellie

Program Manager

Nicole

Operations Manager

Yeni

Odyssey life

If the descriptions that follows seem to resonate with you, you should get in touch. We’re always open to new recruits and projects so let’s collaborate!

We’re fascinated by the rich cultural tapestry of humanity and in awe of nature’s endless diversity

We’d rather listen than tell. Our curiosity informs our teaching. We are curators of authentic experience.

We’re fascinated by the rich cultural tapestry of humanity and in awe of nature’s endless diversity

  • We’d rather listen than tell
  • Our curiosity informs our teaching
  • We are curators of authentic experience

We are educators. Outdoor guides. Multi-lingual.

Some of us are from Indonesia, others abroad. We practice yoga and permaculture. Tai chi. Meditate. Surf. We are long distance runners. We take pictures, write, sing and cook.

We love campfires, story telling and exploring the unknown.

We believe travel adventures are an integral part of a truly great education.

This is us!

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Ben Tamblyn

MSc – Founder and Executive Director

Ben holds an MSc in Anthropology and believes passionately in the power of experiential education. He brings boundless energy to his vision of a social enterprise that uses experiential education to empower Global Citizens.

Ben is the quintessential “boot strapping” social entrepreneur: an educator and world traveler who has combined his skills and passions to form a truly visionary company. Ben has been designing and facilitating educational travel programs for over 20 years and has led youth expeditions in North America, Europe, South East Asia and throughout the Himalayas (India, Nepal and Tibet).

Formerly an aid worker and youth counsellor, Ben’s “aha! moment” came whilst studying anthropology in Nepal where he concluded that the exploration of unfamiliar cultures and eco-systems is essential for the cultivation of personal growth and Global Citizenship. For Ben, travel adventures belong at the very heart of what defines a quality education.

Sulistyo ‘Soel’ Winarno

Program Manager

Soel is originally from Yogyakarta, Indonesia, where he earned a degree in English before dedicating himself full time to youth leadership development through wilderness immersion. Soel has worked in the outdoor industry in Indonesia for almost 30 years. Formerly a member of Outward Bound’s Senior Management team, Soel has worked for numerous experiential education service providers in South East Asia, China and the US.

Soel is also a Founder and Co-chair of the Experiential Learning Association of Indonesia. As Program Manager at Odyssey Institute, his vast experience, reputation and fluent command of English, Indonesian and Javanese make him ideally suited to leading our facilitation teams.

Zaki Satya Rosadi

Operations Manager

Zaki educates across borders. He began his career as a lecturer of Cross-Cultural Understanding at Gadjah Mada University where he also served as the treasurer of the English department and a Community Service program coordinator. Prior to joining Odyssey Institute, Zaki facilitated programs for Where There Be Dragons and the JUMP! Foundation. Within Odyssey Institute Zaki’s communication skills are renowned. His fluent command of English, Indonesian, and Javanese make him ideally suited to his role as Operations Manager. Zaki is able to bridge cultural divides and coordinate the alignment of people and resources, which is critically important to the delivery of high calibre experiential education programming. Zaki is also an excellent facilitator and a certified Wilderness First Responder (WFR).

Arman

Business Manager

Arman started off his career at Odyssey Institute as our accountant. Although he still occupies that role it quickly became clear that this was an ambitious man with an appetite for learning and professional growth! Since joining the team Arman has consistently shown himself to be a highly dependable member of Odyssey Institute’s core administration. A true self-starter, Arman leaps at new tasks with a perpetual grin! Arman brings an in-depth knowledge of Indonesian legal and fiscal systems and offers critical support as we navigate Indonesia’s dynamic bureaucratic webs.

Kadek

Logistics Coordinator

Kadek is Odyssey Institute’s longest serving employee and has worked to support programming in various parts of the archipelago. Kadek manages the Bali equipment warehouse and Odyssey Institute’s Bali-based logistics teams. He is also affectionately known as our “best dressed” member of staff and consistently demonstrates impressive “wardrobe management”, even in the most remote of locations!

Nicole

Business Dev Integrator

Nicole identifies as a global citizen and digital nomad, who is passionate about changing how people work. Her aim is to create learning opportunities, improve processes and develop products/services that have a positive impact on the world. Nicole has spent the last 10 years developing creative learning programs for adults to shift their approach to work, as well as coaching small organizations on how to grow their business and build a business that people want to work for. Her aim with Odyssey is to grow our offerings by listening closely to the needs of our clients and ensuring that in-house we’re all on task and smiling.

Ellie Slade

Marketing and Sales Manager

Ellie is a dedicated communications professional with over 20 years experience in the commercial and public sectors. Originally from the UK, she headed the communications team for a leading UK charity and has managed an eclectic range of activities from fundraising dinners at the Royal Palaces to national TV and print campaigns.

For the last 10 years she has lived in South East Asia, and has kept busy bringing up a young family. She has also continued working with local charities, in fundraising and strategic communications roles as well business development work for corporate clients. Living in Singapore, Ellie is ideally placed to help us nurture and develop new relationships with the ever expanding, dynamic international schools market.

Yeni Wijaya

Operations Manager

Yeni is another long-serving member of the Odyssey team. She is renowned for her organizational skills and serene disposition, even in the face of an incoming group of 200+ middle schoolers! Yeni is equally at home communicating with facilitation and logistics teams as well as teachers and can do so in Balinese, Indonesian and English.

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