Mission WOW Interview

There aren't adequate words to describe how much we admire the work of Mission WOW (Women of Winter/Wheels/Water). Its tagline, 'Inspiring women to challenge themselves!' is the goal, and Mission WOW does just that (be it on bikes, skis, surfboards etc.) by creating events, adventures and supportive environments for women to learn and challenge themselves. It's as simple and as powerful as that. Founder and Director Jo Guest felt there was a need to create a community around ideas exchange for women in the outdoors and a medium through which to trade knowledge and skills, share experiences and plan future adventures. Thus Mission WOW was born and since 2009 has built a vibrant and growing community of women who share a common curiosity to discover their full potential.


What’s rockin’ in the world of Mission WOW this year?

Big things for all the women out there! Our NZ summer saw three Mountain Bike (MTB) skills events; Wanaka, Christchurch and Queenstown, and one surf and yoga weekend in the Catlins. March took us to Europe for the 4th year to hold a ski touring weekend around Chamonix with SCOTT Sports and Scotland got a MTB skills weekend.

The New Zealand winter will be packed with events focusing on snow safety skills in the backcountry for skiers and snowboarders around Wanaka, Queenstown, Canterbury and Mt Ruapehu.  

We’ve also teamed up with Release Wanaka to develop a luxury winter backcountry retreat – a very different product to normal Mission WOW events, aimed at the higher end of the market, which will hopefully fund the grass roots projects.


What businesses or trends are inspiring you at the moment? 

Pretty much anything where the energy is flowing; instead of something benefiting one person. If it can be done slightly differently and benefit many people, we consider that success. If we can re-invest whatever resources we have to offer back into our community, we will benefit from living in a stronger community. Essentially it’s the cradle-to-cradle principle applied to business. 

You guys at OPC. You are inspiring us to give, and providing us with a framework to make it happen and be involved with what we care about.

Other inspiration includes: www.humaneeducation.org & www.alpineinitiatives.org


What place does generosity have in business?

To us, generosity means giving what you’re able to give willingly. Recognising that we are part of a community on a local and global scale means recognising that we are all responsible for creating the kind of community and world we want to live in. That applies in personal life and in business.


Name an everyday action that makes the world a better place, yet is underrated.

Sharing. We’re taught it from a young age – “share your toys”. When you share something – whether it’s knowledge, experience, friends, or anything else – others can learn and gain from it. It feels good and we save more time, money, energy and much more. I’ve learnt so much from those who have taken the time to share with me, and I endeavour to pay it forward.


Tell us three things that inspire you and why.

The Do Lectures – Their idea is a simple one: that people who Do things can inspire the rest of us to go and Do things, too. Each year they invite a set of people to come and tell what it is that they Do. The talks are filmed so we can all watch and listen to their stories and then get up and go Do what you've dreamed of Doing!

Cradle to Cradle thinking: Remaking the way we make things in terms of ecologically intelligent design and large scale transformation in the way we make the things we make.

Brene Brown is a research professor in the US who has spent the past ten years studying vulnerability, courage, authenticity and shame. She is honest and funny, and easy to relate to. Her stories and research inspire me to want to keep learning and challenging myself.