The changing light illuminates the undulations of the Dakota badlands in Theodore Roosevelt National Park. Photo: Michele Falzone/Alamy.

Re-map the Landscape
of Discovery

The Pathfinder Prize

Exploration societies of old once funded grand expeditions, but discovery has changed. Now, it’s about understanding instead of conquering. The Pathfinder Prize is an annual award of $15,000 to fund a global expedition of the modern age. Our Allies decide the winner. You take us to the frontiers of exploration.

 

Learn how to apply here.

 

DATES TO REMEMBER

July 20: Proposal Deadline

August-September: Expert Panel Reviews Proposals

October 1: Top Three Pathfinder Teams Announced

November 1, 2 and 3: Top Three Pathfinder Teams Present to Allies

November 3-13: Allies Vote for Expedition Winner

Late 2022: Virtual Ethos of Exploration Event and Prize Ceremony

Become an Ally

As an Ally, you decide the winner — and follow them to the frontiers of exploration.

Meet the Selection Committee

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Panelist TBA

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Panelist TBA

Sabine Bergmann, Co-founder and Co-CEO of Hidden Compass
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Sabine K. Bergmann

Co-founder / Co-CEO

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Sivani Babu

Co-founder / Co-CEO

Sivani Babu

Co-founder/Co-CEO

Sivani Babu is the co-founder, co-CEO, and creative director of Hidden Compass. She is an award-winning journalist and nature photographer who has contributed to BBC Travel, CNN, Backpacker, Outdoor Photographer, Iron Horse Literary Review,and numerous other publications. Her work has been recognized in the Best American Travel Writing series and has appeared in exhibits from San Diego to the Sorbonne. Sivani graduated from the University of Chicago with three majors — economics, public policy studies, and political science — and one Lazarused newspaper, the Chicago Weekly News. At the University of Pennsylvania Law School, she taught high schoolers about their constitutional rights. As a Teach for America corps member, she taught eighth graders about the tangency of math and literacy. After working on a Supreme Court case and occasionally using unicorn metaphors to explain the realities of sentencing to hundreds of indigent criminal defendants, Sivani left her career as a federal public defender to sail across the most brutal sea on earth. Since then, she has chased storms through Tornado Alley, searched for polar bears in the Arctic Circle, and survived a broken neck and a concussion while sailing through a lightning storm in the Bermuda Triangle. Sivani is working on her first book, Saving the Night: Shedding Light on the Importance of Darkness.

Buckaroo Portrait, Photo by: Kim F. Stone

Find your story.

Choose a Theme to Explore
Journey alongside characters in pursuit of elusive truths. Travel through extreme landscapes, to the far reaches of the planet, and into the unknown.
Get to know extraordinary characters from around the world — individuals, cultures, places, creatures, and even objects.
Investigate the relationship between humankind and the planet. Come face-to-face with Nature as an unpredictable danger, a wise teacher, and a precarious organism.
Delve into the dark and difficult aspects of a place, even when the darkness exists only in the narrator. Investigative pieces, historical exposés, and tales of narrators immersed in danger.
Inhabit the past, present, and future of a place. Unearth layers of ancient legends and traditions; probe the transient nature of the current moment; and venture out into prediction, peril, and possibility.

Photo: Dr. Gilad Fiskus

Photo: Sivani Babu

Photo: Kim F. Stone

Photo: Sivani Babu

Photo: Sugato Mukherjee

Photo: Geraint Rowland

Find your story.

Choose a Theme to Explore

Photo: Sivani Babu

01

Quest

Journey alongside characters in pursuit of elusive truths. Travel through extreme landscapes, to the far reaches of the planet, and into the unknown.

Photo: Sivani Babu

Buckaroo Portrait, Photo by: Kim F. Stone

Get to know extraordinary characters from around the world — individuals, cultures, places, creatures, and even objects.

Photo: Kim F. Stone

Investigate the relationship between humankind and the planet. Come face-to-face with Nature as an unpredictable danger, a wise teacher, and a precarious organism.

Photo: Sivani Babu

Delve into the dark and difficult aspects of a place, even when the darkness exists only in the narrator. Investigative pieces, historical exposés, and tales of narrators immersed in danger.

Photo: Sugato Mukherjee

Inhabit the past, present, and future of a place. Unearth layers of ancient legends and traditions; probe the transient nature of the current moment; and venture out into prediction, peril, and possibility.

Photo: Geraint Rowland