Step Up

You never change anything by fighting existing reality

To change something, build a new model that makes an existing model obsolete.

Buckminster Fuller


Old power works like a currency. It is held by a few, Once gained it is jealously guarded and the powerful have a substantial store of it to spend. It is closed, inaccessible, and leader driven. It downloads and it captures.

New power operates differently. It is made by many. It is open, participatory, and peer driven. It uploads, and it distributes. Like water or electricity, it’s most forceful when it surges. The goal with new power is not to hoard it but to channel it.  Heimans and Timms, HBR December 2014.

If you are wondering what a “living” economy is, it’s one that supports three areas of life – healthy natural life, vibrant and culturally unique community life, and long-term economic life…

It’s about a love of life, nature, animals, community, and unique local culture, a love of good food and family farms, and a love of democracy.

It’s also about a deep love of business and how we can embrace a way of doing business that is beautiful, that nurtures all we cherish, and that furthers the creation of a whole new economic system based on caring relationships.  Judy Wicks

For much of their journey, hosts will focus on how they can develop themselves, their employees and their enterprises to deliver the greatest value.

Because a key aspect of growing up is learning to shift from “I” to “we” in recognition that we individually benefit to the extent we serve the whole, tourism hosts have both an opportunity and a responsibility to help their communities flourish. This will mean demonstrating leadership and becoming active “change agents” who, following the advice of Buckminster Fuller, can envision and build a better model  and render the old obsolete.  They will join the growing global movement for transformation whose momentum Paul Hawken described some six years ago (see video).

To become effective, today’s change agents need to understand how traditional notions of power are changing. Old power has meant power exercised by the strong over the weak; it was exclusive, based on fear, self serving, and derived from laws, statutes and wealth. New power is inclusive, based on relationships of trust, common values and vision.

As far as tourism is concerned, many communities feel powerless to influence its direction, scope and pace of growth. Overt signs of resistance becomes evident when the intensity of a problem has become unbearable.  In many cases, decisions regarding development have traditionally been been made by centralised governments, multi national corporations, or invisible capital investors based on advice and plans developed by absentee consultants. Conscious Travel is about reversing that trend and developing the confidence and competence of hosts and residents to determine the scale, scope and pace of tourism that works for them.

If Conscious Hosts  are to be effective in achieving the goal of a visitor economy that works for all, they must help their fellow residents:

  • wake up and stop waiting to be rescued
  • grow up and take responsibility for affecting change
  • work with other community development organisations
  • develop the conditions that encourage community-based empowerment
  • master the tools for effective collaboration
  • develop the leadership capacities needed.

The Step Up stages involves both integration and active participation.

  1. Integration of the lessons and skills learned travelling the pathways of the compass plus some fresh pathways of your own  and integration with your community
  2. Active Participation – finding ways to fully collaborate with those engaged in other sectors who are committed to positive change.

Conscious Hosts make ideal change agents because of the way they make a living either as hosts or guides or both.  Hosts are ideally suited to convening conversations – creating safe spaces for creativity to emerge and Guides are great at helping others pick the right trail to reach their destination.


and finally, don't forget

Your Compass