• Sep 19-22, 2016
  • Anchorage, Alaska
  • $1150 Members
    $1550 Community


These educational sessions are designed to start with the basics and work up to help participants build and develop specific facets of their business.

These educational deep dives are perfect for mature businesses or business professionals looking to evolve and transform their strategies and leadership.

For reimagining a destination, developing new products or considering new ways to engage clients — the Innovation Lab sessions will spur both creativity and strategic focus.

The adventure travel industry has an opportunity to set the stage for new ways to do business. Here we challenge the status quo – the good, the bad and the ugly.

Tuesday September 20
  • 9:10 - 10:00 AM
  • Ballroom
  • Keynote
The Trust Edge: 8 Pillars to Grow Your Adventure Travel Business

Trust is a fundamental, bottom line issue. Without it, leaders lose teams, salespeople lose sales, and organizations lose reputation, retention of good people, relationships and revenue. But with trust, individuals and organizations enjoy greater creativity, productivity, freedom and results. Through academic research and firsthand experience, David Horsager has learned what it takes to gain – and keep – The Trust Edge. Dave will show you how the little things, done consistently, add up to huge results. After this keynote you will have concrete steps you can immediately use as you consider ways to create your own adventure revolution, deepen your relationships, grow your business and “Go Big. Be Bold.”

  • 5:15 - 6:30 PM
  • Ballroom
  • Keynote
Uncharted Territory: Lessons in Grit from Bosnia to Alaska’s Arctic

Shannon Huffman Polson

Author, Speaker, Adventurer, Veteran. A Border Life

Shannon Huffman Polson uses stories from her years in an Apache helicopter cockpit in Bosnia and Korea and on expeditions in Alaska’s Arctic to demonstrate the importance of having grit and living with purpose. By examining both leadership and situational challenges, Polson will offer hard-earned lessons to inspire and motivate others living and working in their own uncharted territory. 

Wednesday September 21
  • 9:00 - 10:30 AM
  • Ballroom
  • Keynote
Perspective: The Value of Cruise in Adventure Travel

Jamie Sweeting

President, Planeterra Foundation & VP for Social Enterprise & Sustainability, G Adventures

James Sano

VP of Travel, Tourism & Conservation, World Wildlife Fund-US

Colleen Stephens

President, Stan Stephens Cruises

Roberta Caenepeel

President, Explore Tours

Session Moderator 

Shannon Stowell

CEO, Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA)

The cruise industry is maintaining a steady growth rate for over 20 years, driven by larger ships, more local ports in more destinations and new onboard and onshore activities to meet the demand of travelers. Last year the industry was valued at nearly $40 billion. For adventure destinations from Alaska to the Caribbean, Norway to the Mediterranean, the cruise industry presents a mixed blessing: beneficial in bringing visitors to new places, but also at times detrimental to local economies, people and the environment.

In this town hall-style plenary moderated by ATTA President Shannon Stowell, Jim Sano from World Wildlife Fund, Jamie Sweeting of Planeterra (formerly Vice President, Environmental Stewardship and Global Chief Environmental Officer with Royal Caribbean Cruises), Colleen Stephens, President of Stan Stephens Cruises and Roberta Caenepeel of Explore Tours share the results of recent research on how cruises interact with adventure companies and destinations, discuss the pros and cons of the cruise industry and speculate on its future with adventure travel.

  • 5:45 - 7:00 PM
  • Ballroom
  • Keynote
Adventure in Motion: 3rd Annual Film Contest

Caroline Pemberton

Television Presenter & Producer

Caroline Pemberton, Adventure TV host, Executive Producer and Programming Developer from Australia, will host our Adventure in Motion film viewing and a discussion on the future of storytelling. From her own experience creating and selling adventure and travel content, she’ll share her learnings about what compels and what bores the viewer. See your adventure colleagues’ winning films as selected by consumers, our Adventure in Motion partner, the ATTA and you!


Thursday September 22
  • 9:00 - 10:30 AM
  • Ballroom
  • Keynote
Leaders with Heart

Nelson Mandela said, “A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination.” In this session three individuals who are leading the charge in their communities will share their stories and their dreams for change. Our speakers are dedicating themselves to causes that are making a difference locally and are examples for us all globally. As you will learn sometimes the way to go big and be bold is through a calm, confident and persistent voice.

Robert Ghukasyan

President, "Time Land" Scientific Study Foundation

Building a Home for Future Generations

The remote, mountainous village of Kalavan, Armenia is home to Azerbaijani refugees who fled there in the late 1980s. Robert Ghukaysan’s vision is to build its economy through tourism so that Kalavan remains home for future generations. Through the creation of the “Time Land” Scientific Foundation, Robert has creatively launched a series of tourism initiatives: archaeological tourism inspired by ancient sites surrounding the area; culinary tourism inspired by “forest cuisine,” the establishment of Kalavan National Park to protect local nature and wildlife for future eco-tourism and the launch of a mountain bike tourism program.

Blair Glencorse

Accountability Lab

Building A Global Movement for Integrity

How do you solve a problem like corruption? Billions of people everywhere remain mired in poverty and conflict because government officials lack any kind of accountability. Blair Glencorse, a former World Banker and advisor to the President of Afghanistan, thinks we’re getting it all wrong. The problem with anti-corruption is it focuses on the problem, not the solution; and it highlights wrong-doers, not “do-gooders.” Blair and his organization, the Accountability Lab, are working to engage young people around the world to build integrity. Rather than “naming and shaming” the crooks, Blair is “naming and faming” citizens with real, positive solutions to these challenges. Working in difficult countries like Liberia and Pakistan, Blair is finding innovative ways to support young people with ideas to build integrity, working with everyone from film-makers to rappers, and in doing so, is learning lessons that have relevance for all of us. 

Acknowledging our Coexistence and the Rights of Nature

Many sense the imbalance that plagues humanity and effects our daily lives. The mindset of Man being able to control or subdue Nature has led us down a path of destruction and into our current Antropocene epoch. Terms such as “responsible development” attempt to console us while only perpetuating the use of additional fossil fuels and exacerbating the problems of climate change. Princess Johnson’s work through Resisting Environmental Destruction on Indigenous Lands (REDOIL) attempts to bring awareness not only to the rights of Indigenous Peoples tied to places in Alaska like the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, but also to the Rights of Mother Earth, to Nature and the multitude of species we share this planet with. Through examining traditional Alaska Native stories she journeys with us to seek the wisdom of her Ancestors in finding the way back to balance within ourselves and with the land and animals we depend upon for our survival.


  • 5:45 - 6:30 PM
  • Ballroom
  • Keynote
Trailhead Fever: How to Be Big, Bold, and Brave Beyond

Moe Carrick


We all know the feeling that comes when a great adventure starts to end: The high, close, intimate, rockin’ it feeling we get as we celebrate with friends the wild times we just had (on the mountains, in the rivers, or in a foreign land) when we feel completely sure that we are permanently changed. And yet, when we get back to work, back to our daily grind and the incessant ordinariness of life and work and family and busy-ness, we so often forget to remember that we are, in fact, changed. How is it that we can maintain the powerful insights, the robust connection, and the inspired thinking we leave with today from our Summit experience in our actual lives back at home? This impactful keynote session invites each of us to transcend the odds and carry change materially into our daily habits, our organizations, our communities, and our families. Offering specific prompts for thinking forward while also leveraging empathy, self-compassion, and our inner adventurer, Moe Carrick weaves together a profound closing keynote on what’s next from here: dreaming forward into being.


  • 6:30 - 7:00 PM
  • Ballroom
  • Keynote
ATWS Closing Plenary Session

Shannon Stowell

CEO, Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA)

As the 2016 Adventure Travel World Summit comes to a close, reflect on the learnings and inspiration found in Alaska with ATTA President Mr. Shannon Stowell.

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