In Renaissance times, the Latin term ad fontes encouraged people to ‘return to the sources’. At the core of this encouragement was the belief that the best results based on an understanding of pure and fundamental truths. In 2018, the adventure travel community of business leaders convenes in Tuscany, the source of great wisdom and beauty, and a place where the truth of what it means to live and work in the adventure community today can be explored and interpreted for today’s complicated world.
This year’s Summit marks a return to the source — a chance to frame the future from this foundation: to reconnect to the essence of adventure in the natural world, to engage with heart, to rejuvenate body and mind, with a community of peers to support and lead each other forward.
The Wellspring and the Mud Adventure Travel in a Fragile World
David Quammen opens the Adventure Travel World Summit with an inspirational reflection and call to action for our community, sharing his perspective on the notion that the ideas and values adventure travel represents reach far beyond our individual spheres of work and influence. Adventure travel is more than a business; it is also a concept, an aspiration, with a deep power to inspire and motivate people from all walks of life. Quammen, as a noteworthy explorer and author whose ranging works have contemplated the interconnected world of science and nature, shares stories and advice for the people gathered together in Tuscany. He offers words of wisdom and inspiration for a community of strivers who are more than stewards of conservation, science, and culture, although this is certainly one of the most valuable gifts they offer. Beyond this, they routinely must provide inspiration to their guests, awakening in their — millions of people around the world — to see themselves and their relationships with each other and the Earth differently. To be successful in this is perhaps our industry’s greatest opportunity and challenge, our true purpose which is so urgently needed at this moment in time.
David Quammen is an author and journalist who lives in Montana and travels widely for research. His fifteen books include The Song of the Dodo (1996), The Reluctant Mr. Darwin (2007), Spillover (2012)—a work on the science and history of dangerous zoonotic pathogens, including Ebola and HIV—and Yellowstone: A Journey through America’s Wild Heart (2016). He has written for Harper’s, The Atlantic, Rolling Stone, The New York Times Book Review, Outside, and Powder, among other magazines, and is a Contributing Writer for National Geographic. Quammen shares a home in Bozeman, Montana, with his wife, Betsy Gaines Quammen, an environmental historian, and a continuing parade of orphan dogs and cats.
Humans are born with an innate instinct for connection. Tribal culture, albeit altered in modern times, is alive in all of us. Yossi Ghinsberg, through his incredible experiences in the Bolivian Amazon and deep connection with the Uchupiamonas people, provides a fresh perspective on the concept of connection and its role in helping us find solutions to the complex environmental and human problems we face as a society today. Through Yossi’s inspiring stories, which have recently been brought to audiences around the world in the 2017 movie, Jungle, we see the power of interconnectivity in nature. Realizing that these connections contain the seeds of innovation and collaboration, they hold the potential to bring about the changes we need to see in our world. Urging us to see and act in our everyday lives to rely on our ultimate global interdependence, Yossi shares a moving vision for the adventure travel community.
A true Earthling, Yossi travels the planet for business, community work and personal explorations. He is a cross-pollinator of paradigm shifting ideas, his keynotes inspire and transform the world’s leading corporations and organizations. Yossi is a multi-faceted person with accomplishments in diverse spheres. An international businessmen, a best selling author, a daring adventurer. Yossi is the founder and architect of a number of innovative creative projects such as the acclaimed Ecolodge, Chalalan. Blinq, a social mobile application he has developed between Tel Aviv, Ramallah and Silicon Valley. Yossi is active as a spokesmen for Indigenous people and the defence of the Amazon jungle. He is an ambassador for Shalva.org for children with special needs and as a speaker he always volunteers for the community.
From More to Better
If you want to go where no man or woman has gone before, go to the inside. The next frontier of human exploration does not just lie “out there.” It also lies within ourselves. The coming decade will show us insights into what it means to be human that will surpass what we have learned in the last century. We are standing on the brink of the next human revolution where success will not be “more” but “better.” Not more customers, more stuff, or more experiences. But better. The rules of the game are changing. And no one knows what the future rules will be. If you want to create your own rules – this is your time! The future is hyper-complex and hyper-connected. In this enlightening plenary session, one of the world’s brightest futurists is here to teach us not only how to navigate the future, but how to shape it (and maybe even pass “the alien test”). Get ready for a fun, mind-blowing, and highly inspirational joyride into the future of adventure travel.
Anne Skare Nielsen
If you’ve ever felt dazed and confused about the future, then you have certainly found the right person. Anne is both a tornado that can lift you up and broaden your horizon as well as the calm eye of the hurricane, that brings peace to mind and nurtures the ability to zoom in on your preferred future. Anne works with radical change and transformation of mindset. She is in high demand as a lecturer and provocateur all over the world, but her heart lies with the people who “can & will”: those who are passionate about what they do, and believe that dedicated work will make all the difference. Anne is partner at Future Navigator where the vision is to win the Nobel Peace Prize by transforming journalism, politics and education. Anne is the mother of 4 wild boys and married to the love of her life. She was born in Denmark in 1971, is a graduate in biology and political science and has a penchant for science fiction movies, deep conversations with visionary leaders, and champagne. Favorite quote at the moment: “smart has plans, stupid has stories”.
Adventure in Motion
This year’s Adventure in Motion film competition warms up with a light-hearted and interactive musical creation. Adventure veteran and historian Jean-Claude Razel, of Alaya Expedições, will tap into every delegate’s creativity with this imaginative, improvised musical creation. Join in the fun then sit back and enjoy a viewing of this year’s film competition finalists, submitted by your colleagues and selected by our voting committee and consumers. The session will conclude with a live audience vote to select the 2018 grand prize winner.
Jean Claude Razel
Jean-Claude Razel is a climber, mountaineer, guide, coach, entrepreneur, educator, musician and ardent student of the history of exploration. As an adventure industry entrepreneur, he established one of Brazil’s leading companies, Alaya; through his coaching, the Brazilian team six times won the International Rafting Federation World championship. He has traveled extensively around the globe for his personal expeditions and lately, as an educator, sharing experiences and lessons learned with adventure businesses and guides through ATTA’s AdventureEDU program in Nepal, Armenia, Bosnia, Japan, Jordan and others. As a musician, Jean-Claude performs with his band in clubs in Brazil and hometown Chamonix, France. A gifted pianist and storyteller, he has a knack for bringing unusual concepts to the stage. French by birth, Jean-Claude has lived much of his life in Brazil raising his two daughters along with his wife in both countries.
Since 2005 when he first addressed the adventure travel community at the Adventure Travel World Summit in Seattle, Washington, Shannon Stowell, now ATTA CEO, has been sharing his heart and his vision for this industry. Over the years he has helped lead our extensive global community and returns to the stage with the most relevant message for this time: we must join together and put everything we have into using adventure travel as a force for good. Tourism — a $2.3 trillion USD industry according to Euromonitor — is now accessible to unprecedented waves of people from all walks of life. Commercial adventure travel is the gateway into nature and local communities for many and because of this, we have an important opportunity: through our experiences, we must influence how people interact with the environment and each other. The connection our industry has to travelers is the key to scaling conservation to the massive degree required to change the course of life on Earth, and never before has this been more important.
In this inspiring and heartfelt call to action, Shannon calls on each of us to take specific measures in our business endeavors and through our communication channels to alter consumer behavior around the world.
Under Shannon’s leadership as CEO of the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA), the organization has grown into the largest international association of adventure travel companies with more than 1000 members world-wide. His 20+ years of business experience, connections, marketing insight, environmental science education, vision and passion for adventure travel have prepared him well to serve the organization. He’s co-authored a National Geographic-published book and is a frequent speaker and consultant for destinations and businesses around the world on adventure tourism. Shannon’s vision is to propel our global community of adventure companies and clients into thriving advocates that move tourism at large towards sustainability and poverty alleviation.
Photos in Tuscany courtesy Josiah Holwick, Fredrik Bye, Lukasz Warzecha.
Established in 1990, the Adventure Travel Trade Association is the largest global network of adventure travel leaders. Our community is made up of ~30,000 individual guides, tour operators, lodges, travel advisors, tourism boards, destination marketing and management organizations, outdoor educators, gear companies and travel media who share a belief and commitment to sustainable tourism. The connections and creativity of this vibrant community come together both virtually and in person to create and deliver the solutions that propel our businesses and our communities toward a responsible and profitable future.