Tag Archives: conscious business

Conscious Brands

A consistent theme of my blog that I hope has not gone unnoticed is that the scope and pace of change is engulfing us all now is unlike anything previously experienced. It’s not just the speed with which a new idea can now catch light and spread – look at the success of Airbnb and its many competitors – but the potential for its radical disruption of the norm. That’s because you are not looking at minor adjustments to business as usual but a fundamental shift in “Story” – the narrative, values, beliefs that we use to guide our choices and actions as individuals and as society. Once you understand the dimensions and characteristics of that shift, you will see all manner of  opportunity and implications.

Having said that, I am amazed at the relative lack of interest in such high/deep level analysis – most people in tourism seem content to be fed a diet of trends that often appear in international events almost at the point of being past their sell-by-date. Recently one tourism conference declared in 2013, that “experiential travel is now hot.”

Expect to see the word “conscious” appear with increasing and alarming frequency. Alarming because we all know how the force of a new idea can be significantly weakened with either repetition or mis-use. (the word “paradigm” comes to mind). By way of example, I am sharing the work of a relatively young New York agency “spark& honey” who describe themselves as “trend watchers and tacticians, strategists and savants, creatives and quants who  live to help brands hijack, accelerate and ignite culture”.

Here are two provocative slide decks – the first on Conscious Brands and the second on the Collaborative Economy. These are simply two manifestations of a deep shift in  values.

A year ago, we highlighted the emergence of Airbnb “10 Reasons Why Airbnb is an awesome Travel Enterprise . In this deck from spark & honey, you can see how the collaborative economy is creating new competitors from unlikely sources that are affecting hospitality and transportation more widely.


To be honest, I am tired of being told I am “ahead of my time” because as time speeds up, those who are considered to be “out front” might have something highly relevant to say. But if noses are permanently to the grindstone, their owners may not have noticed the acceleration!

Latest Conscious Travel Scoop.it! Out Now

The latest issue of Conscious Travel Scoop.it! is out with a focus on the changing role of business; the growing interest in Bhutan’s Gross Happiness Index and discussions regarding the feasibility of sustained economic growth in a world of finite resources.  Click here to read. Below is an image of the latest front page.

Introducing Conscious Travel TV

We’re slowly building the Conscious Travel Channel on Youtube with a combination of short conversational videos in which Anna (that’s me) talks about  Conscious Travel instead of writing about it. We’ll also include videos we think are relevant to the Conscious Travel movement – so if you have any to share, please email me: theconscioushost@gmail.com

The Introduction, as its title suggests, provides a brief highlight of the key issues affecting tourism.

Why Conscious Travel – looks at both the need for an alternative vision and why the term “conscious” has been used.

In the Challenge of Industrial Tourism I talk about  the need for industry to “wake up” and “grow up” so the most relevant posts to this conversation are: Good Morning Tourism Time For Your Wake-up Call, Parts One & Part Two.

The video What is  a Conscious Host highlights those attributes that an operator could develop in order to attract travellers that are also awake, aware and alert.

What is a Conscious Host?

Is Conscious Business “Capitalism 3.0”?

Jean Houston

Dr. Jean Houston, scholar, philosopher and researcher in human capacities, and one of the foremost visionary thinkers and doers of our time and principal founders of the Human Potential Movement sent me a summary of the major mindset shifts taking place at this point in history. What an amazing time to be alive!.

If you are interested in and committed to envisioning and co-creating a fresh new vision for the travel and hospitality community, now’s the time to find fellow kindred spirits and get started. Many brave souls have prepared a path before us. All the  great work in sustainable tourism, ecotourism, geotourism, and responsible travel is building towards the same end – ensuring our travel activities don’t cost the earth. Conscious.Travel is not designed or intended to duplicate or fragment but to integrate and support. Our focus is on people not product; on helping nourish and grow leaders with courage and imagination. It was Victor Frankl who said,

When we are no longer able to change a situation – we are challenged to change ourselves.

Here are Dr. Houston’s five shifts with my comments in italics..

1. We are changing our understanding of who and what we are and what we need to become in order to be able to deal with the complexity of our time. It was Theihard de Chardin who coined the phrase – “we are not human beings having a spiritual experience but spiritual beings having a human experience”. That being the case, there are no limits to what we can achieve. In the same way that we can acquire superhuman strength when in a dire emergency and loved ones are trapped, so can we find the power in ourselves to cope when the stakes get really high – and they are increasing every day. 

2. Human societies are in the process of re-patterning. Social constructs are dissolving and whole new stories are trying to emerge, such as the rise of women to a full partnership with men across the globe, and many others. Women are a vital and significantly important part of the travel community and are driving the movement towards conscious consumption. Time we stepped forth in our own communities. It’s not about seeking to climb to the top of decaying institutions but being a change agent at the grassroots level

3. How we conduct business and commerce is shifting. This is perhaps the most important social event of the last five thousand years, because commerce impacts almost everything in our lives. Capitalism as practiced in the past is seriously flawed. Even Alan Greenspan had to admit it contained flaws he hadn’t acknowledged. Now is not the time to discard the only means of sustaining ourselves but to re-think, re-set- re-create a better version. Simply put, Conscious Business is Capitalism 3.0

4. The rise and fusion of different cultures–we are swiftly moving towards a planetary civilization that accentuates the uniqueness of each culture while blending them together. Think of the great fusions of food and of music and of beliefs. Now if travel & tourism had a higher purpose, then this is it. But we won’t make our contribution to building a planetary civilisation so long as we continue to displace vulnerable cultures in our attempts to secure the few remaining unspoiled, remote spots of beauty left where indigenous cultures have existed for thousands of years. To be involved in travel means to care about the disappearance of a language every two weeks and to speak out where the actions of the travel community have created injustice.

5. Whole new orders of spirituality are emerging that are not about religion. The new cosmologies are giving us a view of ourselves that we never had before. For the first time ever, we find that we don’t live in the universe, but that the universe lives in us. In other words, for the first time in human history we’re consciously aware that our own evolution as a species is in our hands and not left to random chance. That’s both wildly exciting and terrifying. Isn’t that enough to jump out of bed with passion and enthusiasm?

Time to wake up folks. Fresh, organic coffee lovingly grown by a cooperative is brewing!

To quote our friends at Interaction Associates:

ROI = Return on Involvement

It doesn’t matter whether you get involved in Responsible Travel, Sustainable Tourism, Green Travel, Geotourism etc. what matters is that you participate and take a stand for what you believe in.

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