2010 Innovation Award Finalist: Ron Mader
Innovation Award: Ron Mader, Director, Planeta.com
It’s a challenge to nominate oneself for an award, but I think my involvement in the Indigenous Tourism and Biodiversity Website Award is a good example of innovation and I submit the following information.
As a collaborative endeavor, the Indigenous Tourism and Biodiversity Website Award is the high point of a decade-plus conservation with the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity’s Oliver Hillel and numerous friends – indigenous and non-indigenous peoples – about the best ways to develop indigenous tourism. As a non-indigenous person myself, I ask what are the best ways that other non-indigenous peoples connect with individuals and communities who take pride in their indigenous heritage.
We started the work in early 2008 as I posted a query on the Planeta Forum to see how such an award could be developed. Discussion led to the first award in 2009 and continued in 2010 with the generous support of the Heidehof Foundation.
The award is presented to an indigenous tourism operation which has a website that promotes sustainable practices and educates visitors on cultural protocols and biodiversity conservation The objective is to showcase best practices in web-based technologies helping indigenous people manage tourism in a biodiversity-friendly way. The award also creates incentives for indigenous peoples to partner with other indigenous and non-indigenous peoples.
My work was to coach and animate the nominees so they could improve their web presence using traditional ‘home pages’ and Web 2.0. I also kept the organizers and judges in the loop through the entire process.
To see examples of the Web 2.0 in action set in motion by the award, check out the ITBW Twitter List of nominees, jury and organizers. The list is updated automatically every time one of the participants tweets! Another example is the Flickr album featuring the award’s artwork and nominee screenshots. The album documents the variety of options employed by the nominees and the steady development of Web 2.0 skills. One more must-see are the videos posted on YouTube. The ITBW playlist is going viral!
More than one nominee confessed that they were on the learning curve when it came to development a presence on Facebook and Twitter and that the Web and Web 2.0 in particular helps level the playing field. To be honest, we’re all on this learning curve and awards help illuminate the way forward.
On a sidenote, parallel to my work coaching and instructing the nominees around the world, I have been working with indigenous peoples in Oaxaca, training folks in Web 2.0 skills in a series of workshops that have developed the skills among artisans, market vendors, hotel owners and tourism guides alike. The ‘awards’ that will be presented to ITBW winners are folk art purchased from Oaxacan artisans. I also purchased the rights to use the photo of sunrise in a wilderness area for use in the ITBW presentation from a weaver and aspiring photographer. This past month we arranged an exhibition of her photos and her family’s weavings at a local restaurant. This is the best way I know to integrate the online and natural worlds.
ESTC 2010: Biodiversity and Our Lives
TIES is pleased to collaborate with the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) to host the following three events during the upcoming Ecotourism and Sustainable Tourism Conference (ESTC): Global Perspective Workshop “Biodiversity and Our Lives” on Wednesday, September 8th; Award Ceremony for the 2010 Indigenous Tourism and Biodiversity Website (ITBW) Award on Friday, September 10th, and ITBW Web 2.0 Workshop on Saturday, September 11th. Learn more at: www.ecotourismconference.org