Activism, empowerment and political agency in tourism education

                                   University of Guelph, Canada, 4-7 June 2014


Guelphwindow_ivy.jpg.1379831765362Abstracts, Thought Bubbles and Panel Session Proposals 

Call for Papers is now closed


In keeping with TEFI’s mission to push boundaries, to think creatively and to inform and support tourism educators and students to transform the world for the better, in 2014 our theme is “Transformational Learning: Activism, empowerment and political agency in tourism education”. This theme focuses on the capacities of educators, students and higher education institutions to be the change we want to see in the world. Tourism has an enormous capacity to create a better world by tackling issues that matter, such as social justice, corporate social responsibility and sustainability. This conference aims to harness the power of transformational learning to tackle these big issues and to tap into our own political agency as educators, students, and higher education institutions to effect positive change.  

University of Guelph is hosting the eighth Tourism Education Futures Initiative Conference. The University of Guelph, home of Canada’s first hospitality and tourism degree, is proud to host the eighth annual TEFI conference in 2014.  Guelph’s School of Hospitality and Tourism Management has a long established tradition of offering applied, experiential and flexible learning opportunities aimed at transforming students into mindful professionals. Our hosts are Professor Marion Joppe and Associate Professor Statia Elliot from Guelph’s School of Hospitality and Tourism Management.  As with previous TEFI conferences, this event aims to open up debate and break down traditional divides: research-practice; teacher-student; university-‘real world’; business-community. Participants will learn by example, be future-oriented and leave inspired to become leaders of tomorrow’s tourism education programs or industry.

Our programme and keynote speakers will provide you with practical tips and applications as well as challenge your thinking. 

A Call for Papers, Thought Bubbles and Panel Sessions addressing the conference theme is now open. Contributions are now invited in keeping with TEFI’s main themes: Tourism education futures; Tourism teaching and learning; Tourism scholarship; Advocacy of tourism as a field of research and teaching; and Tourism and social entrepreneurship.

Papers may address the following topics:


Educator perspectives

  • Positionality, politics and professionalism
  • Living a life of consequence as an education
  • Institution versus academic activism
  • Transformation through education
  • Taking responsibility for change
  • Educating through global issues: e.g. poverty, climate change, war and conflict, slum tourism

Institutional perspectives

  • From silos to systems of change
  • Supporting social entrepreneurship in the curriculum images.jpeg.1379831918849
  • Value-centred institutions

Student perspectives

  • Action learning and empowerment 
  • Activating change through experiential learning 
  • Learning beyond the classroom 
  • Ethics and professionalism 
  • The politics of tourism 
  • Value-centred teaching, research and community engagement 


Industry/community perspectives

  • Linking education, values and productivity 
  • Transformational encounters with tourism communities


We invite thoughtful, innovative contributions in three formats: papers, thought bubbles and panel sessions. See below for details. We seek stimulating ideas and inspiration for defining and addressing the conference topic. The meeting will adopt a think tank format, allowing us to work together and create a meaningful framework to drive tourism education in the future.

Papers: Please submit a 500 word abstract addressing one of the topics above. Please state clearly that the abstract is for a full paper and include contact details and a 100-word biosketch.  If selected, the abstract should be formulated into a full paper that will be double blind reviewed.

Thought-Bubbles: The abstract and presentation-only option at TEFI is in the format of a ‘thought bubble’. A thought bubble is a 3-5 minute (max) presentation of key ideas using your choice of media (Prezi-type presentations, video clips, word clouds, etc).  The aim of the thought bubble is to identify and discuss an innovative idea or research insight in a succinct and easily digested format to inform, inspire and generate discussion… and hopefully action. For a thought bubble presentation please submit a 500 word abstract addressing one of the conference topics. Please clearly state that the abstract is for a thought bubble and include contact details and a 100-word biosketch.

Panel Sessions: Proposals for panel sessions addressing the conference theme likely to stimulate debate and reflection are encouraged. Proposals for panel sessions should include a 300-word overview of its objectives, theme and key questions, and a list of the names of the Chair and the panelists, including a 100-word biosketch for each.

We will select those submissions in each category that promise the strongest contribution to the meeting. The selection process will be competitive, favouring those thoughtfully addressing the theme and likely to inspire future action.

Key Dates

Full paper abstracts & Thought Bubbles/Panel Session Proposals due: 31 January 2014

Acceptance advice:                                                                           28 February 2014

Full papers due for review:                                                                   17 April 2014


Please send all enquiries and submissions to: If you are intending to be part of TEFI8 please let us know at the above email address.  We will add you to our email list.

Conference Organising Committee

Co-Chairs:   Professor Marion Joppe, University of Guelph, Canada.    Associate Professor Statia Elliot, University of Guelph, Canada

Members:     Dr. Christian Schott, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand.    Associate Professor Kellee Caton, Thompson Rivers University, Canada

Professor Dianne Dredge, Aalborg University, Denmark

Carrie Herzog, University of Guelph, Canada

Special thanks goes to the paper reviewers: David Airey,  Bonnie Farber Canziani, Roberto Daniele, Dianne Dredge, Johan Edelheim, Statia Elliot, David Fennell, Ulrike Gretzel, Bryan S.R. Grimwood, Marion Joppe, Heather Mair, Ana María Munar, Darko Prebežac, Carla Almeida Santos and Erica Wilson.