1st TEFI Walking Workshop, May 2-11, 2014
Social Entrepreneurship and Tourism - Nepal
About the Walking Workshop
This unique Walking Workshop in Nepal comprised a ten day event off the beaten track to the rural villages of Bupsa and Bumburi in the Lower Solu Khumbu region of the Himalayas. The experience was designed to take participants completely outside their normal environments and connect them with like-minded colleagues from around the world. Thirteen delegates exchanged the traditional conference experience of quick and often soulless, powerpoint-driven presentations for the chance of real reflection, interaction and discussion, immersed in the issues of the region.
Whilst trekking on the mountainous footpaths of Nepal participants delivered ‘Walking Papers’ on their chosen subject and discussed best practice in tourism and social enterprise with local village committees. They also visited relevant, meaningful and hands-on social entrepreneurship projects developed and supported by Moving Mountains Nepal, as well as taking part in workshops delivered by adventurer, mountaineer and founder of Moving Mountains, Gavin Bate. Participants witnessed first-hand the transformational potential of social entrepreneurship and how it has positively affected life in these villages without negative impact on the local traditions of the Sherpa people.
Organiser of the Walking Workshop, Brookes’ Senior Lecturer and TEFI executive member Roberto Daniele, commented, “This was about having time to reflect but with action in mind, a chance for real discussion that has already sparked meaningful changes to the way lecturers think and teach. Longer term, it’s about a more sustainable brand of tourism that safeguards culture and environments, whilst placing host communities at the centre rather than the periphery of the tourism value chain. There is a real need to build bridges between the world of tourism and that of the social enterprise sector; currently there is an array of funding and support opportunities to help fuel business projects that deliver the changes that are so desperately needed in parts of our world and indeed in the hospitality and tourism industry as a whole.
This unique Walking Workshop format will now form the basis for an annual TEFI event with the aim that participants will go on to create lasting change in the field of tourism.
Walking Up - The Quest
The Query - Walking papers
The Peak - Camp - Rest - Reflection; Awareness-raising workshops on social entrepreneurship and tourism; observation in the villages
Walking Down - Waking Up; Stepping Up, Commitment, Action. Reflections on how participants have changed and how they will make changes upon returning to their institutions.
Thanks to sponsorships from Temple University and Oxford Brookes University, TEFI offered a limited number of Walking Workshop Scholarships based on a combination of the following criteria: Depth and quality of applicant’s proposed contribution to the workshop and the applicant’s financial need.