Jaan Aps

Estonian Social Enterprise Network

As a chairman and co-founder, Jaan Aps leads one of the strongest social enterprise support organisations in Northern Europe. Jaan is a member of GECES, the European Commission´s Expert Group on Social Entrepreneurship. In 2013, he was elected as ´Mission person of the year´ by the Network of Estonian Nonprofit Organizations for his long-term commitment to promoting societal impact analysis. His speaking engagements have included Canada, France, Italy and Turkey. 
Learning from social entrepreneurship stories 
The keynote will use examples of (social) entrepreneurs to explore exciting possibilities of employing tourism as a tool for enabling positive societal changes. Jaan will give examples of mostly untapped potential of tourism initiatives to define and achieve ambitious impact objectives (besides providing basic services in a sustainable manner). He will also call for connecting country-specific stories into strong regional (or global) epic about the way sustainable tourism industry could look like in the future.

Dr Kristina Nilsson Lindström

University of Gothenburg

Her main research interest is the issue of transformation of local communities to spaces of production and consumption of tourist experiences, as well as collaboration between stakeholders and the role of policy in such societal transformation processes. Furthermore, Kristina’s research interest covers the notion of sustainable development, its conception and application in tourism development.

Kristina has a strong engagement in participatory research, she is driven by the ambition to make a difference and to support an inclusive and just community development through tourism. In 2013 she received the University of Gothenburg award for excellence in academic – society collaboration.

Ulla Gawlik

Tikitut community-based Tourism, Gothenburg

Ulla Gawlik is the inspiration, co-founder and project manager behind Tikitut Community-based Tourism, an innovative social enterprise in Gothenburg, Sweden. Tikitut community-based tourism is a glocal meeting place were encounters between people from a local area and visitors to the area occur with the help of community-based tourism. We want to create one of the most inclusive social experiences together with local residents, local stakeholders and, eventually, the visitors. Our an innovative social enterprise in Gothenburg, Sweden. The aim of Tikitut Community-based Tourism is to provide community information for new residents in Sweden as well as for guest to the area. The goal is to create possibilities for local citizens to work as local guides for theme days etc. Ulla and Kristina will tell the story of their collaborations together in the presentation.

This presentation is about a rewarding collaboration between an academic and a social entrepreneur and our respective networks. It is a story of a community-based tourism initiative in the boundaries between tourism and alienation in a segregated city and between tourism and the refugee ‘crisis’. It is a story of the challenges you face when trying broaden the notion of tourism into a more inclusive concept and practise. But above all else, it is a story of capacity building, the joy of learning from the unexpected and a possible way forward for tourism in the face of industrialisation with an increased demand for tourism as legitimate strategy for inclusiveness, local empowerment and resilience.

Professor Johan Edelheim

The Norwegian School of Hotel Management, University of Stavanger and Multidimensional Tourism Institute, University of Lapland

Johan has worked since the late 80s both in the tourism industries, and in vocational and higher education related to the industries in several European, and Asian countries, as well as for a decade in Australia. Johan’s is curious by nature and has over the years accumulated several diplomas and degrees from hospitality, business, education, philosophy, and cultural studies. He has worked at the Multidimensional Tourism Institute (MTI), an innovative combination of tourism education and research at three different educational institutions in Finnish Lapland since August 2011, initially as the institute’s director for five years, and later as a research fellow.

Behind most of Johan’s research lies a deeply rooted aim for humanism and equality. Narratives have always been close to Johan’s heart, and he considers that human awareness is arranged as a narrative. People are Homo narrans – ‘story-telling creatures’, to a much further extent than they will ever be the ‘wise’ individuals referred to in the name Homo sapiens. Tourism has always had a narrative structure, a beginning, a hero, an adventure, and an end, starting from classic novels about explorations and adventure, through travel marketing, to the informal stories told during and after journeys in person or digitally by ever more tourists. Facts, fiction, and fantasy are equally important, it is what we and others fancy that makes tourism into what it does to us. Web 2.0 with text, pictures, sounds and emotions, is simply a current development of what we always have done as travellers, and as entrepreneurs in the industries; we give ‘reality’ a narrative structure, we tell stories to one another, and we chose to believe some of them, and neglect other.


Birgitte Bergman


Birgitte Bergman, VisitNordsjælland, Denmark

Birgitte Bergman is Head of Marketing and Development at Visit Royal North Zealand and a passionate storyteller. In over less than a decade of operations, the DMO facilitated a remarkable turnaround along the coastal leisure periphery of Copenhagen, implementing experience concepts along the Danish Riviera. Birgitte uses stories not only as a marketer, but as a strategic tool to mobilize, motivate and connect local actors. Birgitte will tell a story about developing signature concepts for Visit North Zealand, reviving the journey from ideation workshops, through local conflict solutions to implementation and market launch.     

Biggitte's presentation is entitled "Branding through People – Stories that Make a Difference" will leave you in no doubt about the power of storytelling.


Professor Kenneth Mølbjerg Jørgensen

Aalborg University, Denmark

This keynote discusses stories as a concept for strategy and practice in development and change projects. Stories are presented as embodied performances that are historically, spatially and materially located. Stories are thus grounded in local circumstances, relationships and ways of living. They are inevitably tied up with the material and discursive possibilities that are embedded in the local setup for action. We discuss the implications for tourism and other kinds of regional development projects. In particular attention is drawn to the implications of stories in terms 1) creating the conditions for unique appearances, 2) how to connect the future with the past and present, and 3) how to create spaces of appearance from local and regional networks and connections between private and public stakeholders.

Kenneth's keynote is entitled “The art of impact: stories that make a difference“

Kenneth Mølbjerg Jørgensen, Ph.D., is Professor MSO at The Department of Business and Management at Aalborg University in Denmark. He does research and teaches within the area of organizational change and organizational learning. His research interests include power, materiality, narrative, storytelling and ethics in organizations and in leadership education. Kenneth has authored, co-authored and edited numerous books, book chapters and journal articles. Kenneth has among others published books with CBS Press, Sage, and Nova Science Publishers, and published articles in Scandinavian Journal of Management, Business Ethics: A European Perspective, Philosophy of Management, and Advances in Human Resource Development.

Heidi Hautopp

Aalborg University, Denmark

Heidi Hautopp is a Research Assistant affiliated with the Research Lab: IT, Learning & Design, Aalborg University, Copenhagen. She has a particular research interest in how sketching and graphic facilitation may be used for educational purposes. Likewise, she does graphic recordings at seminars and conferences as a playful way to capture key points from speakers.



Jaan Aps













Johan at Niagara Falls 2014














Photo_Heidi Hautopp