Tip for a good and natural adventure and event company

A couple of weeks back I went to a superinspirational 2 day course in ‘Bærekraft’. Bærekraft is a beautiful Norwegian word for Sustainability and it would literally translate into “Power to bear”.  In this course we discussed The power to carry a business forward without leaving negative impacts and to push for a sustainable development of the business and its surroundings. In particular we moved into discussing the different certifications including Miljøfyrtårn, ISO 14001 , Svanen, Blue Flag etc. The course was one large scoop of inspiration and a reminder about what we should not forget when we try to gain competitive advantage in an already competitive environment. The course was held by Høve Støtt, an environmentally friendly experience producer as they call themselves, who strives to achieve excellence through operating in a sustainable manner. A small company however a frontrunner and a very good example of how a business should be run. Their businessmodel is to spread environmental awareness through eco friendly activities for groups and individuals in the Hallingdal valley.They also run presentations and courses like the one I went to, and are so genuinely true to their beliefs on environmental ethics. So if anyone needs a an activityprovider in Norway who takes Sustainability seriously, please take use of Høve Støtt, they deserve the attention!

/Eva Alm

Be ahead by being slow!

I read somewhere that the best way to kill your dreams is to be too busy. Too busy to be able to fulfil certain things in life, too busy to nurture the relationships you have with friends and family, too busy to really think twice about the choices you make, so busy our choices become unsustainable just as our consumptionpatterns, which makes us discount the future in exchange of satisfying ourselves today in our present busyness.  If you are too busy you will also miss so many opportunities that are thrown at you, you are more likely to forget what your real dreams are, and pity you might only realise it when its too late.  Therefore busyness is a threat to ourselves and our surrounding natural and social environment, hence we need to slow down! Something that caught my immediate attention was  the notion of Slow Tourism. Soneva Fushi in the Maldives have a concept called “Slow Life” where their main strategy is to run the Resort in a way that does not have a negative affect on the natural and social environment it is operating in. Then I read about Ron Mader’s philosophy about ‘Think smart, travel Slow’ . It all makes sense and guess what, this is nothing new, it derives from the Italian  Slow food movement but the philosophy has just been applied to a different genre.

Going on a holiday can be more stressful then staying at home sometimes. Limited time and money makes people go mainstream, travel fast, just look at the international bustourists in their freenzie to do and see everything. They have approximately 10 days holiday (correct me if Im wrong) and in those 10 days they often squeeze in many different countries in one tour. Of the money they spend on their holiday back home to their touroperator a very very small amount will actually trickle down to the local communities in which the busses visits. In masstourism like this consumers are separated from the product which masks the social, cultural and environmental consequences of its production. At the same time as you dont know in whos hands your money will end up you neither really get to experience the authenticity of the country and its culture.

With Slow Tourism we do not always slow down the pace but what it does is that is promotes to a large extent local inclusiveness and promotes etchical initiatives. It goes hand in hand with Ecotourism and Pro-poor tourism and it aims to benefit local communities and limit the environmental pressure. I am not saying it does not have ecological footprints because it has, I mean the dilemma and contradictions involved in modern travels must also be acknowledged, however Slow Tourism is not close to the extent to that of what negative impacts masstourism creates.  Slow tours enhances the unique and educational experience for the traveller and it colours the travels in ways you could never imagine. We need a shift from old destructive travelpatterns and embrace the slow travels for a more sustainable future in tourism.

For more infoirmation about Slow Tourism visit Slow Tourism Travel for a Lower Carbon Future and The case for slow tourism. These two essays have both food for thought.

/ Eva Alm

Emotional Intelligence 4 CSR

Just a quicky about EQ, We all talk about CSR and how it contributes to development, but there is an important ingredient that needs to be highlighted. In the world of the private sector there is a need to supplement the existing profit intelligence with a more Emotional Intelligence mindset. CSR isn’t just about the responsibility for its surrounding environment (nor only about marketing), but it should be first built on the people in the organisation where strategy is built with both brain and heart, where top talent is committed for its own sake and is willing to do their best for the purpose of the company. Research has also shown that emotional intelligence is two times more important in contributing to excellence than intellect and expertise alone. We need more diversity and “personal without being private”- leaderships, to build the business from within to make everyone wanting the same goal. Therefore corporate decisionmaking should alter and restructure its current businessmodels to a more humane nature where emotional intelligence replaces greed at the roundtable, pronto!

/ Eva Alm

Lets talk Failures

Godday!

Being my first post here I would first like to say thank you Sannasu and Ratatanny for inspiring me with your thoughts and words of Sustainability and Development. Based on the topic of this post I am pretty sure both of you have failed or made mistakes of different kinds in your life, and I am just as sure that you learned from them……so that brings me to talking a little bit about how important it is to admit your mistakes and failures being an individual, a group, a company or an organisation or to simplify…….this is for everyone.

I will start with a quote by the industrialist Henry Ford:

“Failure is only the opportunity to begin again more intelligently”

Failure and Intelligence belongs together and these two words can create amazing Corporate Social Responsibility. CSR is for me a three letter abbreviation that has become a trend almost, people today make careers and amazing profits from working with CSR, and they show how great work they have done with aspects at the triple bottom line. It is fantastic to see the engagement around the worlds business leaders on the topic, however I am missing one aspect. This is the failure aspect.

Businesses are praised for sending in their sustainability reports showing the good work they have done in the past years focusing on the positive things that have been done, however no one is asking them to reveal the things they failed with. This brings me to my urge for Failure reports, this as a responsibility that should be compulsory for all companies and organisations around the world. If you show me what you did wrong I wont do the same mistake, this is probably one of the greatest responsibilities you can do, to share your mistakes without being afraid to be shot.

We all know the best school is learning from failure, as no one wants to make the same failure twice, but why do then companies try to put all their failures in the wardrobe? Are they scared to lose face, reputation and short-term profits? There needs to be a mindset change here as when it comes down to it there is nothing greater than admitting your mistakes, it can give you a longterm respect and trust from your target group. Just look at it on personal level. Lets say you hurt someone, then you will grow so much more in this persons eyes if you admits your mistake and say you are sorry rather than ignoring it and not talking about it, who will learn from that?……..okay maybe we can’t compare everything to relationship-psychology but to one extent I do believe it goes through all lines of life and relationships from personal to business. We all will become greater by admitting our mistakes as if my company would make a mistake that can have detrimental effect on my surroundings I would be a sustainability-criminal not sharing this mistake to the rest of the worlds companies and organisations. Maybe they all wont listen but at least I have made my effort to share and I have given the opportunity for others to learn from my mistake.

If a company is responsible for sharing its failures it will minimise the risk that others make the same mistake, which would be a first stepping-stone to prevent large failures for the world in the future. Hence sharing your failures should be one of the first stepping-stones to good CSR so Bring on failure reports and share it, and we will all gain from it in the end.

Thank you failure!

/ Eva Alm