As the world continues to evolve through the COVID-19 pandemic, there is renewed interest in collective action and cooperation mechanisms to tackle global problems from health to social justice to climate. As noted in an article published by the World Economic Forum, “from Future Fridays to anti-government protests and employee-mobilization efforts, 2019 was a notable year in global collective action. This energy has carried into 2020 and gained strength and momentum as the universal challenges and urgency of COVID-19 have galvanized both likely and unlikely actors to mobilize and support their communities.”
The adventure travel community offers one of many examples of this trend. As an organization, the ATTA extends the reach of individual small businesses and amplifies the values of our industry. Through the organization’s global network, the potential of entrepreneurs around the world to deliver experiences that delight guests, earn money for local communities, and support conservation goals is extended. And while our industry has always been unique for its shared values, the twin challenges of the pandemic and climate have brought people together even more.
On the urgent topic of climate, the ATTA has incubated Tomorrow’s Air and Neutral Together – two unique and very focused examples of collective action in tourism dedicated to restoring our climate. These two mechanisms were created specifically to encourage tourism businesses and travelers to engage in beneficial actions for the climate, strengthening the impact of any single entity’s participation.
Through Tomorrow’s Air, I was recently introduced to another collective action vehicle – this one supporting local entrepreneurs with close ties to adventure travel and climate action: Local Keeps. The partnership formed with Local Keeps is a beautiful example of how grassroots collectives can consolidate their influence around a shared vision for tomorrow.
Local Keeps curates the best the local makers – of everything from cosmetics to housewares – Costa Rica has to offer. With a core motivation to support locally owned businesses whose gains have environmental and social benefit, Local Keeps’ founder Galit Flasterstein has tested thousands of products (aka ‘keeps’) and recruited the best to her market.
Browsing all the makers on the site is not unlike reading the ‘About Us’ pages of my favorite adventure travel companies to learn the backstories of the founders. On Local Keeps I loved learning about Elena, the architecture student turned jeweler who founded Lolita Mia, the mother-daughter team of Aromaflor, and Vanessa, a woman whose passion for local folklore combines with a beautiful sense of fashion and design, among many other inspiring makers. Each of these individual makers, on their own, is bringing benefits to their community. Collectively, they have a stronger presence, and through their participation in the Local Keeps brand, a shared narrative about Costa Rica and its distinctive culture and nature. Now they’re extending their reach to climate, through Tomorrow’s Air.
“Sustainability has been at Local Keeps’ core mission since its very beginnings. Eco-friendly production processes by our makers are one of the criteria we check when choosing who to partner with. But we also constantly look to alleviate Local Keeps’ impact on world environment and so, joining forces with Tomorrow’s Air gave us a simple and effective way to help be part of a meaningful solution and fit easily with our strategy,” said Galit. Local Keeps is offering Tomorrow’s Air members a fifteen percent discount at checkout every time, with no limit on the number of purchases. Each sale will generate a five percent commission to Tomorrow’s Air, to support our mission. Take a look HERE.
I feel like the era of doubting the feasibility of big-dream visions for the future of business built on idealistic values that put local cultures, communities, and the environment at the center is winding down. We’re heading now into the era of collective action, an era in which people understand the need and possibility for the massive, transformative change that can happen when we come together under a big tent. As the head of the UN, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, said: “2021 is a make or break year for collective action against the climate emergency.” We’re bringing all our creativity, all our passion, all our expertise together to unite travelers and travel companies to help restore our climate.
Join us! Learn how your business can participate in the ATTA’s climate action programs: send an email to [email protected]