Session Title: The Power of Local Knowledge: Communities at the top of the tourism paradigm
Session Description: Baba Dioum said “In the end we will conserve only what we love, we will love only what we understand, and we will understand only what we
are taught”. Every day you are creating experiences for clients that have the power to transform their lives, their understanding of the world, and their role within it. You not only create experiences for your clients, you’re also impacting the places they visit. Is that impact a positive one? You are in the unique position to change peoples’ lives and literally make the world a better place with increased understanding, awareness, inspiration to be global citizens, and by benefiting the communities you work with – if you do it the right way. Are you?
Self Described: Philanthropists and Environmentalists
Biography: Britt Basel is the Director of Ecothropic. Her work bridges socio-environmental science, educational travel, and change-making media. Her fieldwork spans working with the United Nations Development Program and
the Nature Conservancy to direct engagement with small-scale farmers and local resources managers in indigenous and rural communities around the world. She uses community-driven processes incorporating capacity building, ecosystem-based solutions, sustainable livelihoods, social cohesion, and appropriate technology that empower communities to address the challenges they face. Building on 12 years of experience with educational travel for National Geographic and others, Basel designs and runs accredited-programs bringing small groups to the front-lines of climate change to engage with the scientists and community members who are defining socio-ecological solutions. Building on her experience as a visual storyteller (publications include National Geographic Traveller India, the Washington Post, The Outdoor Journal and others) and as a photography and multi-media instructor for National Geographic Student Expeditions and Putney Student Travel, Basel is currently using film to nurture and embolden communities and youth to solve their own social, environmental, and natural resource problems. While she has experience in 42 countries, her work is currently focused in Melanesia, Cuba, and Mexico. Her not-so-secret passion is dancing – especially to afro-Cuban rhythms. Basel has a BA in Anthropology (Colorado University), an MSc in Human Dimensions of Natural Resources (Colorado State University), and an MSc in Conservation Leadership (El Colegio de la Frontera Sur).