NETWORKING FOR THE PROMOTION OF SUSTAINABLE URBAN TOURISM: KICK OFF OF THE EUROPEAN TOURBAN PROJECT
Last Thursday, March 31, the Ethnic Association participated in the Design Thinking Lab that was held at Casa Llotja de Mar. The training was run by the Tourban program, a project funded by the European Union whose objective is to accompany small and medium-sized companies to become more sustainable and competitive, both economically, socially and environmentally.
The first session took place on Thursday afternoon and consisted of a general presentation and an introduction to the Design Thinking methodology. During the meeting, which was attended by more than fifty entrepreneurs from all over Europe, the participants had to select a series of challenges that would later be addressed in a second session. These challenges had previously been identified by the participants and alluded to issues such as, “the difficulty of correctly identifying the target audience”, “the complexity of finding the balance between sustainability, income generation and satisfaction of customers”, “the difficulty of involving local organizations and host communities in the transformation of conventional tourism models”, or “the adversities identified when communicating business commitments effectively”. In total, 47 challenges were identified directly related to the areas of “sustainability”, “digitalisation”, “communication” and “strategy”.
The second session of the event took place on April 1 and focused on solving the previous challenges. Participants worked in groups to generate innovative ideas using whiteboards and sticky notes to brainstorm, organize, analyze and synthesize them. The Aethnic team collaborated with the other participants to find solutions to challenges that are present in a large part of their projects, and took the opportunity to learn about numerous sustainable tourism initiatives from all over Europe. Finally, the training concluded with the presentation of the results and the awarding of diplomas.
With these two days, the Aethnic team understood that through Design Thinking it is possible to generate a creative and innovative culture that, in addition to responding to the daily challenges of the entity, allows to promote and encourage cooperativeness and collective intelligence.