On their recent visit to Manila, the South of the Border guys Nathan and Baptiste connected with many great, like-minded social entrepreneurs and other organisations. Though few have the amazing precedent and pulling power of Gawad Kalinga (GK). The guys were fortunate enough to be invited along to a GK CSI night that happened to be perfectly scheduled in the middle of their trip.
GK was founded and is run by the omnipresent and effervescent Tony Moloto. Tito Tony as he is affectionately called has recently received recognition from some of the most influential groups in economic development, including the Skoll Foundation, Ernst & Young, and the World Economic Forum. GK is a extraordinarily large organisation with a huge scope of activities from agriculture to tourism and social business. However, their core activity revolves around poverty alleviation, specfically developing housing for those living in poverty. One element of this is the Gawak Kalinga Centre for Social Innovation…. a.k.a GK CSI
So on a rainy Manila evening, Nathan and Baptiste made their way to Quezon City for the GK CSI evening, held at one of GK’s social enterprises, The Enchanted Farm Cafe. GK CSI is all about inspiring storytelling, so knowing this our guys put together their perspective on one of the foundation ideas behind the South of the Border concept… here are some exerts from their talk.
South of the Border on Creating Shared Value in Tourism
The importance of values
So we find ourselves in Manila. Over the next 10 minutes or so we are going to give you an insight into South of the Border. Given this short time it got us thinking about the absolutely fundamental aspects of what we are trying to achieve. And it all comes down to values. What world do we want to create.
We want to build an organisation that embodies the ideals of:
- A human-centred approach to everything
- Transparency by opening up our organisation to everyone
- Co-creation and collaboration with key stakeholders
- Mutually beneficial relationships
We will not budge on these details. They represent who we are, our identity, our raison d’etre. Together these values will shape our future model of SHARED VALUE. A future where commercial activities and communities are strengthened together through mutually beneficial relationships.
So the future of tourism in many ways aligns with the future of consumption. This will increasingly look like human-based interactions that create feelings of mass customisation. Integration with places visited not segregation. Deep, richer experiences with local community.
The future of grassroots community projects is finding sustainable revenue sources. Ways to support ongoing operations that are self-sufficient. Diversified. Forward thinking charities in many places have already begun seeking new opportunities. Empowering communities in cities everywhere to create a better place.
By necessity the evolution of the charity model will look more like business in the future… we believe the real opportunity lies in linking these concepts together bound by cross-cultural faciliation. Building pride through empathy.
South of the border’s model of tourism shared value
So it is obvious that an opportunity exists to link the community and tourists together. The challenge lies in creating shared value between both, where the tourist experience can be strengthened while supporting the community in a meaningful way. We can do this with social business. Create walking tours in city precincts off the tourist trail, where tourists hear the stories of locals. From local heroes, people working on projects in their local community.
So the evening was a great success. With a room full of so many great social entrepreneurs it was impossible not to leave inspired and ready for the rest of what Manila could throw at them…