What is the likely impact of your idea? (150 words max)
The likely impact is relationships formed, the world experienced with the hope that those who now are able to travel will encourage others to, for friendships to be formed, for mentorship’s to develop, for those without opportunity to see, the possibility to understand, for long term social ‘movement’, for sustainable development; for development through the eyes of the resident, having experienced what is outside their region because they learned through the doing. To form new ideas through the experience.
Why is promoting global travel and engagement important? What makes your idea innovative? (200 words max)
While global networking is rampant evidenced by the fact that I can Skype, tweet or text from my PC to my son sitting on the floor of a bus, on his back pack on a dirt road in Kenya, most of those sitting on the bus with him have never left their area. Where some are more educationally or economically privileged, politically savvy, and socially confident, others don’t know where their next meal is coming from or how to obtain medical treatment for their family and can only dream of what life is outside of their domain. Travel, with guidance, proper immunization, and mentorship has the possibility of encouraging those in developing nations and remote areas of developed nations to see beyond their condition. This idea is innovative because while those more fortunate have been able to go to developing nations (NGOs, Missions, Medical treatment), the ‘rescue’ is one sided. Those from the ‘inside’ should go, travel, see, learn, and rally the experience (sustainable resources, education, culture, adventure pursuits). It is a fresh look at how to help from within and develop partnerships through shared experience.
What would it take to launch or spread your idea? How much would it cost to make your idea a reality? (150 words max)
I have not yet researched the cost at this 'idea' stage. BYS would act as the agent, much like an on line dating service, for would-be travelers, offering a place to meet and offering travel at a significant discount for travel partners. Partners will always be an experienced traveler with a less experienced one.
The program will be advertised by travel agencies, on line travel programs, airlines, hotel chains and other travel related companies. By signing on with BYS, more experienced travelers are matched with those who desire to travel from their geographic locale and agree to meet via an internet match/banking system. Those who desire to be partnered with those more experienced travelers will do so individually directly to the website or be recommended by a variety of hosts such as universities or NGOs.
Upon a ‘match’, travel partnerships will develop. Written correspondence will be necessary and the commencement of a travel relationship.
It will be necessary to secure both corporate and government sponsorship and recruit travel agents/carriers/retailers to sponsor this newest form of global social networking……
Describe your work as a social innovator (150 words max)
Today, my son traveled from Tanzania into Kenya, with his friend Frank. Frank is from a village outside of Kampala, Uganda and has never traveled outside of the Kampala area.
Together, Zak and Frank traveled thru Kenya and into Tanzania and together they climbed Mt Meru. Tired but very fulfilled by their shared experience and 3 day climb, they boarded their bus bound for Kenya and their ultimate destination, Kampala, Uganda. Frank slept as Zak texted me about his travels. Together, by each others side, the journey brought shared experience, joy and has, hopefully opened the door for Frank to leave his village again and encourage others to do the same.
While my professional life includes working for a private firm in water/wastewater and empowering woman through the birth process, I am a social innovator because we encourage and empower others to live such experiences, to meet others where they are at and to appreciate travel, education and all persons, cultures and religions by hosting others in our home and extending opportunities for such encounters through travel.