Project Development Procedure
The IIID summer academy "BASE" is an important element in the development of a bigger project which started in 2005 with the IIID/idX summer academy "(Im)Material Exchange" with and at the Free University of Bozen/Bolzano, South Tyrol, Italy. It is expected to be followed by a summer academy in 2008 "START".
This statement may serve as a motto of the project:
"Having too much, like having nothing are two extremes that conspire against happiness"
(Frank Bracho in "Happiness and Indigenous Wisdom in the History of the Americas").
To develop the concept of the summer academy we need to depart from the "overall purpose of the project" as the top priority long term aim:
To generate happiness among both the givers (donors ready to support vocational education to counteract unemployment in rural areas of Cabo Verde) and receivers (juveniles of Cabo Verde wanting to equip themselves with the necessary knowledge to develop sustainable tourism at the Cape Verde islands).
The defined "Objectives/activities of the summer academy" must serve the above quoted overall purpose:
– utilizing information design methods,
– defining a Cabo Verde USP (Unique Selling Proposition),
– translating the USP into concepts of branding and communication,
– designing a unique hiking experience,
– designing infrastructural tourist information,
– compiling the content of a "Tourism Development Course".
Sustainable tourism touches several issues. Among the most important:
expectations of potential tourists (they not only relate to the USP of a given region but also to basic matters like comfort, hygiene, amenities, etc.),
impact on regional economy,
impact on local communities.
Expectations of potential tourists
Participants of the summer academy will model "personas" along Alan Cooper's method described in "The Inmates are Running the Asylum / Why High-Tech Products Drive Us Crazy and How to Restore the Sanity" and will employ the concept of "journeys" according to "The Wolff Olins Guide to Design Management". In doing so, tourists' needs and requirements on tourist infrastructure will be identified.
Impact on social economy
Sustainable tourism is expected to contribute to the GNP (Gross National Product). Recently the concept of GNH (Gross National Happiness) was developed and implemented in Bhutan by Jingme Singye Wangchuck (fourth king of Bhutan 1972 - December 2006, named as one of Time magazine's 100 People Who Shape Our World), who believed "GNH is more important than GNP". Several related conferences have been held in support of the notion that GNH defines the quality of life in more holistic and psychological terms than GNP. Along with the summer academy IIID takes steps which should lead up to insights of how the impact of sustainable tourism may be assessed with regard to both the GNP and GNH.
Impact on local communities
Considering that most, if not all of the requirements of tourism on infrastructure are also requirements of the locals the concept of "Ecovillage Design" shows the way. Supported by the GAIA Trust of Denmark, the "Global Ecovillage Educators for Sustainable Earth (GEESE)" conceived a course to the fundamentals of "Ecovillage Design for Urban and Rural Settlements".
According to the GAIA website (www.gaia.org) "The ideal village, which does not yet exist - is a sustainable human settlement which is in harmony with all aspects of life, including the cultural, ecological and spiritual dimensions."
By defining the infrastructure requirements the summer academy will be relating to the curriculum of the above mentioned course, a 112 page document available from the GAIA website.
Realizing the objectives of the summer academy
Step one of every design process:
Participants, both "students" and "faculty" are expected to contribute to this by investigating - prior to the summer academy - the following:
Identifying unique features of Cabo Verde's heritage, geography, environment, culture, industry, etc. as reflected by tourism related Cabo Verde websites.
Useful: categorization according to strengths and weaknesses.
This investigation is of utter importance despite of the fact that some of the strengths and weaknesses can be identified only by personally experiencing them on the spot.
USPs of comparable countries/regions
Participants are requested to collect (and structure) relevant information from travel agents, guide books, websites, advertisements (magazines, TV, etc.).
Findings will be discussed by participants and called-in local experts. They will be compared with the results of an investigation IIID will be doing prior to the summer academy involving representatives of the cultural, commercial and political life of Cabo Verde, immigrants to the USA and possibly some other countries, and tourists who have recently visited Cabo Verde.
Scenarios and communication settings
Of many possible scenarios one stands out: Speeding down and experiencing the uniqueness of Cabo Verde first and foremost on foot, possibly also on bike.
Part of the scenario includes situations in which tourists need to find their own ways round, another part has a focus on guided tours and supporting information. The summer academy will employ a concept focusing on information needs of "personas" (conceived individuals singled out of a target group) on a "journey".
Communication settings will be aiming at service providers, tourists and travel agents/tour operators.
In particular the importance of the latter as mediators between the enablers of unique experiences and those who are ready to travel far to enjoy the unusual will be considered.
Implications on infrastructure and required resources/costs are recorded alongside 2.1 and 2.2, employing the "co-ordinate indexing method" of FHK Henrion/Alan Parkin and related to the curriculum of "Ecovillage Design Education".
The USP of Cabo Verde
Appropriate branding concepts (including logo and "one mission statement") and implementations consiering all suitable media will be sketched on the basis of the outcome of 1.2. The specifics of the "Genetic Code of the Brand"®, described by the “Institut fuer Markentechnik Geneva" will be taken into consideration by developing a Cabo Verde brand.
It goes without saying that the result will need to be successful in two front ranks: It must be able to support identity building among the Cape Verdians and it must be easily communicable to potential Cape Verde visitors.
Developing a communication concept to attract donors
ready to support the implementation of the "Tourism Development Course".
Preceding the communication concept the costs of the course and precautions to be taken for setting it up and to handle related activities are estimated.
Evaluating the impact of selected scenarios on GNP and GNH
Implementing the "Tourism Development Course"
as a first step in developing Cabo Verde sustainable tourism.
Refining the Cabo Verde branding policy
broadening its base and adding further examples for implementation to those conceived at the 2007 summer academy.
Elaborating "Guidelines for the Development of Sustainable Tourism"
based on gained transferable insights.