christopher federer

: farmer of collaborative arrangments

‘trade vs. aid’ : Need a diet

No Ice Cream for You!

Growing up I was obese and ever since I’ve been conscious of my diet.  I’ve yo-yoed a bit over 15 years but on average I’ve kept my weight at a slim 170′ pounds.

If you go on a diet – seriously – there are some things you need to do.  First, purge your refrigerator and cupboards of junk food.  Second, decide on a simple eating plan and stick to it patiently and persistently.

After college, I worked and lived with my father on several occasions. We would fight because he would fill the house with candy and ice cream and I would throw it out.  He would antagonize or accuse me of lacking willpower.  “You need to learn to say no!” he would tell me.

Get serious!  Our ‘environments’ affect our behaviors, and most of us don’t have the willpower to surround ourselves with people, food, and places that don’t align with our goals and still achieve them.

“Everything you see, hear, smell, taste, and touch is an environment. And those environments are either adding energy or draining energy.” — Jim Bunch

Trade vs. Aid : Needs a Diet First

The developed world has donated ‘billions’ of dollars to Africa with little benefit to the people for whom it is intended.  Maybe it’s a combination of aid organizations ignoring local stakeholders real needs, myopic economic policy, or political systems that reward corruption.  But the results have been abysmal.

‘Trade’, or making more efforts at inspiring entrepreneurship has been the development industries battle cry since I can remember.  ‘Give a man a fish and he eats for a day, teach a man to fish and he eats for a lifetime.’

Sounds great!  But sadly it’s not worth going fishing if the lakes still polluted.

If we’re serious about ‘economic development goals’ the first step is to help ‘communities’ purge their systems of junk.  It’s not as fun as brokering trade deals with China but it’s the truth.

The desired goals are the byproduct of healthy ‘investment ‘environments’.

*My name is Chris.  I’m a lab rat with the worldinnovationteam.com and I run tripstigator.com— a community of travelers that exchange marketing skills for authentic experiences that make a difference.

Volunteers Should be Selling with Storytelling.

Storytelling is the most powerful tool you have to share your message and inspire others to spread it for you through word-of-mouth. It’s also a great barrier for many innovative ventures around the world maximizing social impact alongside profits.

In his book Traction, Gabriel Weinstein reveals how most startups end in failure : Almost every failed startup has a product. What failed startups don’t have is traction — real customer growth.

What separates successful businesses from passion projects is that they have built audiences because they are excellent storytellers.  Clearly, most new ventures have wonderful products or services with incredible solutions but that’s not enough to build a massive customer base that will be motivated to take action.

The most successful ventures are those that don’t just post pretty pictures of themselves on social media but they share their exact methods to inspire or empathize with their fans.  What sets them apart is a unique story of what’s possible and a distinctive brand that is deeply personal.

Studies show that we learn and remember a message best when it is packaged and delivered through narrative storytelling. Literally, the power of a great story is that it is a blueprint for transformation. Everyone has dreams that they have yet to realize and chase after. They just need a great storyteller to give them an example to follow and then motivate them to take action.

The Power of Storytelling to help us… all!
The internet has democratized business and social networks are easily accessible.  A smartphone can now bridge shade-grown Arabica coffee farmers in Laos to roasters in Brooklyn. Still, online platforms often exploit and exacerbate existing inequalities in society, even while promising to be the great equalizers.

Why? People around the world and many organizations that serve them now have access to the tools but lack the knowledge or skills to grow audiences.

The world is breaking up into the ‘elite global educated class’ and everybody else. The elites by and large control things. They control the money. They control the rules on how you make it. They also control the social capital. They set/define what is acceptable, what is allowable, and what is frowned on.  And you need to know how to talk to them!

We Are All Called To Be Storytellers Now
No matter where they are, all professionals and business leaders in the 21 century will be valued for their ability to create stories that will captivate their audiences.

Those of us who answer this calling by thinking deeply about who we are, how we can serve our audience and what makes us different will have an unbeatable advantage.

Those of us who answer this calling can also choose to help ‘others’ outside the ‘globally educated class’ to not only make a difference in the world but benefit from serving something bigger than themselves.

It’s not hard to start helping. Contact a growing social enterprise solving a problem that’s important to you. You’ll benefit from new friends, a diversified network, deepen skill set, and a new perspective.  If you don’t know where to look you can check outTripstigator.com or some of the other platforms where you exchange professional skills for making a difference.

Sourced from Kyle Pearse(@kaaist) at diygenius.com : Source

Can Marketers Save the World?

Social enterprise is not new, but growing connectivity between communities has stimulated interest in social enterprise as a way of delivering both positive social impact and economic growth.

These ventures have a social, environmental, and/or cultural mission that strengthens the company’s financial margin. Social and environmental enterprises are best positioned to understand what local problems are, and the best ways to solve them. They are also financially sustainable, flexible and nimble in their approaches so their impact is long-lasting.

For example, growing ventures like Saffron Coffee in Laos support 780 Hill Tribe families and protect the environment by organizing and marketing their local specialty ‘shade grown’ coffee. Tribes make 2.5x more growing select Arabica coffee and soil regenerates as slash and burn techniques are traded for multi-cropping.

However, there still appears to be an inaccurate perception that many local social enterprises deal in lower quality products or services. This myth needs to be dispelled by occupying premium price positions and developing quality products and services targeted effectively at like-minded consumers.  But in the ever growing sea of noise, most local ventures are ill-equipped to get their message out.

Global marketers now have the fun opportunity to connect with and use professional skills to make a difference while also benefiting from meaningful adventures around the world.

According to Professor Bob Doherty of the Social Enterprise Journal, advice for aspiring or practicing social venture marketers boils down to this:
-Get the product and premium price right.
-Articulate the social mission clear to inspire all staff, partners, and investors.
-Create a strong a strong unique selling point.
-Engaged grassroots supporters and campaigners.
-Make great partnerships a priority.
-Help recruit great people.

New online communities are growing to better support this movement. Mine is called Tripstigator.com : Joy through flexible marketing projects around the world. Check it out!

Travel Trends, Authentic Contends

Once upon a time the majority of high-end travelers talked about what they saw or did instead of who they met in a destination.  Every day, people crossed borders and spent their hard earned money on packaged run-of-the-mill and homogenized experiences.  One day more people wanted to reclaim what’s real and focus on experiencing a country, city or particular place by connecting to its history, people and culture.  Because of that, mass tourism was no longer sufficient and lead to a new breed of package trip, one that strikes a balance between personalization, independence, and in-the-know support and assistance.  Until finally tour operators and hotels started responding to a real interest in interacting in a genuine way with other people and cultures and showing the reality of a place — good and bad.
(Lucy Fuggle, TrekkSoft)

The task for travel operators or communities is to understand how a travel experience can truly change us and provide customers with a new, unique, and authentic way to understand our world.  We’re seeing lots of new creative travel ventures.  One is Tripstigator.com : Joy through flexible marketing projects and authentic experiences around the world.  Exchange professional skills for authentic experiences that make a difference.  Join Here!