The Geotourism Challenge 2009 returns in search for responsible innovations

The Optimist Travel Team

Last updated 4/28/2009 3:21:18 PM

Ashoka's Changemakers partner with National Geographic Society and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to announce global online competitions -The Geotourism Challenge 2009 and Cultivating Innovation.

Previous year’s winners are 3 Sisters Adventure Trekking (Nepal), Rios Tropicales Lodge (Costa Rica) and Yachana Foundation (Ecuador).

Ashoka is a global non-profit network for social enterprises that devise innovative solutions to the social problems that plague the society.

It provides an online, interactive forum that encourages collaboration and discussion, along with theme-based competitions, to draw out the most effective ideas.

Entries will be showcased to a network of like-minded community members, funders, CSOs, opinion leaders, universities, governments and social-change enthusiasts.

The first competition, "The Geotourism Challenge: Power of Place,” is launched in partnership with National Geographic Society to look for examples of sustainable management of tourism, or geotourism, as it is widely known.

The aim of the competition is to search for innovators that use tourism responsibly to help sustain, enhance or preserve local culture, heritage and natural habitats.

The second competition, "Cultivating Innovation: Solutions for Rural Communities," is in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

It is a search for innovative solutions that span the entire agricultural value chain – from seeds to sales.

Three-quarters of the world’s poorest people — the 1 billion who live on $1 a day or less — rely on agriculture to feed themselves and their families, yet many cannot grow enough to sell or even eat.

The entry deadlines are May 13th and May 20th, 2009. For more details on the competitions, please visit