🌿 We are all in the same boat, globally. Or we are in the middle of the same challenging storm, in different boats. Anyhow this planet is home for everyone and some of us just happened to born into better circumstances.
🌿 One of the key issues is empathy and compassion -willingness to help others and willingness to help nature to regenerate
🌿 By reconnecting to nature we create meaningful stories to share
Would you like to join our global community of Love Forest Finland?
Rakkauden Metsä – Love Forest Finland is a concept designed in Regenerative way. It offers a simple and beautiful way to incluence:
You can plant a symbolic tree in any authorized place globally
Dedicate the tree to somenone or to some cause important to you
Love Forest grows where the Love Trees are growing
The concept has been designed in a very simple way to ensure anyone can participate. There are two base camps in Finland but the basic idea is that Love Forest consists of all the trees, growing all over the globe without any boarders.
Planting a tree is a symbolic way to show care and love. Money donated to protect old forests is a small but important and beautiful way to act for a better future.
I have witnessed several beautiful tree planting moments. Not a single situation has been emotionless and the feedback has been always positive.
Planting a tree is not only beautiful and meaningful moment but also truly concrete way to connect with nature as you literally touch the ground and show care to the ”baby tree” . The tree connects us from the past to the present and far into the future as tree planted can live for hundreds of years.
💚 The first tree planted out of the Finnish boarders is situated in northern part of Spain, in Asturias. 💚 💚 Would your tree be the next one? 💚
Thank you for following the blog. I started to write the blog in October 2010 to encourage my Tourism students to start blogging as part of the personal branding. I established my company called Mood of Finland in October 2017 and I have worked as a full-time entrepreneur since January 2018.
Rakkauden Metsä – Love Forest Finland is a concept owned by Mood of Finland company. I dare to admit that I have not succeeded in making the concept of Love Forest Finland financially viable, but I trust that the time will come. I do encourage to design meaningful concepts, to do experiments with the principle of a low threshold and I encourage to listen to your heart.
I had a very good conversation with my son, grown up now, about cultural evolution and regenerative tourism. I told him I am eager to understand what are the values that guide human behavior and choices after or in addition to transmodern values. I also told that I see a logical connection between cultural evolution and regenerative thinking.
I explained what I mean by cultural evolution to my son by using the symbolic hats I use when talking about my thoughts to any audience; the traditional wearing a cap, the modern wearing an academic graduation cap, postmodern with a fancy wig and the transmodern wearing a green wilderness hat. As a bonus I have added a sub-profile of transmodern which I call an ”ultra-ecologist” with green glasses on. She/he makes choices based only on ecological values and e.g. refuses to fly.
Regeneration is a process of understanding
I also told my son that I have been a little stuck with the production of regenerative tourism education content. I want to learn and understand more and at the same time I feel like it´s not about offering a course or two, but it´s about inviting the interested ones to regenerate together, to change the mindset and to understand all what surrounds us in an holistic way.
It´s about unselfish love to nature and willingness to produce well-being for oneself, for others and for nature. I keep on saying that regeneration is a process and it takes time. It requires a deep understanding of how nature operates, heals, flourish and regenerate itself. Regeneration invites and forces us to slow down, to observe and to understand our role as part of the universe and the nature.
I am preparing material (in Finnish) and I will invite you soon to experience this process together, if you wish.
Safemodern – subculture of transmodern
My son went through idea of cultural evolution, the profiles and the values behind them. He also understood very easily that many of us are actually a mixture of several profiles based on values. Then he said in very firm and inspired way:
The fifth profile wears a helmet, maybe a mask, also. It could be called safemodern!
And he continued: The values behind the behavior rises from the need for a sense of security at all levels. We are (and we have been) forced to go back from the transmodern appreciation of communality to more individual thinking as we try to ensure the safety of ourselves and of our loved ones. We no longer act so globally because we feel security in the neighborhood is more important. This does not rule out the possibility that we are aware and interested in global situations.
Then he hurried to meet his friends, leaving his mother (me) in a state of excitement.
Safemodern cares about nature and is realistically optimistic
As in cultural evolution before, I hope the transformation will include the good we have embraced. I hope the safemodern persons emphasize the holistic nature of human, health care, science and life phenomena. Indeed, I hope that safemodern wants to be involved in regeneration.
It makes sense that safemodern will characterize by ecological thinking and planetary consciousness and understands that caring for nature is essential to avoid security-threatening eco-disasters, uncontrolled refugee flows and epidemics. Caring for nature is essential for food security. Safemodern, as well as transmodern persons are ready to pay to clean up the environment, stop pollution and stop the greenhouse effect.
Safemodern, bearing in mind the transmodern values, are in favor of optimism, but as a representative of its time and experience, safemodern may be less optimistic than its transmodern predecessor about peaceful solutions while talking about geopolitical crises and physical security and is more sympathetic to defense alliances and the financing of armed defense.
From cyber security to health security
In a digitalized world, cyber security is, of course, part of the basics of safemodern persons´ everyday life. Digital applications will be used more and more to help safemodern persons´ life in many ways. At the same time, misinformation and over-reliance on technology worries.
Health security is crucial. At all levels, the importance of foresight is emphasized and therefore the importance of science and management by knowledge is also maintained.
*)Health security defined by WHO: Global public health security is defined as the activities required, both proactive and reactive, to minimize the danger and impact of acute public health events that endanger people’s health across geographical regions and international boundaries.
From emotional security to closing words
I could go on for much longer, but I will end this post here: The ability to respond to weak signals and changes are key to a successful safemodern business. I believe that alongside digitalization, safemodern people also value emotional security, genuine encounters and deep feelings.
As an enabler of emotional security, tourism has a role to play by connecting people globally and encouraging people to accept diversity regardless of the religion neither the sexual or political orientation.
Thank you Daniel for the inspiring conversation!
Thank you, dear reader, for following my blog!
Please, note: Safemodern might be a subculture of transmodern culture and maybe we will call it as ”newmodern”, ”neomodern” or ”remodern”. This text is based on the conversation with my son, added by some thoughts of mine. I am interested in understanding human behavior through a change in values and became familiar with the subject for the first time when I completed my master’s degree in 2014 at the University of Lapland. There is no accepted academic background behind this theory and text, yet 🙂
While destinations try to implement their best practices for sustainable tourism, forerunners already focus on regeneration. Is regenerative tourism just another trendy term amongst others, or what does it mean in practice – and why is it important?
This article has originally published in Finnish (suomeksi) by Saana Jaakkola, Valpas Media, in comercial cooperation with Mood of Finland company (owned by Anu Nylund). Saana Jaakkola has translated the article in English.
In December 2021, a small but enthusiastic group of Finnish travel professionals interested in the transformation of the tourism industry joined an online event organised by Anu Nylund. Through her company, Mood of Finland, Nylund offers educational and tourism services focusing on responsible and sustainable tourism.
Not all participants were from Finland. The keynote came from Chile; Carlos Briceño and Martín Araneda from Turismo Regenerativo inspired the participants with real-life examples of a new, refreshing type of tourism. Regenerative tourism.
The Global Regenerative Tourism Initiative gathers together tourism professionals, entrepreneurs, influencers and the locals living with the impacts of tourism from all over the world. The collaborative platform aims to urge a global mindset change from sustainable and responsible towards a regenerative way of thinking and action.
When talking about regenerative tourism, this is where we need to begin: from a complete change of mindset.
What is the purpose of tourism?
Carlos Briceño and Martín Araneda led the participants for a virtual adventure to the Southern tip of South America, in the middle of Patagonia’s breath-taking and pristine landscapes. Far away from people, far away from everything.
Then, they dropped a question: what is the purpose of tourism? Why would tourists need to be taken to this remote, untouched destination?
– Tourism has to serve another kind of purpose than just entertaining tourists, Carlos Briceño said.
Until now, tourism developers worldwide have thought about what a destination could give to tourism and tourists. Regenerative tourism turns the question around and asks what could tourism and tourists give to the destination. How could tourism increase the well-being of the local environment and people?
– We have to think about how we could take travellers to these pristine locations in a way that benefits the destination. How could we help tourists create a deep and meaningful connection with the place, not only with its beauty but also the problems and threats that put it in danger? Briceño specified.
The principles of sustainable and responsible tourism have instructed us to minimise the negative impacts of travel. Regenerative mindset teaches us that reducing the downsides isn’t enough. It teaches us to build back better.
By its simplest definition, regenerative tourism ensures that tourism positively impacts the destination. Tourism should bring improvements instead of just minimising the negatives, leaving the place in a better condition than before.
In reality, regenerative tourism goes further than this.
Raising awareness of regenerative tourism in Finland
Finland aims to be the world’s leading destination of sustainable tourism. Yet, there hasn’t been much discussion over regenerative tourism in Finland.
Anu Nylund believes the situation is about to change.
Nylund has started her journey along the path of regenerative tourism by following and learning from the world’s best-known experts and influencers. One of them is Anna Pollock, the founder of Conscious Travel and one of the most famous specialists and advocates in regenerative tourism.
Anu Nylund has put regenerative thinking into practice with Love Forest Finland. Her concept encourages people to plant trees and supports the protection of old-growth forests and marshland restoration through the Finnish Natural Heritage Foundation. ”By planting a tree in the soil, people rediscover their long-lost connection with nature”, Nylund has noticed.
Nylund has studied regenerative tourism on an extensive online course hosted by Turismo Regenerativo. Currently, she’s preparing a series of webinars and workshops in collaboration with Finnish and international experts – including Anna Pollock, Carlos Briceño and Martín Araneda – to raise awareness of regenerative tourism in Finland.
It’s not going to be an easy task.
– We need a complete change in the way we think about tourism. We have to let go of old habits and stay open and receptive to new ideas and information. Regenerative tourism isn’t about individual actions; the transition requires plenty of committed people and significant structural changes, Nylund emphasises.
Not everyone will be able to do so, Nylund believes.
– Some people aren’t willing to change, and that’s our greatest challenge.
New metrics for measuring success
For decades, visitor numbers and tourism income have been the leading indicators of success. The common goal has been to increase both, no matter the true costs.
Less attention has been paid to the negative impacts that tourism causes to destinations, their environment and natural resources. The development of tourism facilities, services, and infrastructure has taken its toll on natural areas. Often tourists also consume utilities, such as water and electricity, vastly more than the locals.
These success rates have been followed more intensively during the pandemic than ever before. Meanwhile, the climate and biodiversity crises stay forgotten in the background, even though tourism plays a two-faced role in them; tourism worsens the environmental issues that will massively influence the future of the whole industry.
Regenerative mindset requires defining new and more humane metrics for measuring success.
Carlos Briceño shared a real-life example from Costa Rica, where success is measured by the number of hummingbirds returning to the area after winter instead of the annual increase of visitor numbers.
Experts aren’t exaggerating when they talk about the significant changes required. Anna Pollock, one of the world’s leading specialists on regenerative tourism, often quotes Albert Einstein:
”The world we have created is a product of our thinking; it cannot be changed without changing our thinking.No problem can be solved with the same consciousness that created it.”
We can’t solve problems by acting and thinking the same way we did when we created the issues we face today. And that’s why a complete change of mindset is required; we have to acknowledge that people are part of nature, part of planet Earth, where everything – and everyone – is connected.
Nature persistently regenerates itself to ensure it can keep flourishing. Us, people, would need to do the same.
From continuous growth to continuous flourishing
The most well-known example of regenerative thinking comes from farming. Regenerative cultivation heals the soil and produces climate benefits by increasing biodiversity and improving the soil’s capacity to preserve and sequester carbon. Healthy soil provides a more abundant harvest, much to the producer’s advantage.
Regenerative cultivation helps the soil flourish. How could we transfer this mindset into tourism?
Anu Nylund talks about the sense of place. It means including the local community in tourism development starting from step one.
– When discussing regenerative tourism, the key is to ask the locals how they see their home and how they would like it to be preserved for generations to come. What are the main aspects they want to share with tourists? What are they most proud of, why do they want to live there and, most importantly, what kind of visitors do they wish to invite there?
Nylund emphasises that regenerative thinking requires innovative efforts for restoring the environment and preventing disadvantages instead of quietly watching the slow devastation of the destination.
Prevention isn’t only better for the environment and local communities; it’s also economically more viable policy than finding ways to rehabilitate a ruined destination.
– In practice, it could mean restoring an abandoned village school for tourism activities instead of new buildings, Nylund specifies.
There are notable examples of regenerative tourism from Belgium to Patagonia and New Zealand but also in Finland. Anu Nylund benchmarks Lapland Shephard Holidays, a new concept for rural tourism designed in terms of local well-being.
Instead of continuous growth, regenerative tourism pursues continuous vitality and flourishment. Therefore we need to consider how tourism could make destinations and their communities flourish.
But how could we change our mindsets towards regenerative thinking in a world where responsibility and sustainability remain distant goals?
International traveller – the change agent of the future
Our virtual trip to Patagonia started to provoke thoughts and conversations among the participants. Some of them shared memories of destinations that lost their sense of place in only two years when a small, idyllic village surrounded by subtropical forests transformed into a hotel-filled tourist destination chasing ever-growing visitor numbers. Gone were the forests, together with the village.
Some participants questioned Finland’s outspoken goal to become the world’s leading example of sustainable tourism. How could we possibly change our mindsets towards regenerative tourism when more Charter planes carry one-day visitors from the UK to Lapland and back than ever before?
– Travel companies can earn their income with fewer visitors, but it has to come from the strategy. We need significant changes and decisions about future ways of doing business to preserve our nature. This transition needs to be supported financially, states Nylund.
She believes that travellers play an essential role in the changing environment. Nylund refers to travellers as change agents of the future, the empowering force requiring actual benefits for the destinations. Every avid traveller can – and a growing number of travellers will – think of ways to leave their travel destination in a better shape than before.
This force could affect tourism for example in Lapland.
– What if it was the travellers who say they don’t want to travel to Lapland to help it stay authentic? If travellers were to make that choice, the decisions would need to follow.
Nylund challenges local communities worldwide to consider how they would get by if the visitor numbers would crash permanently. What would be the new, regenerative services to help the destination flourish and locals earn a living with fewer visitors?
– We’re most likely heading towards time and age where travellers say they rather pay for destinations not to welcome tourists. They’ll prefer virtual trips, where local professionals guide them through their travel destination, and it will be enough as they know it’s the only way to rescue it.
Nylund refers to a well-known phrase that states: Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man how to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.
Regenerative tourism goes further than this. It aims to nurture the environment to ensure enough fish for future generations.
– This applies to Finland, too. At the moment, we’re on the road of overfishing, reaching the limits of the destination capacity. We have to change our mindsets, or we’ll be heading for the worse.
Einstein already knew it. As Anna Pollock often refers, no problem can be solved with the same consciousness that created it.