Identify Challenges, Incubate Ideas, and Accelerate Solutions for a Sustainable Future in Travel

Benoit gives you a glimpse at the amazing experience this unique setting creates to foster innovation and help support sustainable tourism at thecamp.

This extraordinary place situated in Provence,  France, was founded by Frédéric Chevalier to create a space for innovation focused on positive impact through technology. Not only working in tourism, thecamp runs different 'impact projects' in horizontal industries such as food, energy and waste as well as community and sustainable tourism.

Benoit Bailliart opens up with a tour of the camp, giving a glimpse at the amazing experience this unique setting creates to foster innovation and help support sustainable tourism acceleration at thecamp.

This extraordinary place situated in Provence,  France, was founded by Frédéric Chevalier to create a space for innovation focused on positive impact through technology. Not only working in tourism, thecamp runs different 'impact projects' in horizontal industries such as food, energy and waste as well as community and sustainable tourism. When thecamp and the DTTT first came together to explore ideas on creating a sustainable acceleration centre for tourism, it was clear that the location and environment, supported by a vibrant ecosystem and partners with experimentation fields was key. All of this, supported by a best-in-class acceleration programme.

To champion sustainability, every detail of the experience as an accelerator must be sustainable to really demonstrate what it means to build a truly circular economy. This is what they have tried to create at thecamp, from the arrival using sustainable and autonomous transportation, through the food served in the restaurant being sourced locally and sustainably, right through to the zero-impact accommodation.

Secondly, the ecosystem itself must support these same values. Being able to experiment with different actors in the region is key to prototyping various ideas related to sustainable solutions in tourism; this is where partnerships with the nearest train station airport are essential, for example. Likewise, for the local region and environment, you need to be able to form partnerships to set up "learning expeditions" which help us prototype, test and learn from the environment around us.

Acceleration is also key, to support the growth. Pashû Christensen talks about how they source, recruit and incubate startups. She talks about the importance of peer to peer learning between startups. The importance of challenging them on their vision to make sure it is ambitious and bold enough to break through the mould, with topics ranging from business and innovation right through to mindfulness, a deeply important consideration when we think about staying in good health amongst a high-pressure environment.

Sharing is also important to startups' success - both sharing with each other but also sharing ideas with business angels, mentors and investors. Pashû talks about the opportunity to grow sustainable innovations together in the tourism sector, by bringing together startups, with locals, experts and other entrepreneurs in a single environment which supports that 'zoning out' where they can focus on their ideas in real life, quite radically.

This is just a little teaser of some of the innovations and ideas that thecamp and the DTTT are working on together, with an open invitation to the industry to come forward and design the next innovation.

Key Takeaways

1. Create a space that offers the best environment for people to gather, fosters innovation and facilitate ideation: this involves the most innovative design choices and tech-driven solutions.

2. Start something with sustainability in mind. This is not an extra any more but needs to be considered in all the steps and aspects of a new project.

3. Partner up with all the key players in the industry. Build something that can benefit everyone with the help of partners that are able to share data and insights and facilitate innovation.

4. Share ideas with the industry experts, leaders, organisations: do not work on your own, work with the human and the centre of your thinking and human talent supporting every operation.

Published on:
November 2020
About the contributor

Benoit Bailliart

Benoit gives you a glimpse at the amazing experience this unique setting creates to foster innovation and help support sustainable tourism at thecamp.

Pashû Christensen

Pashû recently moved from San Francisco to Marseille to continue what she has been doing for over a decade: support radical entrepreneurs to challenge the status quo by bringing innovation and tech to the next stage and building the right communities around them.