Using social business to travel the world
- By Richard Brownsdon -
- Jun 15, 2012
Richard Brownsdon, creator of Inspiring Adventures, explains how he travelled the world on the Peace Boat and what he discovered in this guest blog...
So what is the Peace Boat?
Last year, I spent three and a half months circumnavigating the globe on a boat. Not just any boat - but the Peace Boat. Peace Boat is a Japanese non-profit organisation that three times a year charters a cruise ship and takes over 1,000 mostly Japanese passengers around the world. Each voyage takes about four months and stops at over 20 countries on the way, with a mission to promote peace, sustainability, and socially beneficial organizations, through events and cultural exchanges.
Travel and learn
I was volunteering on board as a Global English Teacher, and as a Guest Educator in social enterprise. Throughout the voyage, special Guest Educators from different regions of the world are invited on board for anything from a few days to several months. They share their knowledge, answer questions, organise lectures and workshops, and often, inspire the passengers to take positive action.
What’s the business model?
Many of the passengers didn't come on board for these lectures. They paid between $15,000-$40,000 for the amazing experience of travelling around the world and having the time of their life. Peace Boat works with a for profit travel agency that operates the logistics of the actual traveling.
However, it was fascinating to see how these talks and events, matched with the stimulating experience of world travel, really started to affect the way the passengers felt about the travelling experience, and about future.
What’s the social impact?
Peace Boat has created a space where passengers can feel a connection with the wider world, and encourages them to think about living in a peaceful, sustainable way.
About 70% of the passengers were over 50 years old, having the time and money, and because of the journey, are much more likely to become social investors.
A good 20% are under 30, and count as potential social entrepreneurs of the future. By volunteering with the Peace Boat organisation in Japan before a voyage, these younger passengers can exchange their time for generous discounts, and even join the journey completely free of charge.
Having seen how this journey affected the passengers, I really believe in the power of learning and traveling to stimulate and inspire people. Whether it’s to take action, start a social enterprise, or simply by supporting the socially beneficial projects that already exist in your local communities at home.
I believe these kinds of journeys can give people the global perspective from which to create a better world. Personally, I don’t think they are just for MBAs and CEOs, they are for all of us, and I hope that you too have the chance to take many inspiring learning journeys, and are open to the possibility that they may in fact, change the course of your life.
Richard has created Inspiring Adventures, for people who share his passion for learning journeys. He is coordinating a week long journey to Brazil this October, and there is an early bird discount until June 23rd. Subscribe to his newsletter for special offers, events and updates or contact him on Richard@InspiringAdventures.co.uk.
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