CTC Wiki Project: A Creative Economy Strategy Using Web 2.0 and CommunitySupported Conservation to Build Human Capacity and Create Wealth byEnhancing Ecotourism in the Dominican RepublicPrepared by Jan Herder, 2009 for the Primera DamaProof of Concept ModelThrough the use of learning activities that employ Web 2.0 applications and by creatingin depth and extensive local knowledge bases (wikiʼs), students at the CTCʼs willacquire 21st Century Literacyʼs. The Process used is a creative technique thataccomplishes this goal by empowering people to take Stewardship of their Biome, in theprocess creating a deep, broad knowledge based sustainable environmental economy.By leveraging experiential hands-on, constructivist and immersive learning techniques,students are empowered. This is critical--the work is accomplished by the participants:students, adults, the disabled--not by outside consultants. My role would be to facilitateand construct a self perpetuating system of self reliance through the Internship andPeer to Peer leadership model. The CTC Wiki Project is in Partnership with theEcotourism industry to provide an in depth, value added travel experience focusing onthe unique environment and culture of speciﬁc locales in the DR that are situatednearby CTCʼs.ProblemThe rich and diverse environment of the DR is threatened. Loss of critical habitat andspecies erode the attraction of the DR for tourists and deplete the Islandʼs ability tosustain itself and to assure its cultural resilience. At the same time opportunities forhuman capacity building are lost. In the transition to a knowledge society the particularand speciﬁc attributes of the DR are threatened by development and tourism. Thistrend can be reversed and the challenge made an opportunity for the people of the DRthrough empowering the people to become Stewards of their culture and theirenvironment.StrategyThe strategic and extensive system of CTCʼs in the DR provide a trim tab, a point ofleverage, to actualize the cultural resilience and human capacity development soessential for the success of the country. These goals are in harmony with the growingecotourism movement and the growth and income generation that is predicted to occurin the DR over the next decade. Our proposal is to unite these activities, using each toenhance and support the other. Our methodology is to create a comprehensive systemof learning activities, applicable to CTCʼs across the DR, that empower students byacquiring 21st Century Literacys. By focusing on the sustainability of the communityand its biome, students become Stewards, self aware, valuing their environment. Byleveraging ICTʼs and Web 2.0 applications with creative economy techniques,comprehensive and immersive knowledge bases (wikiʼs) are established for eachlocale. This wealth of local knowledge and information is preserved, experienced,displayed, celebrated and presented as a value added proposition to the Ecotourist.Coupled with a clear carbon offset and mitigation strategy for the ecotourist, this
strategy assures the survival and attraction of the DR as a choice destination and placefor investment for the ecologically responsible tourist and enterprise.21st Century Learning and Earning activities: the CTC is a Microcosm of thebiome.Information and Communication Technologies enable us to speed up the process ofknowledge acquisition and cultural discovery, embarking on the journey of creation.This is the creative technique to employ hands-on, learning activities that are studentcentric, empowering and emergent-- every step of this process has economicincentives. The hallmark of this technique is that by doing it you are achieving it. Microenvironments are created at the CTC for instruction and research into local species andthe enhancement of agriculture, aquaculture and bio-remediation through the use ofeco-machines and other sustainable techniques.CTC Wiki ProjectGoal: To create value added ecotourism activities and strategies that make the DR adestination of choice for Ecotourism, Sustainability, and Emergent Culture. We wouldjoin and follow the Criteria set by the Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria:http://www.sustainabletourismcriteria.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=58&Itemid=188As a Web 2.0 Project all software applications are free and open source. An enhancedweb 2.0 marketing strategy would be used to build community, and globally advertiseand establish the Brand of the DR CTC Ecotourism Circuit.Wetpaint.wiki for the project: http://www.wetpaint.com/This wiki would be linked through the Portal, and provide content for the Portal. I wouldselect this application because of its easy use of visual components for visual literacy.Scalability. Our goal is to have a scalable project thoroughly documented, with aninfrastructure of local Human Resources in place, to scale this model up to anyadditional CTCʼs.$5,000.00 USD grant to each participant CTC. ROI is content. i.e., $1.00 per wikientry, various incentive models, etc., This a project for the entire CTC Community tofocus in one, very diverse, but completely local, thorough way. At least half ($2500) ispaid directly to individuals creating content.The Process begins with Community Participation and Involvement.--Local Inventory, collected over a couple of months. This can begin immediately!Using radio, web, ﬂiers etc. locallyAs much detail as possible and a continually growing body of knowledge is created.Structure for the wikiAn Organized inventory of the local Biome, its Ecotourism attributes:
Environmental, Cultural, Political, Artistic, ﬂora, fauna, geology, archeology, agricultural,dietetic, water, comfort, sustainability, etc.--Prioritized into actionable items, items which need assistance, types of items--Project Managers for each action Item, someone who takes ownership for each area.A Community Member, only accepting Items we can actualize at ﬁrst.--Volunteer Community of Experts, one of the groups created, outside experts invited,local experts created. This is a key empowerment strategy, with anyone, any age, ableto become an “expert” according to established criteria.--We focus on basic human needs as the primary learning activities related to sustainingecotourism.--This process is inherently Community Supported Conservation. Partnerships with anyand all existing organizations would be nurtured.Content Creation. Once the Priorities set, speciﬁc work can be begun in each area.The CTC Board Administers the wiki, with others involved with expertise. Now a wealthof knowledge and detail is created by the students and community of each CTC: webentry, Blog entry, photo uploads, videoʼs created, articleʼs written, art work and dance ormusic shown, digital stories of the townʼs people, the rich biome of their surroundingsand its most precious inhabitants. It is populated through additional web 2.0 sites, theusual oneʼs like Google Earth, Youtube, Flickr, Facebook, Twitter, Slide Share, Linkedin,nings, Blogs and a growing pantheon of sites the students will get involved with. As partof the project each participant from each CTC will create an eportfolio to demonstratetheir life long learning and highlight their skills as a component of the Human ResourcesInventory.Additional Content includes things like: Artifacts, Maps, Cuisine, displays, pathwayproposals and instructive hikes and treks, festivals, eventually eco-lodges to overnightin, to provide more in depth explorations, and other innovative, interactive activities thestudents devise.Intimately connected and immersed in Google Earth, content is added and focused ona global audience which cares about the environment and the sustainability of theearthʼs beauty and diversity. Gradually a rich display of unique features emerge.The CTCʼs establish a presence on Google Earth Immediately: 3D buildings, Pictureʼsand Youtube, wiki entries and detail. This is done by the more advanced CTC studentsand staff as part of the ﬁrst week of training.Networking and the Creative Economy The CTCʼs chosen will be intimatelynetworked and best practices shared. Cooperative competitions and exchanges willencourage a dialogue and interaction that builds on the best content creation andinnovative ecotourism activities created by each center. Prizes and awards foroutstanding work will recognize and energize the community as they compare andcontrast their work with each other.
Data Feeds and Carbon Footprint MitigationOne kind of data feed we want the CTCʼs to create and maintain, the carbon footprintand its mitigation, is an excellent example. This is interactive with the tourist becausewe ask them how far they came, what were their modes of transportation? Every stepof the journey is considered and an accurate carbon footprint established by thestudents. We add this up and discover its needed mitigation in acreage, in offsets.These areas are designated in the community of the CTC, by property lines that can bepreserved. Unproductive land is planted with bamboo, paulownia,http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paulownia , and the Moringa Tree: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moringa.to accommodate the tourists carbon footprint. The tourist is given some funding optionsand charged for this cost, to preserve the place they wish to see remain and return to.Examples might be:--Adopt a Steward (a student who gave a tour or presentation)--Purchase trees to be planted, acreage to be preserved -- with private, local andgovernmental partnerships.--Donations to sustainability projects such as the eco-lodge, renewable energy, eco-machines, etc.--Scholarship programs for Stewards and research--Content creation for special interests, species or habitatsThis number, and its mitigation documentation, can be posted and offered as anexample of how ecofriendly the country is and what the carbon cost is to the planet forthe tourist to visit. It provides a baseline and barometer of the true cost to maintainsustainable travel to the DR.Additional Data feeds are integrated into learning activities which enhance the missionsuch as species counts, monitoring of environmental conditions, renewable energyproduced, etc. Existing investments in renewable infrastructure is maximized andleveraged as part of the project. For example, the solar panels already deployed displaypower production, use and carbon savings, displayed locally and streamed globally.As well as Google Earth, data feeds are accessible on other emerging global imagingsites such as http://www.pachube.com/Bio remediation techniques and biomimicry of the local biome is reproduced in theeco-machine. Nutrition studies are coupled with plant identiﬁcation, agricultural andaquatic permaculture, waste management and cooking classes. Products includerecipe books and local cuisine. CTCʼs are well positioned for performances orpresentations as the process evolves and ecotourists explore the local area and itssustainability.The selection and maintenance of these data feeds-- water temperature, soil moisture,energy consumption, energy use, carbon offset to visit, web cams, etc.-- are immersiveand excellent learning activities that teach many 21st Century skills and aptitudes.Eventually virtual worlds would augment this reality for advanced simulations andbreakthroughs.
Monitoring and evaluation built into the project. The inventory base line collectionoffers a place to compare our progress and what we can preserve and what we loose.Wiki entries are dated and evaluating the wiki will be a learning activity for everystudent. The act of data collection reveals our status. Photography establishes a pointof reference. Documenting and aggregating the data must be part of the project, asmany artifacts and points of reference will be created. The ongoing monitoring andevaluation page in the wiki will reﬂect this process and permit for input from across thecommunity.Human Resource Model embedded in the Project. The learning style is peer to peer,reciprocal apprenticeships, and leadership development. Coupled with Interns,Certiﬁcate levels and Scholarship programs, the learning activities will be preserved andpassed on to new comers and the young. Young leaders are identiﬁed and encouragedin multiple learning styles. This program is strongly supportive of mobility challengedresidents, and other challenged populations with its emphasis on ICTʼs, offering equalaccess.Financial Strategy:ROI is expected to come from these primary sources:Tour fee plusA Carbon Off set fee charged to the tourist for their precise carbon footprint (Optional)Seed money from Socially Responsible InvestorsContent creation, hits to site, google adsenseEmergent Creative Economy and Entrepreneurial EnterprisesAn increase in eco-touristsA sustainable eco-tourism in the DR that assists the people to attain the MDGʼs of theUN.A growth of creativity and energyConsultation and facilitation fees paid to successful Interns for dissemination andreplication, nationally, regionally and globally. (with a percentage returning to theProject)Renewable Energy Strategies which save oil and produce incomeTime Line: Phase 1: Discovery and PrioritizationThis is a very optimistic time frame and will depend on local support, Project Managers,key players and the success of engaging the students and staff of the CTCʼs.Months 1-3Key players consulted, Partnerships and collaborations formedCTCʼs Identiﬁed, budget established:Applications, Benchmarks and Schedule establishedImmediate: Start Inventory GatheringInventory and Priority Action ItemsProject Leaders Identiﬁed, Interns developed
Content Creation, Evaluation and Monitoring BeginsWeb 2.0 Sites established, Groups created, Members join, Community begins.(Late July-August)Facilitation Team visits each CTC site for a solid week of training andsupport to kick off the project at each CTC.Each participating CTC submits a sustainability project: renewable energy, eco-machines, bio fuel generators, eco-lodge, etc.Contests and Recognition through prizes and awards determinedPhase 2: Development and ProductivityMonths 3-6Updates with ecotourism and Hotel, Hospitality Socially Responsible InvestorsInitial presentations constructed, event management and tours planned, productsdetermined, key content translated by Interns.Carbon Off sets mechanisms measured and established, begin testing charge forcarbon footprint off set.Early January Team returns to visit, M & E, refresh, trainMeet with major constituents and Project Managers to reﬁne web 2.0 marketingstrategy.Plan for Phase 3: Development of activities at each CTC site/ or nearby Eco-site.Develop list of Learning Modules and other income generating strategies, as well asscale up needs.3 month and 6 Month Monitor and Evaluation summariesPhase 3: Deployment and Engagement with TouristsMonths 6-12A variety of activities and presentations planned, enactedSocially Responsible Investment Proposals Funded or earmarkedGoal of another $5,000 per CTC made availableLearning Module development fund for replication and scale up.Coordination with National Festivals, Holidays, other events such as showcases andaward giving ceremoniesContinued Content building, eco-tourism components developed