Connecting to the World: The Condé Nast Traveler Challenge

How can we open the joys and benefits of travel to more people and make it accessible to those who have been discouraged or restricted from exploring and connecting to the world?

JOIN US in the search for the best ideas to encourage citizens from all corners of the earth to travel more and connect with the rest of the world. Vote for your favorite ideas by August 12, 2009. 

WE BELIEVE that the travel industry has great power to inspire global engagement.

YOU HAVE VOTED and have told us which entries you think best 1) encourage citizens to travel beyond their borders, and/or 2) for those who are discouraged from travel due to cost or other barriers, which travel companies or organizations best extend opportunities to them.



Winner is Announced

August 31, 2009
  • Launch
    June 22, 2009
  • Entry Deadline
    August 4, 2009
  • Voting start
    June 22, 2009
  • Voting end
    August 11, 2009
  • Winner is Announced
    August 31, 2009

WHAT’S THE CHALLENGE? How can travelers and the travel industry extend opportunities to citizens everywhere to travel more beyond their borders; and for those who can’t afford it or who are discouraged or restricted from travel, how can we help connect them to the world? Only 21.7% of Americans have passports. Nearly every country shares this dismaying situation: too little travel and genuine experience with those from different cultures, countries and backgrounds. Travelers can be the best global citizens, but to do so, they must have access to connect with the communities they visit - meeting locals, experiencing other cultures, listening and learning, and carrying their new ideas back home. Travel enriches us as individuals and also helps build our collective soul. Travel’s potential for building global compassion and understanding is unique and powerful.

PERHAPS YOU have experienced the transformational power of travel beyond your borders and have thoughts about how other travelers can be moved by that kind of adventure. Or perhaps you have suggestions for encouraging travelers to be open to new experiences and be prepared for the diversity they will discover. If you are part of a travel company, maybe you have developed a program that successfully promotes engagement with the communities where you operate.

WE HOPE you will share your ideas with us.

Logo: Condé Nast Traveler

I. Eligibility and Judging Criteria

A. Eligibility

The challenge is open to individuals, organizations, and companies. We will consider all entries that:

  1. Reflect the theme of the challenge: We are searching for innovative ideas and projects that encourage citizens everywhere to travel more and engage in the world— and for those who can't afford it or who are otherewise discouraged or restricted, we are seeking the best ideas on how to connect them with the world.
  2. Are at the idea or early implementation stage: We are looking for new ideas or early stage projects in development. These may be new initiatives from long-established or new organizations or companies.
  3. Complete the entry form: Entries must be fully completed and submitted by the deadline of July 22, 2009.
  4. Are submitted in English.

B. Assessment Criteria

Innovation: Is this idea or project innovative? Does it describe an original way to encourage citizens everywhere to travel and connect people to the world? Does it solve the problem in a unique manner? This is the knock-out test. The innovation should be distinct from existing travel projects or initiatives in the field. The best projects will demonstrate a unique model of change. As this is a global challenge, we are looking for ideas that could be universally applicable.

Social Impact: What is the social impact of this idea or project? How does it help connect people around the world and stimulate global citizenry? How does it help build empathy, raise awareness, influence public policy, or deepen a community’s understanding through travel? The best ideas will engage individual travelers as well as demonstrate a positive impact on the local community or society at large. Beyond leisure and entertainment appeal, we are looking for ideas that use travel to influence or lead to systemic change.

Sustainability: Could this idea be implemented and, ultimately, sustained? To achieve lasting impact, an innovation needs to be financially and environmentally sustainable. While entrants will not be expected to launch their ideas, we are looking for practical, concrete solutions that have potential to be implemented. The best ideas would also have potential to be replicated so that they could have far-reaching impact.

II. Challenge Deadlines, Procedures, and Rules

Entries for the Condé Nast Traveler Challenge will be accepted until August 5, 2009, at 4:00 p.m. U.S. Eastern Standard Time. The Changemakers and Condé Nast Traveler communities will be able to vote on entries as soon as they are posted, so individuals and organizations are encouraged to submit ideas early. In addition, early entrants may receive more comments, questions, and insights from the community, which can be used to improve (and resubmit) their entries before the deadline.

Here’s how the Challenge will work:

  1. Entry Stage, June 23-August 5, 2009: Entries can be submitted until August 5, 2009, 4:00 p.m. US Eastern Standard Time and votes will be counted until August 12, 2009, 4:00 p.m. US Eastern Standard Time. Entries may be submitted by individuals, organizations, or companies. Because the community will be able to vote on entries as soon as they are posted, entrants are encouraged to submit ideas early and to mobilize their supporters to get involved. Everyone is also encouraged to nominate entrants, add comments, and participate in the online review discussion with the entrants.
  2. Voting Stage, June 23-August 12, 2009: Voting will begin with the entry stage. The community is encouraged to vote throughout the entry period. One may vote on as many entries as desired but only one vote per entry is allowed per voter. Voting will remain open until August 12, 2009 to give people the opportunity to explore all the entries and vote for their favorites.
  3. Winners Selected, August 24, 2009: Based on the community’s favorite picks and their own review of all entries, Condé Nast Traveler editors may make a selection of top ideas and projects to highlight in the magazine.
  4. Publication in Condé Nast Traveler Magazine, November 2009: The best ideas may be highlighted in the “Reader’s Choice Awards” issue of Condé Nast Traveler in November 2009.

Everyone who enters the challenge will receive increased exposure to the Changemakers and Condé Nast Traveler communities as well as to others who are interested in thoughtful and sustainable travel. Participation in this challenge offers the opportunity to receive feedback on your idea from fellow travelers, travel organizations, Changemakers and Condé Nast staff and community.

Ashoka’s Changemakers Disclaimer—Compliance with Legal Regulations
Ashoka complies fully with all U.S. laws and regulations, including the Office of Foreign Assets Control’s regulations, export control, and anti-money laundering laws. All grants will be awarded subject to compliance with such laws. Ashoka will not make any grant if it finds that to do so would be unlawful. This may prohibit awards in certain countries and/or to certain individuals or entities. All recipients will comply with these laws to the extent they are applicable to such recipients. No recipient will take any action that would cause Ashoka to violate any laws. Additionally, Ashoka will not make any grant to a company involved in the promotion of tobacco use.

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