Pocket Stories

Pocket Stories: Travel Faraway at Home

Amsterdam, NetherlandsAmsterdam, Netherlands
Year Founded:
2014
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
Project Stage:
Start-Up
Budget: 
< $1,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Travel Faraway at Home (TFAH) allows locals to explore the world through diverse migrant communities without ever leaving home. TFAH aims to reduce travel-loving Europeans carbon emission of flight travels and bridge local and migrant communities for a more harmonious and sustainable living.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What if we could replace our fear of migration with the same curiosity we have for travelling in order to celebrate multiculturalism at home.
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

53% of all international travelers are Europeans. Thankfully, Europeans are increasingly conscious of the environment and there is a focus on e.g. recycling and decreasing meat-consumption. However, the use of long distance flights to travel are more accessible and popular than ever and is one of our times largest environmental hazards. Simultaneously, we are struggling to bridge the cultural gap between migrants and locals at home.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

We want to alter the current 'travel culture' where number of countries visited gives travelers status, and replace it with a respect for the number of cultures one has been exposed to. Essentially we want to simulate travel experiences at home by using the diverse migrant communities by creative a festival with an interactive journey through the city where locals can 'travel' through migrant cultures. To travel is to meet new people, gain new experiences and try new food, which will be central in the festival. We interview, hold work-shops and co-design our events with migrants, travelers and locals who share their perspectives to re-create and co-design the most authentic experiences that can really substitute long distance travel.

Awards

Honorary Mention at Afsnit I Social Innovation Festival and Competition
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

Meet Tom: He wants to travel, but has no money. Meet Fatima: She's a Iraqi migrant who miss a safe space where she can share her culture without the polarization of migrants and Muslim. Then Tom and Fatima discover Travel Faraway at Home and meet at the festival. Tom tries Faitma's Iraqi food, listen to her stories, and experience a beautiful performances of Iraqi music. For one moment Tom forgets that he is in Amsterdam and thinks about the money saved, while learning how much he saved the environment by not flying all the way to the Middle East. He realise travel is about the experiences and not about geography. Fatima goes home feeling a sense a pride and belonging after providing a different view of her cultures in a positive setting.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

We have so far had several community meet-ups, co-designing workshops with locals, migrants, travellers, workshops UNAOC fellows from North African and Middle East who works with migration and integration, and interviews with locals and academic researchers. We have done our pilot test to see how the interactive journey will work in practise. We are using human-centered design in order to define our concept, identify users needs and wants, and what direction we need to take. So far, the feedback from the public has been overwhelmingly positive as Travel Faraway at Home provides positive surprises, new experiences and stories often not heard. Migrants have been very exciting to share their stories and more people are getting onboard and wants to crontribute. Our community is growing. We have just started and still have a lot of work before our first large festival can be implemented.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

We want to test and develop the concept for one year in order to see what works and what does not work; to measure actual social impact (does our event provide an alternative to long-haul travel and do we bridge cultures locally). Once we have developed a solid concept, we want to build a framework that can be implemented in other cities around the world. We would like to build partnerships with local governments and organisations who would like to promote local tourism while integrating migrant cultures to provide a solid foundation for the festival.
Sustainability

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

We hope to build a business plan based on a festival model. (Ticket sales of the festival, sponsors and donors in the locals tourism industry etc), but also provide grants from local governments who wants to promote their cities as well as integrating refugees and migrants with the locals.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

There are many projects that are covering all the components of our project (reducing carbon emission, migrant integration), but there is (as far as we know) noone who does both in one. We hope to merge sustainable tourism with prosperous integration of migration in one project.
Team

Founding Story

Migration is widely controversial. Travelling is widely popular. Yet both are means that creates cultural plurality worldwide. I am a migrant by legal definition and a self-labelled traveller. I am adopted from South Korea to Norway, lived in 5 countries, and have travelled to 50 countries. With an increasing consciousness around my very frequent long-haul travels and the deteriorating situation of migrants in Europe, I combined my two passions to address two of the most pressing social and environmental issues of our time. I hope that providing a social project that focus on positive experiences can alter our flight consumption and our acceptance of migrants for the better.

Team

Ingi: Founder and director (full-time) - Bachelor of Organisational Communication. Master of Politics of Global Development. Work experience in integration and international migration, sustainable development and cultural events. Saida: My mentor (part-time) and co-founder of Youth to Youth Initiative. Extenstive international experience with project development, UNAOC, One Young World, and much much more. Zeeneb: Project volunteer (part-time) - Education background: Marketing and international law. Work experience with integration of refugees and migrants, social projects. Adrien: Project volunteer (part-time) - Education background: Bachelor and master in cognitive engineering and social design.
Background
Please confirm how you heard about the Unilever Awards:

Ashoka

Please confirm your role in the initiative (eg Founder/co-Founder) and your organisational title:

Founder

Which of the 8 UN Global Goals (Sustainable Development Goals) pre-selected for this competition does your solution relate most closely to? [select all that apply]

Responsible Consumption and Production, Climate Action.

Leadership and the Unilever Awards
Please provide examples of any previous entrepreneurial initiatives you have pioneered.
Beyond your existing team, who else are you working with to achieve your objectives, eg partners, advisors, mentors?

Youth to Youth Initiative, The Dutch Refugee Council, and 360 Degrees consulting. We have several others in our network that we are currently mapping out final and concrete partnerships.