We are all under pressure: visitor economies, their host communities, the earth, the vulnerable. We need a new approach to recover, flourish, and thrive.  

Join us on a journey to a new mindset as we: 

  • discover regenerative business models
  • explore effective destination stewardship
  • embrace stakeholder engagement through slow learning with industry leaders

In this course, you will be taken on a 4-month journey to explore and develop a new mindset leveraging the latest in regenerative systems thinking.

You will investigate and learn about new regenerative business models, destination stewardship approaches and stakeholder engagement methodologies that enable DMOs to catalyse investment, generate jobs, develop knowledge, equitably distribute prosperity, and deliver unforgettable visitor experiences.

You will learn from destination leaders, experts and each other, to gain new perspectives on what it entails to create, market and steward future fit destinations. 

  • Outcome #1

    Learn the key concepts of regenerative systems design, and explore how to use nature-based principles, biomimicry and systems thinking to develop destinations that thrive and flourish.

  • Outcome #2

    Expand your knowledge of sustainable and regenerative destination management approaches, methodologies, best practices and failures.

  • Outcome #3

    Apply the learning from the sessions (in teams) to enhance your destination's tourism and events strategy and catalyse long-term social, environmental and economic impact.

Schedule and Time Commitment

Start date: 1 September
Project preparation time: 17 November - 8 December
Graduation: 15 December

Online classes: 8:30 - 11:00 am CET (2.5 hours per Module)
Allow 1 hour for pre-Module activities and another hour for homework after each Module. The final group project will take min 8 hours.  

Thursday, 1 September
Module 1 
An introduction to the Regenerative Revolution: biophilic and living system inspiration for destination stewardship
Thursday, 8 September
Module 2
Leading for the Future: From strategy to systems transformation
Thursday, 15 September
Module 3
Impact Strategy: Enabling, measuring and reporting on social and environmental transformation
Thursday, 22 September
Module 4
Building Capacity: Tactical approaches to accelerating transformation
Thursday, 29 September
Module 5
Funding for tomorrow: developing regenerative funding and tax systems
Thursday, 6 October
Module 6
Events as a driver of good. Regenerative MICE strategies
Thursday, 13 October
Module 7
DMOcracy: Stakeholder engagement, co-creation and governance
Thursday, 27 October
Module 8
Innovate to Regenerate
Thursday, 03 November
Module 9
Storytelling and communication strategies for regeneration
Thursday, 17 November
Module 10
From theory to practice: Strategising and purposing the DMO
Thursday, 15 December 

What our students say

'Just loving it'

Noémi Mátray, Marketing and Events Manager, Hungarian Convention Bureau, Hungary

The GDS-ICCA-CityDNA Certificate in Regenerative Destination Management course is a place, a community where I meet wonderful minds, incredible ideas and implementations from around the world. The course is characterized by a higher level of thinking; we learn about methods, approaches what are not only sustainable but regenerative. In each module, I have a moment when I make the note, oh my! This is exactly what we want in our destination.

'A professional and engaging course'

Evelyn Teploff-Mugii, Executive Director, Creative & Business Development, The Art of Travel, Japan

I truly enjoy the modules – invaluable lessons combined with activities that allow me to put the learning into practice. Not only was is a remarkable learning experience, but also a chance to meet leading experts and fellow participants in the field. The GDS-Academy team offers solid support throughout, and the ample resources provided mean I will continue to learn and build on a great foundation.

'A real eye opener'

Martin Pohl, Market & Insights Manager Germany at the Netherlands Board of Tourism & Conventions

After seven training sessions, I am amazed by the content presented, and the variety of professional speakers and practical examples. The course is structured with a common thread so that I am already well prepared to put it into practice; I will definitely bring the course content into my work and use it to exchange ideas with colleagues. Last, but not least, forming a network with the other students adds enormous value for me.

'It’s a great place to build network'

Kristin H. Oishi, Oslo-enthusiast & Sustainability Project Manager, Visit Oslo

I wholeheartedly recommend this course from Global Destination Sustainability Movement (GDS-Movement). It's a transformative journey, diving into sustainability, regenerative principles and ways tourism can be a changemaker and a force for good. It’s a great programme, with a variety of interesting themes, very knowledgeable faculty, and inspiring guest speakers. And it’s a great place to build network with other DMOs around the world.

'Fresh energy'

Frances van Klaveren, CAE, Community Engagement Manager, ICCA

The course really opened my eyes and provided me with fresh energy to tackle the topic of regeneration and sustainability, which otherwise can seem quite daunting, whilst at the same time providing practical tools to make things happen.

Chief Changemaker

Guy Bigwood

For the last 15 years, Guy has been delivering award-winning consulting services focused on helping cities, governments, corporations and associations step up, scale up and speed up their sustainability programmes and regenerative practices. Guy’s pioneering work has been recognised with 22 sustainability awards including the Events Industry Council Pacesetter Award, and recognition as a Fellow of the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment.

Chief Storyteller and Head of Communications, GDS-Movement

Melissa Baird

Melissa is a communications specialist whose career has spanned publishing, advertising, brand, and marketing development. She has worked with global NGO’s, local government, major brands and was head of strategy at specialised advertising agency Ogilvy Earth. She is a passionate and dedicated teacher and has also developed a range of environmental literacy materials for use at South African schools. Her work with the GDS-Index began in 2015, and she is now Chief Storyteller and Head of Communications for the GDS-M.

Resident Futurist

Ed Gillespie

Ed Gillespie is a keynote speaker, writer, communications specialist, serial entrepreneur and futurist. As well as the Resident Futurist at the GDS-Movement, Ed is a facilitator with the Forward Institute for responsible leadership, a Director of Greenpeace UK, a Trustee of Energy Revolution, and a founder investor and former Chair of pioneering online rail ticketing business ‘Loco2’ now rebranded as Rail Europe. Ed co-hosts Itunes chart-topping podcast ‘Jon Richardson and the Futurenauts’ and ‘The Great Humbling’.


Geneviève Leclerc

Geneviève has 25 years of experience in congress management and consultancy for associations. She works as a facilitator, speaker and trainer with the association meetings industry. She’s passionate about applying design thinking and lean startup practices to accompany organizations through innovation, and her most recent work focuses on achieving greater social impact. When off work, she's an avid sailor who holds a Yachtmaster Offshore certification.

CEO & Founding Partner at Group NAO

Signe Jungersted

Signe Jungersted is CEO and partner in innovation and strategy agency Group NAO. NAO works with strategic transformation and innovation within the experience and visitor economy. Projects include with Gothenburg and Power of Community with European Cities Marketing. Signe is formerly Development Director with Wonderful Copenhagen (DMO), where she was lead responsible and author of the 2020-strategy that declared ”The End of Tourism” and welcomed a new era of people-centric tourism development and localhood.

Changemaker, GDS-Movement

Jessica Vandy

Two years ago, sitting in a conference room in Ljubljana Slovenia she had the lightbulb moment. Creating greater connections and social change between business events and communities. Measurable, tangible change - positive social impact. She recently developed Tourism New Zealand’s first social impact programme Conference Impact Aotearoa. Now at the head of her own consultancy, her business is projects, social impact, communications.

Professor of Sustainability Marketing, University of Surrey

Dr. Xavier Font

Dr Xavier Font is professor of Sustainability Marketing at the University of Surrey. He researches and develops methods of sustainable tourism production and consumption. He has published widely about sustainable tourism certification, and has consulted on sustainable product development, marketing and communication for several United Nations agencies, the International Finance Corporation, the European Commission, multiple national tourist boards and indsutry.  He has conducted over 150 courses for more than 3000 businesses on how to market and communicate sustainability.

Founding Partner & CCO at Group NAO

Peter Rømer Hansen

Peter Rømer Hansen is founding partner in innovation and strategy agency Group NAO. NAO works with strategic transformation and innovation within the experience and visitor economy. Projects include The Tourism Co-Operative with South Coast Demark and Tourism Taxes by Design as a multi-client project. Peter has been a key figure in developing destinations and tourism co-operation across Europe. As Executive Vice President of Wonderful Copenhagen, Peter played a lead role in building a strategic and analytical DMO, taking tourism to new levels with Big Tourism and innovation strategies.

Guest Speakers

Over 20 guest speakers from destination management organisations around the world!

Pricing options

*GDS-Movement, ICCA and CityDNA members have 200 euros discount. Contact us HERE to get your discount code. 

**We invite you to help us support students from low-income countries by donating and gifting 50 euros towards their education. Financially challenged right now, but want to learn? We offer a limited number of scholarships, please contact us HERE, explaining why you would love to learn with us and how you will benefit from our scholarship.