Certificate Description

Our current linear development model for tourism is no longer resilient and sustainable. In these transformative and unsettled pandemic times, an entirely new approach is required to enable visitor economies, their host communities and nature to recover, flourish and thrive. Destination professionals must resist the temptation to return to the ‘old normal’, and instead catalyse a “systems reset” in the way that destinations are developed, marketed and managed.  

This systemic change requires a regenerative, resilient, and zero carbon growth economic model that gives back to the people and planet more than it takes. A visitor economy that works in harmony with, and not against, nature and within the boundaries of the planet.  

In this course, you will be taken on a 16-week 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 destinations tourism and events strategy and catalyse long-term social, environmental and economic impact.

Schedule and Time Commitment

Live sessions are 2 hours. Allow 1 hour for pre-reading and another 1-2 hours for homework, reading and review after each module. The final group project will involve at least 8 hours of work. So that’s a minimum of 40 hours.

You will have access to the course content on the learning management system for 6 months after finishing the course. 

Start date: 16 November, 2021

End date: 08 February, 2022

Live sessions taking place on weekly basis  

Pricing options

*GDS-Movement, ICCA and ECM 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 a scholarship.

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.

Head of Communications

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 has worked with the GDS-Index since 2015 and now is head of communications for the GDS-Movement. She is also an experienced event creator and content curator specialised in conceptualising and presenting at transformation events about sustainability and regeneration.

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.

Senior Changemaker

Rebecca Johnson

Rebecca’s passion for process and results driven sustainability strategies in tourism and events organisations has led her on a fast and furious journey in recent years, fine tuning her sustainability knowledge and experiences to become an expert in her field. With a full bundle of qualifications under her belt (ISO 20121, ISO 14001, GSTC, Travelife Auditor, GRI, Biosphere, Sustainable Event Alliance accreditation) and experience in providing sustainability trainings, Rebecca is well equipped to guide the full range of destination stakeholders in their mission to develop and implement a sustainability strategy.

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 101sustainableideas.com 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.

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!
  • 2

    Module 1 - Beyond sustainability: biophilic and living system inspiration for destination stewardship

    • Module 1 - Preparations and pre-module activities

    • Module 1 - Class & recordings

    • Module 1 - Presentation slides

    • Module 1 - Homework activities

  • 3

    Module 2 - Leading for the Future: From strategy to systems transformation and impact

    • Module 2 - Preparations and pre-module activities

    • Module 2 - Class & recordings

    • Module 2 - Presentation slides

    • Module 2 - Homework activities

  • 4

    Module 3 - Impact Strategy: Enabling, measuring and reporting on social and environmental transformation

    • Module 3 - Preparations and pre-module activities

    • Module 3 - Class & recordings

    • Module 3 - Presentation slides

    • Module 3 - Homework activities

  • 5

    Module 4 - DMOcracy: Stakeholder engagement, co-creation and governance

    • Module 4 - Preparations and pre-module activities

    • Module 4 - Class & recordings

    • Module 4 - Presentation slides

    • Module 4 - Homework activities

  • 6

    Module 5 - Building Capacity: Using certification, education and standards to accelerate positive impact

    • Module 5 - Preparations and pre-module activities

    • Module 5 - Class & recordings

    • Module 5 - Presentation slides

    • Module 5 - Homework activities

  • 7

    Module 6 - Smart Tourism: Catalysing innovation and entrepreneurship

    • Module 6 - Preparations and pre-module activities

    • Module 6 - Class & recordings

    • Module 6 - Presentation slides

    • Module 6 - Homework activities

  • 8

    Module 7 - Funding futures: developing regenerative funding and tax systems

    • Module 7 - Preparations and pre-module activities

    • Module 7 - Class & recordings

    • Module 7 - Presentation slides

    • Module 7 - Homework activities

  • 9

    Module 8 - Events as a driver of good: Regenerative MICE strategies

    • Module 8 - Preparations and pre-module activities

    • Module 8 - Class & recordings

    • Module 8 - Presentation slides

    • Module 8 - Homework activities

  • 10

    Module 9 - Storytelling and communication strategies for regeneration

    • Module 9 - Preparations and pre-module activities

    • Module 9 - Class & recordings

    • Module 9 - Presentation slides

    • Module 9 - Homework activities

  • 11

    Module 10 - From theory to practice: From theory to practice: Strategizing and purposing the DMO

    • Module 10 - Preparations and pre-module activities

    • Module 10 - Class & recordings

    • Module 10 - Presentation slides

    • Module 10 - Homework activities

  • 12

    Final Module

    • A group project presentation to a judging panel consisting of industry experts

    • An online exam to assess the learning of key theories and concepts in the programme