Course Description

In this dynamic and fun Masterclass we will explore traditional communication strategies and how they can be applied to communicating sustainability and enhance its purpose. You will be introduced to remarkable examples of destination best practise by professionals who are forging a path to a regenerative future. We will explore behaviour change methodologies and storytelling tools. This dynamic analysis of communications in a world recovering from tremendous shocks will help you to lead the development and implementation of more engaging and purposeful communication action plans that will catalyse the environmental, economic and social regeneration of your destination.   

  • Outcome #1

    Increased knowledge of sustainability brand marketing, best practices and behaviour change.

  • Outcome #2

    Ability to use a new toolbox of approaches and templates to persuade, influence and inspire.

  • Outcome #3

    Enhanced brand story and improved communications strategy techniques.

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. Homework case after Module 3 will require 8 hours of preparations for Module 4. 

You will have access to the course content on the learning management system for 2 months after finishing the course.

Course dates & times:   

  • Module 1: The Power of Story: Rethinking Communication
    Thursday, 24 March 12 - 2 pm CET

  • Module 2: Sustainability Marketing: The Tools Behind Brand Building, Story Telling and Behaviour Change
    Thursday, 31 March - 12 - 2 pm CET

  • Module 3: Case Studies: Best Practices For Destination Story Development
    Thursday, 07 April - 12 - 2 pm CET

  • Module 4: Applying Knowledge: Create Your Destination's Communication Plan
    Thursday, 21 April, 12 - 2 pm CET 

Pricing options

*GDS-Movement, ICCA and CityDNA members have 100 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.

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.

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.

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’.

Co-Founder & CEO | CrowdRiff

Dan Holowack

Dan Holowack is Co-Founder & CEO of CrowdRiff and Localhood.com. Hundreds of Destinations around the world use CrowdRiff’s UGC and storytelling platform to influence how we travel and reshape how tourism empowers local communities. The visual stories created and scaled through CrowdRiff compel locals and visitors alike to discover new experiences, both near and far.

GM PR, Social and Partnerships, Tourism New Zealand

Lauren Vosper

 With her creativity and energy, trademark passion, a streak of activism, and a relentless pursuit of the ‘why’, Lauren Vosper has directed communication and brand marketing strategy for some of the world’s biggest global brands for the past 20 years. Committed to driving sustained, high-impact work, Lauren is a changemaker who helps brands, movements or people, take a stand, become relevant and sought after, get talked about, generate demand and change the world for good.

Director of Marketing, VisitOSLO

Anne-Signe Fagereng

MA Economics and Politics from the University of Edinburgh. Eighteen years of experience from digital marketing and storytelling, from companies like Google and Schibsted. Love travelling and have lived in Singapore, Eswatini, Scotland and Ireland. I have now landed happily in the capital of Norway.

Senior Advisor, Helsinki Partners

Birgit Liukkonen

Birgit Liukkonen is a Senior Advisor at Helsinki Partners, responsible for the development, communications and marketing of the digital service Think Sustainably that helps locals and visitors choose more sustainable ways of living urban life. Birgit has previously worked with digital marketing, and has been leading the MyHelsinki.fi website as Managing Editor.

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.

Head of Visit Iceland

Sigríður Dögg Guðmundsdóttir

Sigríður Dögg Guðmundsdóttir is the Head of Visit Iceland. She is responsible for all aspects of promoting destination Iceland since 2010. Before Visit Iceland she worked at Visit Reykjavík promoting the capital region and managed a tourism cluster in Southeast Iceland called the Vatnajökull Region. Before her career in tourism she was a journalist at the largest newspaper in Iceland, Fréttablaðið. She holds a BA in Political Science and a MS in Marketing and International Business.

Founder & Chief Strategist of GLP Films

Rob Holmes

Rob Holmes is the Founder & Chief Strategist of GLP Films, an award-winning content marketing agency dedicated to sustainability storytelling and ROI-based distribution campaigns for the travel and sustainability industry. Since 2008, GLP’s work has spanned five continents and 40+ countries, creating 200+ short-films. Rob spearheaded the video series campaign, #TourismStrong, winner of the Newsweek Future of Travel Award, to celebrate the resilience and adaptability of the travel industry amidst the COVID-19 global pandemic.
  • 2

    Module 1 - The Power of Story: Rethinking Communication

    • Module 1 - Description and learning outcomes

    • Module 1 - Preparations and pre-module activities

    • Module 1 - Recording

    • Module 1 - Presentation slides (Part 1)

    • Module 1 - Presentation slides (Part 2)

    • Module 1 - Homework activities (Part 1)

    • Module 1 - Homework activities (Part 2)

  • 3

    Module 2 - Sustainability Marketing: The Tools Behind Brand Building, Story Telling and Behaviour Change 

    • Module 2 - Description and learning outcomes

    • Module 2 - Preparations and pre-module activities

    • Module 2 - Presentation slides

    • Module 2 - Recording

    • Module 2 - Homework activities (Part 1)

    • Module 2 - Homework activities (Part 2)

    • Module 2 - Homework activities (Part 3)

  • 4

    Module 3 - Case Studies: Best Practices For Destination Story Development

    • Module 3 - Description and learning outcomes

    • Module 3 - Preparations and pre-module activities

    • Module 3 - Recording

    • Module 3 - Presentation Slides

    • Module 3 - Homework activities (Part 1)

    • Module 3 - Homework. Instructions for the final project (Part 2)

  • 5

    Module 4 - Applying Knowledge: Create Your Destination's Communication Plan

    • Module 4 - Description and learning outcomes

    • Module 4 - Final notes

    • Module 4 - Recording

    • Module 4 - Presentation slides

    • Final Project Presentation - Arunwadi Leewananthawet and Nubduan Khittirat (TCEB)

    • Final Project Presentation - Camilla Dagani, Daniela Gugliotta Bagaian and Chiara Marconi (Lugano Region)

    • Final Project Presentation - Mari Pever (Tallinn Strategic Management Office)

    • Final Project Presentation - Dima Azarov and Asako Sato (Sapporo Convention Bureau)

    • Final Project Presentation - Bella Shahsuvaryan and Junanto Xu (GDS-Movement)

    • Final Project Presentation - Liisa Kokkarinen (Visit Finland)