Blue Community Program Coastal Sustainability Best Practices

PM4SD Summer School At Villages Nature, Paris France

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Villages Natures is said to be the most sustainable tourism resort in the world.    It recently received the World Hospitality award for Best Sustainable Development and Social Responsibility Initiative. We have chosen to hold the conference exactly one year from its opening Inauguration to both celebrate the anniversary and learn about its progress one year later.



The Conference theme is Leadership and Governance for Sustainable Tourism 

The Conference will be a mix of presentations and experiential learning opportunities including:

  • Presentations from Internationals experts on sustainable tourism, leadership and governance
  • ​​Great sustainable food and networking opportunities Great sustainable food and networking opportunities
  • Villages Nature experiential learning at the Aqualagon, BelleVie Farms, Forest of Legends, the Extraordinary Gardens, the Geothermal plant and more.                                                                                                

Tentative Program Agenda

  • Tuesday, October 9th h 201816:00 Registration Opens

    16:00  Registration

    18:00  Reception

    Wednesday, October 10th 2018


    10:00  Opening and Remarks

    • Catherine Powell, Présidente for the Euro Disney group
    • European Commission Representative.
    • Silvia Barbone, Fest Director and Federturismo Confindustria EU representative                                                             Eduardo Santander, CEO European Travel Commission,

    SESSION 1  Next Tourism Generation Alliance: partnerships and alliances for human capital development

                       Moderator Silvia Barbone, Next Tourism Generation partner coordinator, Federturismo Confindustria

    10:30 10.50   Dr. Sheena Carslile, Cardiff Metropolitan University, Closing the sustainable tourism skills gap in Europe

    10.50 .11.10  Dr. Corné Dijkmans, Breda University of Applied Applied Sciences Academy for Tourism,

                          Closing the digital tourism skills gap in Europe

    11.10 .11.30  NESTA’s representative, Nesta is a global innovation foundation, Ideas to empower young people

                          in a changing economy

    11:30 12:00  Networking Café

    12:00 12:20  UNWTO, Priorities for human capital development

    12:20 12:40  WTTC, Policies and strategies for skills empowerment

    12:40 13:40.  Lunch at Bellevie Farm

    13:40 14:40  Tour of Legends of the Forest and Geothermal Plant


    14:40-15:00  Marie Balmain, Directrice RSE & Fondation chez Groupe Pierre & Vacances Center Parcs

    15:00-15.20  Roisin McKee, People 1st

    15.20 -15.40 Nikki White, Abta

    15:40-16:40  Best practices from Hungary, Spain, Bulgaria, Italy

    16:40            Blue Mind Activities at the Aqualagon

    19:00            Dinner  

    Thursday, October 11th 2018

    9:00-9:30      Welcome and Remarks

    SESSION 1  Global experiences, future trends, SDG part 1

                        Moderator: Anne-Maria Mäkelä, International expert in tourism

    9:30: 11.00   Village Nature: A Model for the Future of Tourism

    • Dr. David Randle, Managing Director of the Blue Community Consortium
    • Chris Casto - Director of Sustainabilityand Smart Cities co-chair for the City of Orlando
    • Joe Tankersley - writer, futurist, and former Walt Disney Imagineer
    • Frank Hetherton - Master Planner for Villages Nature, Walt Disney Imagineer, consultant for design of large scale resorts
    • Rebecca Tobias - One Planet Living Integrator, Human Rights and Sacred Sites advocate, 
    • Ben Gil - One Planet Living

    11.00 11:30  Coffee Break

    SESSION 2  Partnership, Investments, funding, entrepreneurships

                      Moderator: Beatriz Perez-Soto is an independent consultant.


    • European Commission
    • World Bank
    • European Bank for Reconstruction and Development The Travel Foundation
    • Perspectives from China


    14:30 - 15.00


    16:30 19:00


    European Capital of Smart Tourism Debate and Final Conference Wrap Up

    Building a roadmap for skills development for the tourism industry”Closure of the event
    Closing Dinner / Evening

    Friday October 12th

    Technical Study Visits



Silvia Barbone, an international expert in sustainable tourism and project management with an extensive knowledge of tourism policies and practices. She is a senior tourism researcher, an experienced project manager, and a certified Lead Trainer in Project Management for Sustainable Development.  She is one of the EU experts selected by the European Commission to implement the European Tourism Indicator System. She is also the developer and the main author of the PM4SDTM “Project Management for Sustainable Development” certification. She works with leading global organizations, including UNWTO, UNESCO, UNEP, European Travel Commission, European Commission, European Parliament, as well as local, regional and national public authorities.

Dr. Sheena Carlisle - Senior Lecturer in Tourism Management at Cardiff Metropolitan University, Cardiff, UK - Sheena is a Senior Lecturer in Tourism Management.  Her qualifications are: BA. (Hons) Hospitality Management, MA (Exon) Tourism and Social Responsibility, Msc. Built Environment Research Methods, Political Economy PhD. in Tourism.
Dr. Corné Dijkmans holds a Ph.D. in Communication Science, a M.Sc. in Business Economics, and a M.Sc. in Marketing. Currently, he is responsible for managing the research program and resources of the Academy for Tourism of Breda University of Applied Sciences, and the valorisation of this research program through (inter)national subsidized and commissioned projects. 

Rosin McKee - Director of People 1st, Northern Ireland, Belfast, UK - After graduating, Rosin joined the Forte Group’s trainee management programme and progressed into operations management and training roles working in Southampton, the Midlands and Bristol. She has a passion for training that led her to Zimbabwe, where she lectured in a hotel school before returning to Ireland,  Rosin then undertook various training roles in the tourism sector be-fore joining People 1st in 2005.

Nikki White is the Director of Destinations and Sustainability at ABTA.  Nikki joined ABTA, September 2009, leading ABTA work for sustainable tourism, operations, health, safety, and operational crisis management.



Sarbuland Khan is the Liaison officer for the UNWTO at the United Nations Headquarters.Mr. Khan has a Masters degree in economics, a post-graduate diploma in International Economic Relations from the institute for Social Studies, The Hague. He has authored a number of publications and various articles in economics for books, journals, newspapers and magazines.

Catherine Powell is Présidente for the Euro Disney group, operator of Europe's leading tourist destination and the brand beacon of The Walt Disney Company, Disneyland Paris. With The Walt Disney Company since 2004, most recently as General Manager in Australia and New Zealand.  She is passionate about development and creating a culture that engages and empowers people to be great in what they do.

Frank Hetherton* was the Walt Disney Imagineer who served as Master Planner for Villages Nature.  Frank now consults specializing in design and coordination of large complex real estate projects particularly resorts.  He is multi-lingual and multi-cultural fluent English and French - basic Italian  (*indicates invited but not confirmed)


Thierry Huau*, is a landscape designer - urbanist - master planner, creator of much of the landscape design for Villages Nature.  Creator of the Extraordinary Gardens, Thierry Huau calls Villages Nature Paris the "green city of the 21st century," Nature is the heart of the architectural approach: "the gardens and the buildings are really inseperable." (*indicates invited but not confirmed)

Dr. David W. Randle is Managing Director of the Blue Community Consortium and president and executive director of the WHALE Center.  Dave serves on the GSTC Board of Directors of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council He has been a speaker in conference in several countries around the world.

Marine Balmain is the Group Sustainability Manager for Pierre & Vacances Center.  Part of our work is to manage the One Planet Living plan at Villages Nature.  Before this position Marie she co-founded “Graines de Changement”, a positive information agency on sustainable development in France and co-authored a number of guide books on sustainable development.

Ben J. Gill is the International Technical Manager of the One Planet Communities Programme. Ben ensures all projects are on track to meet the Common International Targets, and is working particularly closely with Villages Nature, Singita Grumeti and Hollerich Village. He was previously Director of Bioregional Consulting where he has worked on a diverse range of projects, such as developing Sustainability Action Plans looking at both community developments and management of businesses. 

Rebecca Gonzalez-Tobias is a former Global Council Trustee of the United Religions Initiative and the Program Director of the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Ethics which designs and facilitates interfaith and intercultural programming that serves to foster a culture of peace.

Through her work she has coordinated capacity-building projects with civic, faith, and social justice advocacy organizations locally, nationally and internationally.

Chris Castro, LEED GA, CPB, is the Director of Sustainability and Smart Cities c0-chair for the City of Orlando. He is an award winning sustainability professional, eco-entrepreneur, and community organizer with a passion for accelerating the transition to a smart, resilient and sustainable future. Chris is the founder and president of IDEAS For Us, an international nonprofit and UN accredited organization working to develop, fund, and scale environmental solutions around the World; and co-creator of the renowned ‘Fleet Farming’ urban agriculture program that started in Orlando  Among some of his recognition, Chris has been called the ‘Guru of Green’ by the Orlando Business Journal, selected as a GreenBiz ‘30 Under 30’ sustainability professional in the U.S., and recognized as a ‘Grist 50 Fixer’, one of the top 50 emerging sustainability leaders around the World. 

Ed Chiles owns three waterfront restaurants in Anna Maria and Longboat Key Florida, the Sandbar, Beach House and Mar Vista restaurants and has been in this business since 1979. He is a pioneer in the sustainable tourism industry. In 2007, he initiated and became the managing partner for the Pine Avenue Restoration Project in the city of Anna Maria which is now known as “The Greenest Little Main Street in America”. In 2012 he was awarded the Champion of Tourism Award for the project by the Bradenton area CVB. Ed is a faculty member of the USF Patel College of Global Sustainability.

Joe Tankersley is a writer, futurist, and former Walt Disney Imagineer. He combines his broad experience as a storyteller with a deep knowledge of strategic foresight to help organizations create compelling visions for better tomorrows.  During his 20 years at Walt Disney Imagineering, Joe led creative teams on projects for Epcot, Magic Kingdom Park, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and the Disneyland Resort in California.

The Conference Location

The Villages Nature resort will be the site of the conference.  It includes a variety of lodging accommodation types, shops, restaurants who emphasize sustainability, the Aqualagon Water Park, BelleVie Farm, Forest of Legends, and more.  It also offers many excursions and activities to choose from as well.





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Randle, D. (2018). PM4SD Summer School At Villages Nature, Paris France. Retrieved from


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