Episode 189: Sustainability Through Storytelling, with JoAnna Haugen

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JoAnna Haugen is a seasoned writer, speaker, and founder of Rooted, a solutions-storytelling platform. Her work has been published in more than 60 print and online publications, including Fast Company, Popular Science, Mongabay, BBC, and CNN. Her time as a returned Peace Corps volunteer, commercial travel writer, intrepid world traveler, international election observer, and American expatriate informed the establishment of Rooted, a storytelling platform at the intersection of sustainable travel, environmental conservation, and community-focused advocacy efforts. Rooted’s mission is to responsibly document, support, celebrate, and share sustainable travel initiatives that put communities first and to help others do the same. Learn more about JoAnna’s background here: https://www.joannahaugen.com/about/

Destination on the Left is joined by JoAnna Haugen, the founder of Rooted, a solutions storytelling platform. On our podcast, JoAnna and I have an amazing conversation about using the diverse voices of a local community to help tell that destination’s story. JoAnna talks about how the world is a messy place, and she shares her thoughts around embracing the messiness to develop a greater sense of authenticity. Learn how JoAnna uses authenticity, creativity, and collaboration to navigate the new challenges posed by the global pandemic.

What You Will Learn in This Episode:

  • JoAnna’s journey into the travel and tourism industry
  • Why JoAnna was inspired to combat the damage caused by travel writing by creating her own storytelling platform
  • How Rooted is helping destinations thrive
  • Rooted’s three target audiences, and how the platform brings them together as a cohesive force
  • How JoAnna is using her platform to promote responsible travel communication and sustainable travel
  • How JoAnna’s experiences in Kenya shaped her entire perspective of the travel and tourism industry
  • JoAnna’s perspective on what destinations should be doing to stand out from the crowd
  • How destinations can embrace the diverse voices of their communities
  • Different ways destinations are using authenticity, creativity, and collaboration to navigate the new challenges posed by the global pandemic
  • Projects that JoAnna will be introducing in the near future
  • Best practices from JoAnna’s Collaboration in Crisis Guide
The Power of Storytelling in Travel and Tourism

JoAnna Haugen is the founder of Rooted, a solutions storytelling platform seated at the intersection of sustainable travel, environmental conservation, and community-based advocacy efforts. On our podcast, JoAnna and I have an amazing conversation about using the diverse voices of a local community to help tell that destination’s story. JoAnna talks about how the world is a messy place, and she shares her thoughts around embracing the messiness to develop a greater sense of authenticity. Learn how JoAnna uses authenticity, creativity, and collaboration to navigate the new challenges posed by the global pandemic.

Local Solutions with a Global Impact

JoAnna says that “local solutions can have a global impact,” and that nugget inspired her to look for ways to combat the damage and destruction that travel writing has on the destinations we travel to and the people we meet while we’re there. It culminated in the creation of her storytelling platform “Rooted,” which aims to responsibly document, support, celebrate, and share sustainable travel initiatives that put communities first and help others do the same. We need to communicate about people, places, and the planet in a way that can activate impactful change. To accomplish this, JoAnna focuses on three specific audiences: travel service providers, representatives for local travel initiatives, and content creators.

Responsible, Sustainable Travel and Tourism

Many of us travel to certain places because the people there have shaped the destination as we know it. At the end of the day, JoAnna’s goal is to lift up local people, enterprises, and communities to highlight the work they’re doing and create vibrant destinations. That is what drives Rooted’s initiative to amplify everything being done on the local level. And in the midst of this global pandemic, we have an opportunity to tell an even greater story. If we want to maintain a sustainable travel and tourism industry moving forward, we need to do so in a way that lifts destinations up and paints them as something more than a pretty backdrop.

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