Founder and CEO: Anna Pollock
Anna Pollock has over 35 years’ experience as a consultant, strategist, speaker, and change agent. Described as an irrepressibly curious “renaissance woman”, her strength derives from an ability to dig beneath surface trends to find and make sense of the real drivers of change combined with a creative capacity to develop innovative responses
She enjoys dual Canadian and British citizenship having worked in each country for over 15 years and is now a much sought after speaker internationally, focusing on the deep changes affecting tourism and community development.
While resident in Canada she undertook seminal work in human resource development, sustainable tourism, health tourism and adventure travel and received The Visionary of the Year Award from the tourism industry in western Canada in recognition of her contribution to thought leadership.
In the late 1990s, she conceived and developed the first destination IT strategy based on the Internet and later acted as CEO of a UK-based software company that developed a Destination Management System and became recognised by the UK government as “best of breed”. Three years ago, in anticipation of the need by the tourism industry to reduce its carbon footprint, Anna created The Icarus Foundation a not-for-profit agency formed to assist the Canadian tourism industry constructively address climate change and she has quickly become recognised as an innovative and creative thought leader, assisting destinations and companies face up to the challenges of growth and resource dependency.
Saddened by the hesitancy with which mainstream tourism approached the need to reduce its environmental impact and heartened by research that shows customers might be changing faster than suppliers, Anna is developing the concept of Conscious.Travel as a movement that integrates and enhances integrates the creative thinking emerging from a diverse range of interests within tourism including ecotourism, responsible tourism, adventure travel, tourism philanthropy, slow tourism, tourism 2.0, green travel, ethical tourism, community-based tourism, and indigenous tourism.ConsciousTravel is a movement and an e-learning leadership program designed to develop fully conscious change agents within the tourism community.
Associate: Leon Benjamin
Leon is a business oriented technology strategist and has spent 20 years designing and delivering real-time solutions in financial services, telecoms and travel, for blue chip companies that include UBS Warburg, Dun & Bradstreet, Andersen Consulting, Opodo, British Telecom, Tesco and Going Places.
He recently managed a number of successful social media implementations most recently with British Airways' Metrotwin and designed and deployed business communities for Microsoft & BT.
Leon and Anna collaborated on writing and publishing a book on the impact of peer to peer networks on social organization called Winning by Sharing. Leon is now Head of Digital Strategy for the the Law Firm Group - an international advertising agency.
Associate: Jens Thraenhart
Founder and CEO of Chameleon Strategies, Jens Thraenhart leads an innovative Strategy Think Tank with offices in Europe, Asia, and North America, focused on branding, e-business, social media, and sustainability. Some of his key initiatives, all based in Beijing/China, include the creation of a new lifestyle hotel concept (August Hotels); providing interactive marketing and social media strategic services that connect travel organizations with the lucrative Chinese leisure travel market; and expanding Contac Services globally to enable organizations to promote their products and reach their customers online and offline via Contac’s unique convergence platform.
Prior to branching out as his own boss, Jens developed considerable expertise as a leading practitioner of e-marketing strategies for the Canadian Tourism Commission and prior to that established Fairmont Hotel's digital presence to international acclaim.
Associate & Co-founder The Icarus Foundation - Dr. Rachel Dodds
A dynamic, self starter with over 18 years international experience across a wide spectrum of the tourism industry. Rachel has worked with hotels, large and smsll tour operators, ecotourism managers, sustainable tourism management and marketing projects, international development banks, landscape and park planning firms, governments, NGO's, marketing organizations and hospitality and tourism attractions.
Rachel is currently the Director of Sustaining Tourism - a consulting firm and is also an Assistant Professor at Ryerson University in Canada where she joined the Ted Rogers School of Tourism & Hospitality Management in 2006. Rachel is also a founding member and Board Member of Canada's Icarus Foundation- an NGO initiated to help Canada become a carbon friendly destination