Programs

Welcome to our speaker series and upcoming events! Here you will find our discussion topics along with background information about our speakers. Click the links below to register to attend and receive regular updates.

The Transformation of Travel: The power of sustainable tourism to make the world better

June 22, 2021 • 6:30pm
Online via Zoom and Facebook Live
Featured Speaker: Costas Crist

Costas Cris

With a dynamic career spanning decades, Costas has gained many titles: Ecotourism Pioneer, Sustainable Tourism Visionary, Award-Winning National Geographic Travel Writer – to name a few – and his life’s work has helped shape the world of travel and tourism as we know it today.

As a Harvard University wildlife field researcher when he was a student, long before the concept of ecotourism was established, Costas began to ponder a different model for tourism – one in which the travel industry would help protect nature, preserve cultural heritage and directly support local community development.

In 1991, Costas helped to officially define ecotourism for the first time as “Responsible travel to natural areas that protects nature and sustains the well being of local people.” He then worked to introduce these same principles into the global travel industry, helping to establish sustainable tourism based on three key pillars: Environmentally-friendly practices; Protection of natural and cultural heritage; and Social and economic benefits for local people.

This led to a new vision for tourism that continues to transform the travel industry today. An inspirational thought leader and a dynamic speaker, Costas has appeared onstage at conferences and summits around the world.

His media appearances include Travel Channel, Good Morning America, National Geographic Channel, NatGeo Weekend, BBC World, CNN International, FOX News, National Public Radio and several film documentaries. Costas has served as a senior advisor to CEOs, nonprofit organizations, government officials and heads of state to achieve tourism development success based on a model of doing well by doing good.

He was honored together with Dr. Jane Goodall for his lifelong work to protect the environment and was also recognized as a “Tourism Visionary” by the International Restaurant and Hotel Awards.

Coastal Conversations to Release Coastal Dashboard 

May 27, 2021 • 10:00am

Online via Facebook Live and In-Person
Featured Speaker: Dr. Reid Cummings

 

Join us Thursday, May 27th at 10:00am for the release of the Coastal Dashboard.  A signature project of Coastal Conversations, the Dashboard will provide an in-depth look into 20+ metrics that define how our community performs and indicate areas of needed improvement and focus. The Dashboard will be available to the public and will be updated as new information is available. 

The Coastal Dashboard was produced in partnership with the University of South Alabama’s SABRE (South Alabama Center for Business Analytics, Real Estate and Economic Development) and Dr. Reid Cummings and Jana Stupavsky.  

Coastal Conversations’ mission is to improve quality of life for all residents of our region through bringing in world-class speakers, assessing community perceptions and presenting a community dashboard.

This program is FREE and open to all. Residents of Mobile and Baldwin counties are encouraged to watch the presentation on Facebook LIVECommunity leaders and media are invited to an in-person presentation at the University of South Alabama Mitchell College of Business. 

 

Coastal Conversations to Release Community Survey Results

April 29, 2021 • 10:00am
Featured Speaker: Kevin Akins, Partner, ALG Research

Kevin Akins

Join us Thursday, April 29th at 10:00am for the release of a community-wide survey commissioned by Coastal Conversations to gauge residents of Mobile and Baldwin counties perceptions of quality of life issues including education, economics, healthcare and more.

The Coastal Alabama Community Survey is a signature project of Coastal Conversations and was conducted by a ALG Research, a national polling firm. ALG Research Partner and project leader, Kevin Akins, will present the findings. The initial survey conducted in February 2021 will form a baseline for the annual survey. Key questions include whether residents feel that the region is moving in the right direction and their perception of quality of life in general.  

Coastal Conversations’ mission is to improve quality of life for all residents of our region through bringing in world-class speakers, assessing community perceptions and presenting a community dashboard (to be released in May 2021).

This program is FREE and open to all. Residents of Mobile and Baldwin counties are encouraged to watch the presentation on Facebook LIVE. Community leaders and media are invited to an in-person presentation at Gulf Quest Maritime Museum.