At Tribewanted we have crowdfunded, built and operated three community-led tourism projects in Fiji (2006), Sierra Leone (2010) and Italy (2013). Our successful and pioneering approach to responsible tourism has built a well known and respected brand. We've had success in promoting our projects including a 5-hour award-winning BBC Documentary, a published book, National Geographic cover story and coverage across many international media networks. I lead Tribewanted online, in Sierra Leone and with our team on future development opportunities.
Over the last two years I've been part of an exciting new creative leadership school in Amsterdam - THNK. This has given me access and insight beyond start-ups into the push and pull world of big brands and Governments who want to engage in the innovation impact space. I've discovered there is a healthy appetite to make a difference but a lack of good ideas (what do we do with big data?) As a founding participant I play a part in the school's international development as well as frequent returns to Amsterdam.
Instead of focusing on the traditional development model of a small impact on a lot of people, Right to Dream's mission is to unleash a new generation of role models for Africa. It does this by offering young talent the opportunity of a world-class sporting, academic and leadership education.
I've been lucky to work with Right to Dream in Ghana and Sierra Leone, developing new academies and programmes (Craig Bellamy Foundation, Parasports). I continue to play a part as a Trustee of the UK charity.
Escape the City is a global community for people who want to 'do something different' with their careers, helping talented people escape or avoid corporate jobs. Since speaking at the Escape launch party in 2010 (where I met my wife!) I've stuck close to this brilliant start-up which now has over 130,000 members. I've led workshops on how to build a career around your passions and explored 'escape adventures' with the team.
The really exciting thing for me about Escape the City is the potential impact it can have on the careers and perspectives of a talented and influential but pretty unhappy community of gen Y corporates.
"If you doubt whether a website could be socially relevant to the real world, this story offers an account of how it can and was brought about."
"Ben has something of Richard Branson's boundless, relentless enthusiasm." The Guardian
Ben is the founder of Tribewanted and was behind the success of Vorovoro Island and generated the media buzz around the project. Ben wrote a book about the first year of Tribewanted Vorovoro which was also filmed for an award winning BBC documentary series: Paradise or Bust. Ben went on to open John Obey Beach in Sierra Leone and Monestevole in Umbria with Filippo Bozotti.
Alongside Tribewanted Ben has worked on creative development projects with larger brands and social enterprises - including Right to Dream (leadership development through sport in West Africa) and Escape the City (Unleashing frustrated corporates into fulfilling careers). Ben is a regular speaker on startups and social enterprise, a mentor to escapees and first-time entrepreneurs, and is a Founding Participant at THNK: The Amsterdam School of Creative Leadership.