What makes Chris Baker a Global Shaker?
Chris Baker is the founder of OneSeed Expeditions, an adventure holiday tour operator focused on using travel to support economic development. 10% of the company’s profits are used to provide zero-interest loans to local NGOs in places like Nepal and Peru. These groups then use the small loans for community entrepreneurs, across industries like farming and retail.
“The areas of greatest need are not necessarily in areas of the greatest tourism attractions,” Baker told The New York Times. “We want to use tourism to be able to benefit people outside of those areas.”
Baker started OneSeed in 2011 as a way of harnessing the power of group and private travel for good. The website stresses that more than $310,000 has been invested to date in more than 600 small-scale entrepreneurs around the world, which helped OneSeed win gold at the World Responsible Tourism Awards in 2018.
“OneSeed spends 79 cents of every dollar in the local economies where it operates: Nepal, Bhutan, Tanzania, Chile, Colombia, Peru, and Argentina,” the organisation explains on its website. “This includes 65.8% spent on local suppliers, 3.5% dispersed to local guides through a profit-sharing program, and 10% invested in microcredit to local entrepreneurs to help expand and diversify the economy.”
Alongside OneSeed, Baker is the Co-Founder of Wayfinder Co-Op, Denver’s outdoor industry coworking hub. He also served as a Teacher at Teach for America, where he taught literacy and maths at a high-need star school.
He holds a BA in Anthropology from Yale University, during which time he spent a semester abroad in Nepal, completing ethnographic research on Buddhist rock carving within rural economies of merit.
In an interview with The Daily, Baker said: “I think people expect more than just fun from their travel. Today’s mindful traveler wants to leave a positive impact. As a collective of local guides, we see our role as connectors. We bring curious and adventurous travelers to the communities where we work. We connect people across languages, cultures, and experiences.
“We’ve also seen a real desire from travelers to build the backcountry skills needed to explore these remote destinations. Our guides work with travelers to build those skills so that they can push further in their own travel. Next time they book a trip, they might not even need us, and that’s fine by us.”
Baker’s profile on the OneSeed website adds that when he’s not working, Baker loves “a good trout stream, dumplings, and getting haircuts in unfamiliar languages.”Tags: Oneseed Expeditions, Responsible Tourism, Sustainable Travel, tourism
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