AIESEC Alumni who IMAGINEd: Henrique Vedana

A creative project involving Danish and Brazilian students

Amalie Villesen, Fridda Flensted-Jensen, Nana Dall and Henrique Vedana are young students planting seeds in the rural communities of Porto Seguro, in the state of Bahia, Brazil, hoping that an alternative way of managing tourism emerges in those lands, considering revenue generation for the poor, preservation and valorization of the local culture, and conservation of the great cultural, natural and historical heritage that those localities have.

The concept is called Community-Based Tourism, where the communities are the ones responsible for receiving visitors and managing attractions and activities, by themselves or in partnership with the private sector with equitable community participation, as a means of using natural resources in a sustainable manner to improve their standard of living in an economic and viable way. The tourists become active participants in the process, and the community’s way of living is the main attraction.

The chosen region in the Northeast coast of Brazil, is the location where the Europeans first arrived in South America, exactly 507 years ago. Besides the unique historical importance, this region is known as the Discovery Coast, an area of great environmental relevance, recognized by UNESCO as a HotSpot and World Natural Heritage, given the highest level of biodiversity of fauna and flora found here, including a number of species only found in this region.

As a first step, the group is spending the month of May in Porto Seguro to identify the potential of the rural area of Vale Verde and Coqueiro Alto, to receive tourists and offer cultural and natural activities, and to start the community organization to take over this initiative.

Immersion inside the community life, experiences in similar projects, and community meetings were already executed in the first two weeks of the project, which will be concluded with audio-visual material about the life and history of Vale Verde, and the creation of a local network of supporters of the initiative, including public and private sectors.

The KaosPilots is an international school of Entrepreneurship and Social Innovation located in Åarhus, Denmark’s second largest city. This project is the conclusion of the first year of studies, of a total of three years, and the young students are expected to practice their ability of designing and running a project, articulate partnerships and finding innovative solutions for different problems in society.

This initiative is being executed in cooperation with IBAMA (Brazilian National Agency of National Parks and Environment), Municipality of Porto Seguro, and has technical support from Projeto Bagagem, organization with experience creating a network of community-based tourism destinations in Brazil. This has all made possible thanks to the financial support from Harris Pye (UK), Høeg Hagen & Co A/S and Scandivision (Denmark).

Contact for further information and interviews:

Henrique Vedana (
(+55 73) 8818-6008 (in Brazil, until June 4th 2007)
(+45) 2653-4487 (in Denmark, from June 6th 2007)

Project “The Park Pilots”
The KaosPilots
Projeto Bagagem
Municipality of Porto Seguro’s Tourism Board

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Eine Antwort zu AIESEC Alumni who IMAGINEd: Henrique Vedana

  1. Rod Schwartz schreibt:


    Very interested in the concept you describe above of community-based tourism. It seems to take things a step further, from traditional ecotourism, by putting the local communities right at the center. We had Catalyst ( have commented contact with the range of such companies over the past year or so. In addition, I noticed that at the last Global Social Venture Competition, then in the semifinals at the London Business School, there were several from this sector. That there will be more from this category in the future is indisputable.

    I also confess I have written to you, because of two other reasons. First, my colleague Julia ( posted some time ago, which was to try to encourage some feedback on our Social Business Blog ( . You were kind enough to link in to our blog and I will shortly return the favor.

    Lastly, AIESEC is an organization which is very dear to me. In the late 1970s (see, I’m dating myself), I was President of the chapter of AIESEC, which existed at the University of Rochester. Although I never myself did an internship, we were very very good at generating them for students from all over the world. I’ve always been really proud of that affiliation with I sent am delighted to make contact with AIESEC again.

    Best regards, Rod Schwartz

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