Teenage speaker going mobile

THIS year’s ITB Berlin Convention will welcome its youngest speaker, 14-year-old Felix Finkbeiner, to the platform.

Finkbeiner will launch  the children’s initiative ‘Plant for the Planet’ and on March 9 deliver a keynote speech on ‘The Future of Mobility’.

From March 7 to 9  the leading tourism convention will address the main issues confronting global tourism and will be presenting some solutions and examples of best practice to meet current and future challenges. Along with Finkbeiner, Jochen Zeitz, Puma’s executive chairman and chief sustainability officer of PPR, has been invited to discuss sustainability at this year’s convention.

Finkbeiner will examine how the teenage generation assesses the present mobility system and current efforts to achieve sustainability.

The teenager has been attracting worldwide attention since 2007 with his Plant for the Planet initiative.

At that time, as a nine-year old, he learned during the course of his homework about the Kenyan environmentalist and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, Wangari Maathai, who has planted some 30 million trees over a 30-year period.

Plant for the Planet, which is now active in 193 countries, was inspired by this idea. Children obtain information about sustainability from other children, and learn how every individual can contribute to climate protection by planting trees.

Meanwhile, the sort of future sustainability scenarios that are conceivable will be explained by Zeitz, who was responsible for setting up the Zeitz Foundation.

One of the best-known entrepreneurs in Germany, Zeitz is devoting his efforts to the sustainable management of the eco-system. In his paper, to be delivered on the ITB CSR Day, he investigates the question of how to balance social, ecological and economic sustainability for the benefit of all stakeholders. The ‘4Cs’ – conservation, community, culture, commerce – is a new kind of concept being presented by the Zeitz Foundation as a basic approach that can also be applied by the tourism industry as a means of achieving sustainable growth.