GoAbroad Innovation Gratitude

Innovative Technology Finalist

Whew! I don’t know about you, but it has been a non-stop ride for me this academic year with my new job here in New Mexico. I have yet to have a moment of deep reflection and gratitude for everything that has occurred within the past nine months.  My (personal) professional life has been a fun adventure in itself, but so has my life as a Melibee.

Ever since the Melibee Swarm last fall, I feel like I have a better appreciation and connection to my fellow Melibees.  One of the major accomplishments of this group of bees this year has been the launch of our pre-departure tool— Personal and Pop Culture: Practical Pre-Departure Planning for the Global Sojourner —  the subhive has planned, built, and created it beginning back in June 2014.  After many brainstorming sessions of what the tool was going to look like–podcasts, audio, mobile app, resource guide — we ended up with the video and vignettes, as we felt that was the best way to engage millennials to think and talk about culture prior to their travel.

We are humbled to have had this tool nominated as a finalist for the Go Abroad Innovation in Technology Award for the year 2015.

Sample page from the nominated pre-departure tool!

This particular tool is based on personal storytelling from various Melibees’ sojourns abroad. I’ve heard from several people asking which vignette was written by which Melibee.  I admit that I tackled four vignettes, but I have a personal story to share for every topic in the tool.  In fact, that’s what we hoped to aim for.  It’s really not about trying to figure out who wrote the vignettes, but rather, if each can spark new conversations about culture.  Did the vignettes resonate with you? Do you have a rebuttal story?  What is your story?  This tool was created for you to think about culture from different perspectives –topics that matter to most, if not all of us.  In fact, I challenge you to take a moment to reflect and share with me what you thought of the pre-departure tool and how it has helped you see not only your own culture but another culture as well!