Tripstigator: Collaboration > Aid

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What happens when we shift our focus from the savior complex to a collaborative process? Charity work is inspirational to people around the world, however all too many times, the full potential of our charity impulse is hindered by problems in Reliance (thinking that the developing world needs the help of the west to survive), Corruption (dishonesty within social good programs, capitalizing on an individual’s urge to do good), and Success (not utilizing a volunteer’s skills to maximize their potential). These are the issues being tackled by Tripstigator, one of our newest partner organizations. Not only does Tripstigator focus on collaboration with local communities, but they also stress the importance of using the internet as a great unifier, rather than a tool to enhance social inequalities. Chris Federer shares with us the social mission of Tripstigator, how they work, and how they got their start.

Essentially, Tripstigator is a community of global citizens helping locals to participate in online commerce.

It consists of building relationships between its online community of Tripstigators and local people who would benefit by offering their goods/services online. In particular, it aims to galvanise the potential of the peer‐to‐peer economy (the likes of AirBnb, Etsy, etc).

Take Arturo and his unique bed and breakfast in the coffee‐producing region of Northern Valle de Cauca, Colombia. Prior to Tripstigator, the success of Arturo’s bohemian B&B stemmed largely from the positive word‐of‐mouth spread through the backpacker community.

But when one of Tripstigator’s global consultants discovered Arturo’s business, they quickly realised how the peer‐to‐peer economy could unleash the full potential of Arturo’s business.


In assisting Arturo with his knowledge of English and marketing in the peer‐to‐peer economy, his business is now going from strength‐to‐strength, and more backpackers are lucky enough to experience a stay at his unique bed and breakfast than ever before. And with the vast, untapped pool of talent and experience around the world, this is just the start: from Flamenco guitarist’s in urban Argentina, to coffee producers in rural Brazil, there are endless opportunities to plug individuals into the peer‐to‐peer economy and share their talent with the entire world, in just a click.

Moreover, unlike traditional notions of aid, this is not a one‐way relationship. By sharing their knowledge, the Tripstigator has made a meaningful local connection during their travels and developed their consultancy skills ‐ they can even discuss taking a small cut of the resultant financial success if they wish.

By implementing the transformative capacity of technology and offering to pool our knowledge, instead of our labour, we are far better able to work towards a world of connections, rather than disparities.

The tale of Tripstigator and Tripstigatee illustrates how through collaboration, rather than aid, we can redefine conventional notions of charity and thus challenge the various issues associated with it.

*Click here to join and learn more about their incredible work!

*All photos courtesy of the fantastic Tripstigator Instagram feed!

Wednesday Wisdom is a weekly series curated by Everyday Ambassador Partnerships Manager Anjana Sreedhar. Every Wednesday, we will feature updates from our partners and reflections from the Everyday Ambassador community. To stay current with our latest posts, follow #wednesdaywisdom or #wordstoliveby on our other platforms, and check back regularly for updates.



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