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About the Author

Bill Hinchberger
Journalist, consultant and media entrepreneur (Paris, France)

Bill Hinchberger is a freelance writer and the principal of Hinchberger Consulting, with offices in France and Brazil. He is also the founding editor of, an award-winning online travel guide to South America’s largest country, and the host of BrazilMax Radio, an online radio program. Previously he worked as a foreign correspondent for The Financial Times and Business Week, as a contributing editor for Institutional Investor, and as director of communications and external relations for the World Water Council. He served four years as president of the São Paulo Foreign Correspondents Association and has contributed to a broad range of publications, including ARTnews, Metropolis, National Wildlife, Science, The Lancet and The Nation. Hinchberger Consulting offers services to meet the communications and editorial needs of international organizations, NGOs and companies. These include conference reporting, production of case studies of success, media strategy development and training. In 2009 assignments took Hinchberger beyond Brazil and France to Argentina, Belgium, India, Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey. He holds a B.A. in Political Science and an M.A. in Latin American Studies, both from the University of California, Berkeley. He is a participant in National Geographic's Destination Stewardship Survey and a member of the editorial board of Mercado Ético (Ethical Markets), a multimedia project about sustainable development in Brazil.


Filling in the Development Blanks: Ron Mader

Published 29th March 2010 - 13 comments - 10161 views -

We begin filling in the development blanks with Ron Mader, the man behind the groundbreaking and a professional journalist. When founded by Ron in 1994, became the first website dedicated to ecotourism. Ron's work engenders and promotes action and debate about environmental conservation, responsible travel and peacemaking. features sustainable practices throughout the site and explores it in depth on the wiki.

The bold text below shows how Ron filled in the development blanks. We invite readers to fill in the blanks themselves by using the comment function below. While you are at it, why not respond to Ron's suggestion below as well? Here goes:

The new definition of development is growth that is integrated along economic, spiritual and social concerns.

As part of the development agenda, water is compartmentalized and not integrated into other sectors, leading to overall program failure for all!

As part of the development agenda, tourism is critical though poorly understood.

Continued or increased dependence on the automobile will lead to more pavement.

The population explosion will lead to more people.

The most likely millennium development goal to be achieved is having .001% of people knowing what the millennium goals are.

The most glaring thing missing from the development agenda is meaningful transparency from development banks and NGOs.

My favorite development success story is the one that will take place next year ... based on the work we are doing today.

The sentence I would like to see others complete is: I am having the most fun when I'm working with other people to _______________________.

My Favorite Development Media

Fiction book - Anything by Daniel Quinn

Non-fiction book - Expanding Our Now: The Story of Open Space Technology by Harrison Owen

Movie - Groundhog Day

Websites - I'm listening and watching a lot from Australia:

Slow TV

Late Night Live

Bush Telegraph


World Water

World Mountains


* Press officers: If you would like to have someone from your organization or company Fill in the Development Blanks, please leave a comment in the space below or contact Bill Hinchberger directly.

Category: Tourism | Tags:


  • Tania Rabesandratana on 29th March 2010:

    Nice format. Keep it up.

  • Ruth Spencer on 30th March 2010:

    Nice, Bill! I really like this format. Will you be using this series of questions on more than one interviewee?

  • Ruth Spencer on 30th March 2010:

    Also, it would be great to have a photo of Ron Mader and anyone else who “fills in the blanks” in future.

  • Bill Hinchberger on 30th March 2010:

    Thanks, Tania and Ruth.

    Ruth, I included a photo. You can see it in rotation on the homepage. No idea how it is supposed to appear on this page or why it isn’t. Maybe you guys can help with that.

  • Bill Hinchberger on 30th March 2010:

    Ruth, I think we have the problem ironed out.

  • Ron Mader on 30th March 2010:

    Thanks for the invitation to participate in this survey. It’s always fun working with Bill and I look forward to seeing how this develops! This coming year I’m speaking at a few events in Europe, so I’ve been reading quite a few of the other posts. Again, thanks to all involved for creating such a rich resource!

  • Bill Hinchberger on 05th April 2010:

    Thanks for taking part, Ron. Why don’t you fill us in on your speaking engagements in Europe as well?

  • Iris Cecilia Gonzales on 10th April 2010:

    Ron, I liked the part about about meaningful transparency from development banks!

  • Ron Mader on 10th April 2010:

    Thanks, Bill. I’m getting ready for the 10-day trip to the Reisepavillon——in Berlin. This is a travel congress in which the Oliver Hillel from the Convention Biological Diversity and myself will present the winners of this year’s Indigenous Tourism and Biodiversity Website Award—

    I have not traveled to Europe for 20 years, so I’m eager to see the changes. Working with friends, we’re already developing online guides—who’s who—for those working toward responsible travel and ecotourism in German-speaking Europe and in the English-speaking UK. Europe’s a new world to me! Later this summer I’ve been invited to the Crossroads of Europe—Estonia—to participate in an innovative ecotourism event. Keep an eye on the wiki - - as Aivar Ruukel and I develop the country and conference info.

    Isis, many thanks for the kind words. For more thoughts on encouraging the banks to be more transparent, check out the Sustainable Tourism Bank Watch—

    A few years ago this particular project stalled, so apologies in advance if it does not look up-to-date. That said, does anyone have suggestions for a rethink of development financing?

  • Ron Mader on 16th May 2010:

    Here is what is happening this week: Responsible Tourism Week (May 17-21) is a free demonstration of Web 2.0 <>  as a means of documenting the challenges of developing (and maintaining!) responsible tourism.

    One of the key objectives of Responsible Tourism Week is to create incentives for continuity - we’d really like to hear updates on recent tourism conferences and events and we’d like to look forward to events in the future.  Another key objective is to strengthen relationships with existing contacts and make new friends!

    We’ll be using Delicious, Facebook, Flickr, Slideshare, Twitter and YouTube to document tourism practices around the world.

    Be honest and be public. This is the week where you get to shout out to the world the good things you see around you. Create a local event. Support a local event. Create a local event. Lead the way or follow the topics for which you have interest and passion. Talk food, volunteering, slowtravel, localtravel. Organize a marshmellow challenge <> or create a foamboard <>.

    Walk the talk - Practice responsible tourism where you are.
    Be generous! - Compliment someone via twitter, fave a photo or write a testimonial on Flickr, give a thumbs up to a video on YouTube. Be generous. <>
    Play nice! - Enough said.
    Be creative - Can you make your own poster or graphic for RT Week 2010?
    Have your say - What is responsible tourism? Please answer the rt survey <>
    Show your savvy - Use the hashtag: #rtweek2010 <>



  • Bill Hinchberger on 05th August 2010:

    This entry discussed on Ron Mader’s blog:

    See also an interview that Ron did with me about a few years ago:

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