Soneva Fushi To Host Third Six Senses SLOW LIFE Symposium

Maldives Promotion House – This October, Soneva Fushi by Six Senses, will host the third Six Senses “S.L.O.W. LIFE Symposium” from 6th to 9th. Convening world-leading thinkers, policy makers and business leaders, the symposium aims to accelerate progress towards sustainable business practices in the tourism industry.

The participants will join hands with the government to confront the principle challenges facing the travel and tourism industry, including low-carbon infrastructure, transportation, resort management and threatened biodiversity according to the organizers. Attendees will also share insights, projections and plans, making connections that could influence the future direction of the tourism industry.

“This is not just any old symposium on eco-tourism, but one where walking the talk about eco-tourism comes naturally and where proven leadership is all around us.  I suspect we all believe that the very idea of a sustainable future for humankind may well depend more on this industry than on any other,” Founder and Director of Forum for the Future, Jonathon Porritt, said during the SLOW LIFE Symposium in 2010.

Sir Richard Branson and American actor and environmental campaigner, Edward Norton are among the pantheon of global environmental leaders who are set to speak at the symposium. Sir Richard is scheduled to talk about the challenge of a changing environment to his business portfolio. He will also discuss the need for the Virgin empire to evolve rapidly to meet these changes and the steps he is already taking in his businesses and through organisations like the Carbon War Room.

He will further stress on alternative fuel sources and new technologies to power Virgin’s fleet of trains and aircrafts and the need to adapt buildings and infrastructure to meet the challenges of rising fossil fuel prices and to stem carbon emissions.

Edward Norton will speak about the benefits that the tourism industry can bring to local eco-systems, wildlife and communities.  He will take examples from large wildlife reserves that might otherwise be developed as mines or farms and the mutual benefit of supporting communities to protect their local environment.

His focus will mainly be on the role that tourism can play in implementing ‘Best Practice’ on both a local and global scale, and how visionary policy makers and business leaders can form an alliance, particularly in support of small island states. Mr Norton will draw on his role as President of the board of trustees of the Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust.

Adventurer and environmentalist David de Rothschild will also be attending this year’s symposium. A founder of, a group that uses exploration and storytelling as a way to give nature a voice, and for his headline-grabbing adventures such as the Plastiki expedition which involved sailing across the Pacific on a catamaran made entirely with reclaimed plastic bottles, de Rothschild will be a big asset in helping communicate the symposium’s findings and messages.  

Others scheduled to speak include President Mohamed Nasheed of Maldives and Sonu Shivdasani, Chairman and CEO of Six Senses, the luxury resort company at the forefront of eco-tourism innovation, Jean Ballandras, Secretary General for the Reunion Islands, Jonathon Porritt, Forum for the Future, Tim Smit, Co-Founder and CEO of the Eden Project; Fabien Cousteau, grandson of Jacques Cousteau and Founder of Plant A Fish, Chris Gorrell-Barnes of Blue Foundation and Mark Lynas, Author and Climate Change Advisor to President Nasheed.

“Tourism does so much good for sustainability. If it wasn’t for tourism, most of the fantastic reserves in South Africa or Namibia would be mines or farms. The land would go to waste. It would be stripped of lumber. Animals would be killed and eaten. The thing we can do as individuals is to try and make tourism sustainable,” Chairman and CEO of Six Senses, Sonu Shivdasani said.

“Six Senses has a voice within the travel and tourism industry and we want to use our voice to encourage every level of the industry to be more sustainable in its choices. The travel and tourism industry needs to do more. We want our findings to reach the heart of the industry, going right back to investment and development stages.”

Symposium attendees will engage in three days and three evenings of intimate conversations, insightful presentations and robust panel discussions. Attendees will discuss ways in which the tourism industry, small islands and tropical states can join forces to mutually secure prosperous and sustainable economic futures.

Amongst others, discussion topics will include the low-carbon development targets of the Cartagena Dialogue group of progressive countries and the impact this may have on international policy; how to turn a community sustainable; the coming global energy crisis and how it might affect small island states; protecting marine bio-diversity; engaging local communities in ambitious carbon reduction targets; investing in sustainable technologies and the challenge of adapting transportation in a low-carbon economy; and the consequences of inaction.

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