Best Projects 2019 features all the nominated entries submitted ‘Submit your Project’ category. All the entries consist of innovative projects run by existing enterprises in the form of businesses, NGOs or informal programs.
MountainLAB Adelboden - Sustainable Co-Working in the Swiss Mountains
Explain your project in details:
The MountainLAB is a decentralised and integrated co-working and co-living space located in Adelboden, Switzerland. The MountainLAB thus connects various stakeholders in the region while promoting the mountain area as a place for both work and leisure. The project offers more than simply infrastructure for co-workers: there are external meeting rooms throughout the village (including a cinema and a mountain cabin), hotels which offer cheaper pricing for long term visitors who are using the co-working space, as well as an integrated tourist centre. The aim of MountainLAB is thus to connect different service providers in the area to generate additional value for not just one specific business, but for the region and its stakeholders as a whole. By offering the possibility to combine work and leisure in a rural, mountainous region, this project aims to enable visitors to prolong their stay and to attract different visitor groups such as digital nomads, freelancers, students, people working in the creative industry and business people. A co-working space outside of an urban area allows for a different approach to a current work or project and offers a change in perspective, less distractions or the opportunity to exchange ideas with co-workers from other fields. In addition, the integration of several service providers into the project ensures additional value for all businesses as well as creating a unique co-working experience. As a result, locals as well as visitors have the opportunity to get into contact and mutually benefit from each other.
Impact of your enterprise on sustainable development
The project involves local stakeholders and uses existing resources. It promotes rural areas as tourist regions and allows visitors to enjoy both work and leisure time, thus encouraging people to prolong their stay. The aim of the project is to bring all local stakeholders together to create a more sustainable and long-term involvement. It connects visitors and locals and provides a unique tourist experience of the region. The development of new forms of work accelerated by the digital economy influences the way people spend their time. As a result, work is not necessarily restricted to a specific place which not only allows for increased mobility but also deemphasizes the distinction between work and leisure time. Rural areas can profit from these changes by providing the necessary technical infrastructure and innovative ideas to attract visitors for longer periods of time and thus sustain tourism.
Sustainability and future plans
While this project has been realised in the region of the Swiss Alps, the MountainLAB can serve as a model for other rural or mountainous areas as well. Thus, the project allows for other areas to pick up this idea and adapt it for their own specific place, stakeholders and service providers. The core idea, however, should remain intact to guarantee the sustainable aspect of the project: connecting the co-working space with external service providers for both living and meeting rooms as well as placing the co-working space outside of urban areas. It is important to include local businesses in order to use existing resources and make the co-working place a unique and locally integrated space.
Your profile as an entrepreneur
I am a passionate international tourism consultant, project manager, entrepreneur, place maker, business coach and founder of gutundgut, a consulting, innovation management and project development company focused on sustainable tourism infrastructures and projects based in Switzerland and the Netherlands. Over the last 20 years I managed and directed a variety of tourism and marketing initiatives. As a project manager I developed sustainable tourism projects in Switzerland, Germany, Armenia and Albania. For more than twelve years, I served in different functions on executive board level for Switzerland Tourism, the National Tourist Office of Switzerland in Amsterdam, New York, Dubai and Zurich. My philosophy has always been to connect people and stakeholders, encourage open and transparent conversations and to work with people from different fields to achieve more holistic and sustainable projects.