The WHALE Center Blue Community Consortium was created in response to a consultative session hosted by the WHALE Center, USF Patel College of Global Sustainability, and the UNWTO to explore the role coastal communities could play for the SDG’s. Following this event the WHALE Center became an official UNTWO Affiliate and worked with the Walt Disney Animal Science and Environment Team to develop a framework using proven strategies of the Walt Disney Company to improve sustainability, reduce costs, and improve quality of life. The 12 blue Community strategies is saving Walt Disney World an estimated $35 million a year in operating costs and likely double that for its other operations around the world.
Prior to the UNWTO Affiliation designation, the WHALE Center was already a member of the UNEP Major Stakeholders group. Since that affiliation WHALE has been given Special Consultative status at the UN Headquarters and Geneva including yearly grounds passes, and credentialed to bring a team to the COP meetings on Climate Change.
The Blue Community team continues to grow and includes team members with international certification in project management for sustainable development, and members with expertise in areas that this project might benefit from including but not limited to sustainable food, composting, solar energy expertise, environmental and sustainable design expertise, social entrepreneurship, internet technologies, species protection, urban forests, biomimicry, bio-digesters, transformative education, disaster reduction, planning and community development, architecture and master planning, and policy development.
The Blue Community Consortium now includes over forty organizations each with expertise in different areas of sustainability as well.
The Blue Community program has developed an app and an international certificate program to most effectively use the app through the University of Central Florida Rosen College of Hospitality Management.
Since the creation of this model, it has been shared in places around the world such as:
The Caribbean Tourism Organization Annual Meeting - Georgetown, Guyana
The International Ecotourism Society, - Hilton Head, SC and Monterey CA
UNWTO International Gastronomy Conference - San Sebastian Spain
Windsor Castle, Windsor, UK
Global Sustainable tourism Council Annual Meeting - Aysen, Chile
UNWTO Sustainable Observatory Conference - Madrid Spain
UNDP Conference - UN Headquarters, New York, NY
Project Management for Sustainable Development Conferences - Akureyri Iceland & Parco della Sila, Italy
UN Year for Sustainable Tourism for Development Conference - Anna Maria, Florida
WHALE Center & Fest Leadership Development for Sustainability - Villages Nature, Paris France
University of Central Florida National Coastal Research Center Coastal Resiliency Conference, Orlando, FL
University of Central Florida Center for Economic and Environmental Opportunity and U.S. State Department conference hosting diplomats from 17 nations around the world - Orlando, FL
World Expo ENSO Conference - Dubai, UAE
International ENSO Future Education Conference - UCF Rollins College of Hospitality Management, and Walt Disney World Animal Kingdom, Lake Buena Vista, FL