Photo: Imperial Point, Grand Canyon
Ron Mader is a communications catalyst and professional speaker, writer, photographer, and tweeter. Among his most popular workshops are those focusing on strategies for using the social web. Ron also hosts and updates the free Digital Literacy Quiz.
Highlighting meaningful conversation and action about environmental and cultural conservation, tourism, responsible travel, and peacemaking are the core focal points.
Conscious Travel and Planeta.com
His professional focus on ecotourism and responsible travel go back to academic research conducted in Central America in the late 1980s. In 1994 Ron launched Planeta.com, the web’s first site dedicated to ecotourism, responsible travel, and conscious travel.
Working in Oaxaca, Mexico, Ron collaborated in the development of the Oaxaca Options Dialogue and grassroots tourism events (2001-2013).
Ron has facilitated numerous seminars online and in the natural world and has won many awards, including recognition from the Mexican government for exemplary coverage of Mexico. Presidents Fox and Zedillo presented Ron with the Lente de Plata Award in 1999 and 2002. In 2010 he won the Innovation Award from the International Ecotourism Society.
Ron was featured in the 2000 and 2008 editions of American Environmental Leaders.
Ron collaborated with the Convention on Biological Diversity in the creation of the Indigenous Tourism and Biodiversity Website Award and leading a practical workshop on the social web at the Biodiversity COP. Ron led similar social web workshops for Indigenous teachers at Native Innovation conferences in Arizona.
Ron contributed to the ecotourism and responsible travel coverage in the pioneering magazine / website Transitions Abroad.
In the past few years Planeta.com has developed online events, including the Financing Sustainable Tourism, NGOs in Tourism and Conservation, Ethical Marketing of Ecotourism, Environmental Impact of Transportation, Urban Ecotourism Conference and the Ecotourism Emerging Industry Forum.
2002 was the International Year of Ecotourism, an event which sparked a lot of interest among ecotourism nerds around the globe. The United Nations and World Tourism Organization asked Ron to host the Sustainable Development of Ecotourism Web Conference which was the most attended preparatory event for the World Ecotourism Summit.
Ron has a bachelor’s degree in communication (1987) from Indiana University where he resided at the Collins Living Learning Center. Ron received a master’s degree (1990) from the Institute of Latin American Studies at the University of Texas at Austin.
IUCN WCPA North America 2021-2025