The Big Idea: Knowledge Destinations

Once upon a time, places were desperate for tourists. Each year, governments would spend millions on "destination marketing". The goal? To convince people to spend that long weekend or summer vacation in one place over another.

The bigger the promo budget, the more tourists a place would attract, and the more successful it would become. Over the past five years, though, policymakers have grown increasingly worried about "overtourism".

Some places have done such a good job of attracting tourists that their presence has significantly reduced the quality of life for residents. But now that remote workers are more attractive than tourists, this tension between locals and visitors will decrease.

Remote workers in the knowledge economy could go anywhere, so how can a destination attract and retain them? By delivering a good quality of life at a reasonable cost. This will serve both long-term residents and short-term visitors.

Before, places aspired to be tourism destinations. Now, they'll aspire to be knowledge destinations.


Maker of the Week: Paul Cooper

Paul is a writer and podcaster with a love of ancient ruins. He's also a maker funded by 1,300+ podcast fans via Patreon.

So far, Paul's published two novels of historical fiction (All Our Broken Idols and River of Ink), written media stories for National Geographic, The Atlantic and The New York Times, and launched his own podcast, The Fall of Civilisations.

His journey started back in 2017 when he was doing a PhD. He wanted to share his research on Twitter, so he started creating threads that outlined the tales of the ancient ruins he came across.

It turns out the internet has a voracious appetite for all things ruins and lost civilisations. Paul attracted tens of thousands of followers, and used this attention as a springboard to launch the podcast that's now his full-time job.

What I admire most about Paul is that he doesn't pay attention to what anybody else is doing. Instead, he tries to make the best work possible, embraces the chaos of experimentation, and trusts his gut when it counts.


Handpicked For You



πŸ“… Covid-19 and the Digital Divide - Cumberland Lodge

I'm appearing as part of an online panel event to talk about the pandemic and digital inclusion tomorrow. Other speakers include Shabira Papain from the NHS's digital transformation department and Robin Christopherson MBE. Tickets are free, and you can book them here.

🎧 "Asking Better Questions - Hurry Slowly

This interview with writer Courtney E. Martin digs into the power of asking yourself new and unexpected questions, explores what a successful adult life looks like, and highlights the importance of discovering your "first question" – the fundamental curiosity that carries you through life.

πŸ—žοΈ Notes from China’s unemployed - Rest of World

Learn how China's jobless youth is using the equivalent of Craigslist to share grief about their unemployment. As well as showcasing a truly whacky internet phenomenon, this story examines the employment crisis unfolding in China – something the government is keen to keep hidden.


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-Lauren