LE LABA, France

Founded in 2013, Le LABA is a centre of expertise specializing in European funding in the creative and cultural industries sector. LABA helps organizations to identify, raise and manage European funds, helping them in their internationalization strategy and in their local development strategy. LABA has piloted more than 70 European projects, half of which they participated in as a partner.

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Jessica Favarel, Project Manager, LE LABA

Project manager at LE LABA, she has strong experience in project coordination in different fields including eco-tourism! She is managing the EUROPEAN YETI project, a project also supporting youth in entrepreneurship in eco-tourism. She is also part of the RURAL STORIES project, aiming to create stories in rural areas through journalism, another way of promoting rural areas and increasing tourism in a responsible way.  

Partner Leading the GRASSROOTS Good Practice Guide on Eco-health Tourism

In this guide recipients will learn about eco-health tourism including definitions of eco-health tourism, inspiring stories and portraits and interviews of entrepreneurs. This will help learners to have a better understanding of the eco-health tourism sector through concrete actions: from sport to heritage along with street art, the possibilities are infinite to developing the economy and having a safe and healthy environment! 

This guide is targeted at entrepreneurs, educators, youth educators, young people and anyone who wants to start an eco-health tourism business. 

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Momentum, Ireland

Momentum is a firm believer in lifelong learning, education, and supporter of European inhabitants, businesses, industries, and sectors. Enabling, equipping, and supporting our target audiences is at the heart of everything we do. We provide training, mentoring, and online learning, and have a solid reputation for innovative problem-solving, economic development vision, and the design, funding, and delivery of game-changing projects and programs. We particularly create impact via EU education and innovation programs by developing innovative curricula and tertiary educational strategies for many of Ireland’s top HEI and VET bodies.

Laura Magan, Momentum’s Lead Tourism Specialist

Laura is Momentum’s project lead on the Grassroots project. She is Momentum’s lead tourism specialist bringing a wealth of international tourism expertise gained primarily from her work in Australia for 10 years with Tourism Events Queensland, Southern Great Barrier Reef, and Darwin International Airport.

Partner Leading the Grassroots Immersive Online Training Toolbox

Our work on the Grassroots project is to primarily develop the Immersive Online Training Toolbox. This Toolbox will include a practical step-by-step advice guide on how to create an ecotourism project or business. Recipients will learn from other Grassroots entrepreneurs in an interactive way how to understand cross-cutting entrepreneurial topics such as communication, technical assessments, human and economic elements…and more.  

Défismed, France

Défismed brings together professionals involved in responsible travel in the Mediterranean and potential and future responsible tourists. They develop small pilot experiences and have provided over 25 challenges so that tourism stakeholders, public authorities and consumers can learn from each other and make progress. They created the first ecotourism MOOC with academics, called “Ecotourism, let’s imagine it together”. They actively look for innovative players who link ecology and the preservation of local heritage. They provide added value and quality knowledge and content to the project through broadcasting projects, testimonials, feedback, photos, writings, and their dedicated industry map.

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Francois Huet, Vice President

Francois is experienced in international hotelier management. He is an advocate for environmental tourism which commenced when he opened the first marine laboratory (in a 5-star hotel) to spread awareness and educate the benefits of environmental preservation and tourism to visitors. He focused on immersing himself in different environmentally friendly experiences, environments and cultures in over 80 countries so that he could gain customizable, unique, high value knowledge. This provided him with the collective intelligence to deliver his main objective – high impact environmentally friendly tourism initiatives and practices. He continues to transform tourism and its future potential through circular economy applications, facilitating workshops, his podcast Xperientiel and engaging in game-changing projects such as GRASSROOTS.  

Philippe, Vice President

Philippe Dubois has been involved in Disfismed projects for over 10 years. He holds two master’s degrees in computer science. He was a research scientist at Dassault Aviation, and Mines-Telecom. He has more than 25 years of teaching experience, both in the academic and industrial sectors. He is a lecturer in 3 universities in France and an engineering school and developed a training catalogue as part of his consulting activities. Philippe trains the staff of numerous research centers such as CNRS, INRIA, (France) RHUL University (London) and large industrial companies such as Naval Group or EDF. He has extensive experience in distance learning and tutoring, both as a systems developer and as a tutor. 

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Materahub, Italy

Consorzio Matera Hub belongs to both local and international networks for tourism and heritage and in its team includes professional figures that deal with ecotourism research and data analysis for sustainable tourism management. With both theoretical and hands-on expertise, the team is enthusiastic to accompany young tourism entrepreneurs into their entrepreneurial path. Matera Hub is also a co-creator of EntreComp, the European framework for entrepreneurial competencies.

Sara Simeone, Ecotourism specialist

An adventurous solo traveller and graduate in Design of sustainable tourism systems. She co-organised Lost in Nature, an Outdoor Festival in Salento (Italy). She did WWOOF and Workaway in Japan helping a rural tourist village and a centre for ecotourism activities. In Matera, she organised foraging walks and urban gardening workshops for locals, remote workers and voluntourists. Co-founder of the urban gardening movement Noi Ortadini, she is currently working at Materahub in projects about sustainable tourism and placemaking.

Becky Riches, Expert of Capitals of Culture

Half English, half Irish, now living in Matera. In the last ten years she has worked in the tourism sector promoting Basilicata through the development of a sustainable tourism project, Lucania Living. She coordinated the projects of the Relations and Development Area of the foundation Matera-Basilicata 2019 and curated capacitation processes for future ECoCs. Now she also works for Materahub, managing projects funded by Erasmus+ and Creative Europe, like Crafthub ( to empower craft makers and designers.

Hai Ly Nguyen, Collaborator for tourism and craft projects

Hai Ly has graduated in Hospitality Administration and Management at the National Economics University of Vietnam, and in Design of Sustainable Tourism Systems in Florence, Italy. Besides sustainable tourism, she has a big interest in blockchain, web3, cryptocurrency and she hopes to apply such innovative technology to promote the sustainable development of tourism. She now works for Materahub in projects related to tourism, craft and sustainability.

Partner Leading the GRASSROOTS Pedagogical Educational Expert Guide

Matera Hub is developing the GRASSROOTS Pedagogical Teaching Guide designed specifically for youth initiatives in eco-health tourism. Matera Hub will transfer their extensive experience in tourism and heritage business incubation by developing an innovative pedagogical framework so that GRASSROOTS initiatives and target audiences can design successful tourism experiences in fields of cultural heritage, urban arts, food and more. The GRASSROOTS Pedagogical Guide is designed as a how-to-mentor guide for tourism experts who wish to become mentors to youth initiatives and use this resource as a support in their educational delivery. 

Futurecast, Ireland

W8 is an Irish youth training organization and tourist and cultural hub rooted in stunning North Leitrim, Ireland. Opened in 2017, it won four top awards in 2020, the two latest “Destination of year for 2020 for Food and Accommodation” Mc Kenna Awards and “All Ireland business All-star awards for W8 Complex.  In addition to tourism training which can incorporate work experience placements through our wide network in the northwest region, W8 along with our sister company FutureCast has developed an Industry 4.0 tech hub which provides training, innovation, and research in robotics, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, augmented reality, and 3D construction Printing.  W8’s tourism expertise is valued at National level by Fáilte Ireland, Ireland’s tourism development agency, at regional level by Local Authorities (where they have assisted in niche tourism), Local Enterprise Offices and Skillnet training networks.  It has created a new sustainable tourism destination at W8 that supports the community.

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Mary Whitney, Director of Education

Mary has 7 years’ experience in managing education programs in Higher and Further Education.  Mary is an advocate of lifelong learning and recently completed a HDip in Leadership.  Her vast array of experiences includes working in homelessness, addiction, and criminal justice coupled with a MSc in Social policy, lending itself well to tackling social justice issues on the ground. Mary has a strong interest in collaborative working and European partnerships and is the lead Researcher on Erasmus + projects.

Niamh Kenny

Niamh has an educational background in Economics and HR, as well as having worked in the banking sector. She joined the Futurecast team in April 2021 and has been the lead for the Finance and HR departments working alongside the company directors and the board to ensure a smooth running of these operations. Niamh also has a strong interest in Europe projects and is one of the main researchers for our Erasmus + projects.

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Coompanion Göteborgs Regionen, Sweden

Coompanion Göteborgs Regionen has specialized for 25 years in cooperative entrepreneurship, support, development, and education. They provide information, advice and training to people who want to realize and execute their entrepreneurial ideas. Their values are based on self-help, self-responsibility, democracy, equality, equity and solidarity. Coompanion is particularly renowned for its high-level expertise in cultural and creative enterprises and cultural tourism. Coompanion has supported several entrepreneurs in Gothenburg 2020, the European Smart Tourism Capital. They have built a strong network of over 1000 organizations and members in the fields of enterprise, sustainability, and eco-tourism. 

Diana Ghinea, Project Manager

Diana Ghinea is a project manager and has worked in the field of social development and social inclusion in various forms, from development cooperation to social economy and adult education. With an academic background in political science, her professional experience includes research, consulting and evaluation, training, project management and policy analysis. 

Partner leading the Grassroots Entrepreneurial Training Courses for Youth Workers

Our role in the Grassroots project is to develop training courses for youth workers on how to create and develop ecotourism projects or businesses. The recipients will learn how to create a sustainable business model, how to find and attract their target group, finance their idea and go from idea to impact. Recipients will learn from other entrepreneurs in a peer-to-peer community approach in areas of eco sport, food, music, and heritage enhancement. The courses will include between 10 and 20 teaching sheets and a skills reference framework.

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OIRD, Brussels

The OIRD (International Organization for Success and Development) is a pluralist organization of action for the development of dynamics for young people and families. Its missions are part of a global movement of educational and cultural exchanges. The organization’s commitment is to offer all young people the keys to opening the doors to a better future. It develops avant-garde programs oriented towards discovery, sustainable development and exchange at local and global levels. The actions and projects of the OIRD are carried out in complete independence and neutrality, respecting the differences and freedoms of each.

Olivier Donnet

Olivier is an expert in institutional and territorial development, governance reforms and decentralization. He is also a policy advisor involved in governance processes, territorial development and State building. He has value-added experience in institutional relations, global cooperation programs & diplomatic relations.