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«A Proposal of Principles and Basic Concepts for a New Paradigm for Tourism in The Balearic Isles STONES, SOIL and HEALTH hands, heart and mind ...»

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First Edition - January 6, 2012

A Proposal of Principles and Basic Concepts for

a New Paradigm for Tourism in The Balearic Isles


hands, heart and mind

Written by Prof. Gunter Pauli! ! ! ! ! ! ! January 2012

All Copyrights are Reserved.

Partial or complete reproduction rights will be granted after written request is received.

© 2011, Gunter Pauli

First Edition - January 6, 2012


After an exceptional group of committed citizens of Mallorca, Ibiza and Formentera engaged with the concept of the Blue Economy, I undertook the challenge to imagine a new paradigm for tourism. This brief document is a basis for discussion. Only if there is a broad agreement of proponents and opposition, finding that this tourism can achieve all dreams and objectives of all by moving forward in a positive way, with openness and a deep believe in the goodness of everyone with the best of intensions, then we will be available to translate this into one - and hopefully - many new initiatives that can turn these islands around towards a quality of life in harmony with Nature that will be permitted to regain its evolutionary path while generating jobs and strengthening a rich culture and tradition.





1. Design with the Flows

2. Consider the Five Kingdoms of Nature

3. Start with what you have

4. Search for multiple Benefits

5. Build on Tradition

6. Slow Design with Better Return

7. Respect for the Laws of Physics

8. Content is King

9. Structures and Content that withstand time, crises and seasons

10. Overcome the errors of the past

11. Put nature on its evolutionary path

12. Welcome the Pilgrim.


1. Investors and Shareholders

2. The Farmers

3. Construction Companies

4. The Local Community

5. The Eco-system


1. STONES - The Hands

2. SOIL - TheHeart

3. HEALTH - The Mind


© 2011, Gunter Pauli First Edition - January 6, 2012 A Proposal of Principles and Basic Concepts for a New Paradigm for Tourism in the Balearic Isles STONES, SOIL and HEALTH hands, heart and mind Proposed by Gunter Pauli Professor in Systems Design, Politecnico di Torino Author of the Blue Economy


This documents presents a new concept for tourism in The Balearic Isles which could become a new paradigm for developers. Over the past years I gaineda sensitivity for the exceptional history and the great potential of the islands thanks to the dozens of local friends who are committed to bring about a new paradigm of development in the Balearic Isles. A visit to the beaches of Es Trenc in Mallorca last December 2011 served as a reality check if this paradigm makes sense even for traditional hotel developers, rather than a concrete project design to be taken forward with immediate effect. This requires consensus.

At a time of crisis, this proposal for a paradigm shift wishes to break away from the prevailing model and conceptualize how each development initiative could be unique while mirroring the same principles, fully integrating the concepts of ecology and the Blue Economy which tends to be more uncompromising than best intentioned environmentalists, incorporating the architectural uniqueness of the islands, its culture and tradition. Health and the wellbeing of residents, guests, clients and the ecosystem stand central in all our reflections.

During multiple visits to the island and conversations with residents of all walks of life, the team members of the ZERI Foundation, sensed the conflicts and the mistrust that have dominated the islands which remain affected by pre-conceived ideas that may stand in the way of an opportunity to look at a common future beyond prevailing wisdom of all walks. A half finished phantom development left to deteriorate for over 20 years stands as a dreadful witness to the games of power of the past and demonstrate the complexity any new development on the islands will have to overcome. Until recently, major portions of land that had not succumbed to mass tourism depended on agriculture, which today is considered by the local population as well as the international mainstream experts void of any future. Time has come to think fresh and without fear, work even with those one could have considered the opponent yesterday, but still a potential ally for realizing multiple dreams.

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OBJETIVES This document is only a first sketch of the development of a new paradigm for tourism.

It is only intended for the Balear Isles.

Even though it could serve as inspiration elsewhere, its original motivation was to respond to a pressing need in Spain to rethink tourism. The Balearic Isles potentially serve as a living laboratory at a grand scale.

This paper searches for a meeting of minds based on clear and simple concepts amongst promotors of economic development, the opponents who refuse to consider more of the old, and the authorities who at this time of crisis are eager to create a future, building on the islandsʼ vocation for tourism that marked development over the past half century, and may well have a central role for decades to come.

Only if and when there is a meeting of minds, we could proceed to the next step which is more like a jump then a simple move forward: the design of an architectural concept, the creation of a new business model with a unique content that will deserve all the stars that distinguish one hotel from the other.

© 2009, Pauli

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REFERENCES It may be appropriate to refer to the creation of the largest bamboo structure in modern history: the ZERI Pavilion which was first built in Manizales (Colombia), and then at the World Expo 2000 in Hanover as a symbol of the new development model proposed by the ZERI Foundation. Seven projects that had been implemented were featured: (1) integrated farming in Fiji at a boarding school; (2) conversion of water hyacinth in Zimbabwe into protein; (3) food security on Colombian farms using coffee waste to farm mushrooms; (4) transforming an old cement plant in Sweden into a waste processing plant producing soil, (5) turning beer breweries into a platform for food and nutrition with bread and sausages;

(6) reconverting 8,000 HA of savannah in the Orinoco Basin back to the rainforest it used to be; and, (7) bamboo as the worldʼs most sustainable building material.

The idea emerged from the authorʼs passion for this “vegetable steel” that provides building material to one billion people in the Tropics. It turned into an unexpected success with 6.4 million visitors over 5 months at the World Expo. Even though this audacious undertaking faced many difficulties to succeed since it proposed a new building material and new construction techniques, it obtained a German building permit thanks to the solid science that underpinned the proposals. Over the next decade, this “permit” contributed to the creation of 519 new companies and an estimated 7,000 jobs in the Colombian Coffee Region.

This experience and these statistics permit us to put the paradigm design project for tourism in The Balearic Isles within a special context.The exceptional team that accomplished the challenge in Germany inspires us to propose with confidence basic concepts of this new paradigm, knowing that if a consensus is reached, it will succeed.

–  –  –


The new paradigm is based on some of the design principles of the Blue Economy which propose that the best for our health, communities and environment must also be economically viable, must generate social capital, and is competitive. Below we describe the core principles that were applied when designing the new paradigm for tourism.

1.- Design with the Flows The design of the new paradigm for tourism is based on the understanding and the management of the basic flows of life: air, water, solids and particles, food, waste, sound, light, money and human beings. The design of a well-defined project must be inspired by the observations of these flows before and after at the site and the surroundings of the proposed new development. It is within this context that the actual status of any piece of land, degraded or not, is not of major importance. The key is to permit Nature to maintain or regain its evolutionary path.

© 2007, WATRECO 2.- Consider the interactions amongst the Five Kingdoms of Nature In the past, the biologists classified life in three kingdoms: plants, animals and minerals.

Today, modern biology understands life as symbiotic relationships amongst five kingdoms of nature: plants, animals, mushrooms, algae (protista) and bacteria (monera). Any project must understand, appreciate the contributions and synergies of all five kingdoms which will enhance the efficiency and the beauty of the project.

–  –  –

3.- Start with what you Have After the Second World War, humanity looked for solutions based on resources available anywhere in the world. We would ship anything anywhere facilitated by the low cost of energy. Today, we propose to build the capacity to respond to our basic needs with what we have. This reduces costs while at the same time offers opportunities for the generation of additional revenues. Any concentration of people will generate by-products for which we do not automatically recognize their value. This discovery process is part of the design process.

–  –  –

4.- Search for Multiple Benefits The traditional MBA will urge the entrepreneur to focus on one niche market with one core competence. This permits the translation of all benefits into one unique and easy to understand cash flow. The starting point of the Blue Economy is the opportunity to generate multiple benefits, with multi-disciplinary teams who are able to generate multiple revenue streams. The design process will identify which hidden assets and flows could generate multiple benefits for the investors, the clients, employees, the community and the ecosystem.

–  –  –

5.- Build on Tradition Modern building design selects materials and construction techniques that will save costs and speed up implementation. However, the new paradigm of tourism will start by being inspired by tradition, whereby the recognition as World Heritage by UNESCO serves as a credible basis for the design of modern structures with centuries of experience.

Carcassonne, Notre Dame de Paris and Mont Saint-Michelle represent three exemplary cases in France how stone-based architecture brings wealth for generations, even today.

This approach generates more value for assets that can stand the pressure of time. The challenge is to design developments that are timeless.

–  –  –

6.- Slow Design with a Better Return The traditional focus of real estate investments is to reach the positive accumulated and discounted cash flow as soon as possible determines many practical decisions. This implies that the investment goes beyond break-even, it cash investments has been fully recovered and that the assets are the benefit that will continue to generate income. The desire to reach this point as fast as possible sometimes motivates developers to “cut corners”. The new paradigm proposes a slow financial model, where several revenue streams emerge in parallel guaranteeing self-correction over time with multiple cash flows and additional benefits, that can be calculated and reported on with transparency.

–  –  –

7.- Respect for the Laws of Physics The construction and tourism development sector has imposed a logic on the engineers who are forced to pump cold air up, block UV everywhere inside, and restrict airflows in the building even to the point of generating sick building syndromes. Life on earth is subjected to the laws of physics, which are predictable and without exceptions. Therefore, project design within this new paradigm is based first and foremost on the logic of physics.

Chemical solutions are only considered after rigid analysis when no other alternatives seem available.

A public school in Timrå, Sweden uses natural ventilation refreshing the air every 30 minutes leading to health, good learning, and increased land value. Design and architecture by Anders Nyquist.

–  –  –

8.- Content is King The majority of five star hotels in the world have golf courses and health spas. We propose that tourism in the future will have to offer experiences beyond this standard that is firmly established where ever you are in the world. The stay must offer the chance to focus on the health of the guests, the local communities and the environment, based on local traditions and the outstanding quality of food and nutrition. This opens up a market niche that is prepared to pay for the service summarized as “hands, heart and mind”.

–  –  –

9.- Structures and Content that withstand time, crises and seasons Hotels have become the temporary cathedrals of modern times. However, the looks change with the wind and are therefore amortized to permit reconstruction within 25 to 40 years. The design paradigm proposed maintains its strength and originality based on tradition, culture and the endless cycles of life. Therefore its viability is independent of economic cycles or seasons. The design searches for timelessness.

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