According to the Future Foundation, an authentic cultural experience is the most important aspect travelers seek in an abroad experience. Travelers have all of the intent in preparing culturally but commonly used resources are often bought but not used, lack this authenticity and give only a single, tourist-centered perspective.
Glimpse is a dynamic, crowdsourced website for travelers to explore “Glimpses” into a cultural and experience common cultural components through the eyes of locals and previous travelers.
Travelers can begin to immerse in a new culture before embarking on their journey by swapping their usual radio station for local music, a normal dinner for a regional recipe, and other similar experiences that integrate a new culture into their everyday routine. Locals and previous travelers contribute content to help shape true perceptions and to tell their story.
In doing so, travelers face their preconceived assumptions and stereotypes are broken. This allows the educated traveler to more deeply appreciate a culture and overcome those dreaded uniformed tourist interactions. For locals, it’s a chance to change or strengthen their narrative and disprove common misconceptions. As a result, cross-cultural trust is formed between travelers and locals.
At first, Stacy researched and developed insights into how one empathizes and why. Then, she narrowed her focus on traveling and exposing oneself to a very different context; a situation where empathy is often lacking. She quickly developed prototypes ranging from a “Rise and Empathize” app to a physical “Culture Kit” and gathered feedback from many different travelers. Once authenticity was learned to the most important factor to travelers, she began exploring the crowdsourced component to the prototype. Reaching out to family and friends, she started gathering “Glimpses” from towns all over the world ranging from Budapest, Munich and Jerusalem to Harbin, China, Bwana, Rwanda, and Hay River, Canada. This helped her answer questions focused on the other main user, the contributor, and learn why and how locals and previous travelers would contribute.