Who’s ready to start a global love affair?
Culture Dock is a company bringing the world closer together, one photo and one video at a time, as travellers and locals alike share cultural content from across the globe. We’ve developed a crowdsourced platform that’s been built as a travel app but offers so much more.
- To see people from around the world come together on a centralized platform by sharing differences.
- To meet the demands of travellers wanting to connect to an authentic local experience by being fast tracked to local culture and the local population so they can make the most of their travels abroad.
Photo: Eric Stoen
Core Values: Cross-cultural curiosity and understanding above judgement, ignorance and fear. Support of local economies and responsible tourism world-wide
What we do:
Culture Dock is a free photo and video-sharing social media app. It’s a two-tiered platform where locals (including those in the tourism and culture sectors) from countries, regions, cities and towns around the world share cultural content. The second tier is a tribe of travellers seeking rich cultural experiences engaging with local content, and sharing their own cultural experiences, on the app's twelve cultural channels. These include: Customs/Traditions; Geography/Landmarks; Holidays and Festivals; Beliefs/Attitudes; Sport/Leisure; Food/Drink; Language/Lingo; Literature/Music/Art; Transportation; Nature and Wildlife; Architecture/Design and ‘Unsure’
No matter where people live, no matter where they’re travelling to, they can learn, share and interact in a frenzy of cultural curiosity.
We’ve branded a Culture Dock app for Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation. Canadians have already begun to upload cultural content onto an app called imagiNation 150 in celebration of the country’s diverse national character. They’ll soon be asking the rest of the world to follow their lead; to share content that helps others understand the heart of regions across the globe. This “Global Love Affair’ campaign will start to heat up this May as the ‘parent’ Culture Dock app becomes available on the App Store and on Google Play. We know the ‘selfie’ isn’t going to disappear, and that’s okay, but we’re encouraging people to flip their phones, be curious about the world around them and take interest in everything else for a change. #elsie.
How you can help:
gerund or present participle: bootstrapping
Get (oneself or something) into or out of a situation using existing resources.
Bootstrapping is what we’ve been doing over the last couple of years. We’ve also put in a lot of sweat equity to get Culture Dock on the road to being ‘investor ready’. Our ‘existing resources’ have run out yet at the same time, there is huge potential for Culture Dock to impact the global travel scene in a meaningful way. We require funding for three months to sustain the business while we populate our user-base and make any necessary technical alterations. You can help by contributing to this campaign or downloading the app and sharing photos and videos of on the app. We need both funds and a growing user-base over the next few months. We’re tempted to say it’s a ‘make or break’ time but nothing’s going to break us cause there’s no turning back on such a great idea. We’re simply at the point of realizing we can no longer go it alone and could use the help, right now.
If you’re unable to contribute money, please download the app and share content as much as possible over the next couple of months so we can show the apps potential. All you have to do is think about something unique to your part of the world that might be of interest to others. For example, take a photo or short video of a festival taking place in your town or city; snap a photo of historical landmark or heritage site, nearby; can you tell us something about the architecture, public art or even street art in the place you live or are visiting; is there a local dish made with local ingredients others should know about; a favourite hiking trail or spot to canoe; are you witnessing a local tradition in a foreign country; are you an artisan who wants to share your work with visitors to your city or town; do you know of a hot new indie band or artist in your community? 'The Dock' is as much a platform for cultural traditions as pop-culture because we know culture is fluid and ever-changing and we'll be keeping people plugged in and turned on to the heart of regions around the world.
Another thing you can do is invite friends to also use the app, those in your home town or city or ask friends across the world to show you something about where they live.
If outside of Canada, we ask that you download the 'parent' Culture Dock app next month and follow us on Facebook to keep abreast of developments and to see when the app is in stores. You can also subscribe to Culture Dock at the bottom of our homepage.
Why a cultural travel app?
My name is Kendall Hunter and I’m the founder of Culture Dock. I'm also a Mom.
A few years ago, while travelling with my teenage daughters, I recognized in them a profound love of the world as they explored cultures different than the one in which they grew up, with their cameras. It catapulted me back twenty years to when I first documented South Africa as a photojournalist long before there were app’s and smart phones. I worked on the front-lines, witnessing history in the making as South Africa lurched toward democracy and Nelson Mandela rose to become president.
This became the subject of my first book, Black Taxi: Shooting South Africa (Turnstone Press). Fast-forward ten years and, while living in Switzerland as an expat, I was asked to write my second book, Culture Smart: Switzerland for the global Culture Smart guidebook series. These guidebooks were heavily on my mind when I travelled with my daughters to Thailand, Myanmar and back to South Africa causing me to think there should be a relevant platform for today’s traveller to celebrate global culture. Eventually this seed grew to become Culture Dock. The time is ripe as cultural tourism is a ‘mega-trend’ in the travel industry and now, more than ever, as insular attitudes fan the flames of intolerance, the world can use a centralized platform that facilitates cross-cultural understanding.
I didn’t come at this project as a tech entrepreneur but as an author and journalist and most significantly as a single mother committed to leaving the world a better place for the next generation. How we got this far – is pretty much a miracle and says a lot about how much we believe in what we’re doing. That said, we need just a little more support to create a full blown love affair around the word. I'll also be blogging throughout the campaign and invite you to follow along on my author's website. Thank-you!
Cover photo: Grant Trammell [email protected]