This is an exciting time for Whistler, the host mountain resort for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. As the world descends on our little community, all eyes will be on the breathtaking events on the slopes and venues. However, what happens after the Games after the adrenaline levels drop, hangovers dissipate, and Whistler starts coming to grips with a more carbon-restrained world? Can Whistler continue to be the premier resort community as we move toward sustainability as our mission states?

Whistlerites understand the dichotomy of being an international tourism and recreation destination and being committed to a sustainable future. This is a challenge that we face, and are committed to addressing. The Whistler Centre for Sustainability was created out of a vision of progressive community leaders and the Resort Municipality of Whistler to be a leader in sustainability thinking and practices, working within the community of Whistler to accelerate Whistler’s journey toward sustainability, and globally to share Whistler’s learnings and to bring lessons back home.

Part of the role of the Centre is to disseminate leading edge ideas and practices around sustainability. That’s why a TEDx event in Whistler is a natural fit and avenue for sharing these ideas. In the spirit of TED’s raison d’etre, ‘ideas worth spreading’. TEDxWhistler addresses a timely and essential theme that is at the essence of Whistler’s resort experience, Tourism’s Place in a Sustainable World. While this topic is key to the future of Whistler’s success and sustainability, it hits home to all other resort communities, tourism destinations and the tourism economy as a whole, and to each and every one of us as individual and family travellers.

How we travel can have tremendous impacts, positive and negative, on the communities that we visit. By having a dialogue, inspired by leading thinkers and practitioners in the field, we can start asking those fundamental questions that will determine how we leave our footprint in places we touch, and hopefully find better ways to tread lightly and more responsibly. I hope you will join us. by applying to participate in person, by joining our facebook fanpage and twitter site, or by watching the TEDxWhistler livestream.

By Cheeying Ho