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Ron Mader is a professional speaker, communication coach and brave journalist, featured in the 2000 and 2008 editions of American Environmental Leaders.

Ron’s work catalyzes meaningful conversation and action about environmental conservation, tourism, responsible travel and peacemaking. His professional focus on ecotourism and responsible travel go back to academic research conducted in Central America in the late 1980s. In 1994 Ron launched Planeta.com, the web’s first site dedicated to ecotourism and responsible travel.

Ron is also the ecotourism and responsible travel contributing editor for Transitions Abroad.

Working in Oaxaca, Mexico, Ron has collaborated in the development of the Oaxaca Options Dialogue and grassroots tourism events since 2001. Ron is one of the founders of the Zinacantli Rugby Club and an honorary member of the Jabalies Rugby Club.

Ron has facilitated numerous seminars online and in the natural world and has won many awards, including recognition from the Mexican government for exemplary coverage of Mexico. Presidents Fox and Zedillo presented Ron with the Lente de Plata Award in 1999 and 2002. In 2010 he won the Innovation Award from the International Ecotourism Society.

In the past few years Planeta.com has developed online events, including theFinancing Sustainable Tourism, NGOs in Tourism and Conservation, Ethical Marketing of Ecotourism, Environmental Impact of Transportation, Urban Ecotourism Conference and the Ecotourism Emerging Industry Forum.

2002 was the International Year of Ecotourism, an event which sparked a lot of interest among ecotourism nerds around the globe. The United Nations and World Tourism Organization asked Ron to host the Sustainable Development of Ecotourism Web Conference which was the most attended preparatory event for the World Ecotourism Summit.

Among his most popular seminars are those focusing on Strategies for using the Social Web.

Ron has a bachelor’s degree in communication (1987) from Indiana University where he resided at the Collins Living Learning Center. Ron received a master’s degree (1990) from the Institute of Latin American Studies at the University of Texas at Austin.

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