Addiopizzo Travel: Leading the revolution

In this is an English translation of the article by Professor Nino Vaccaro. Together with Matthew Lee e Tommaso Ramus, he made a research about Addiopizzo Travel, approved by the Academy of Management Journal.

It is a great pleasure to have received the acceptance in the prestigious Academy of Management Journal for an article about Addiopizzo Travel. For those who do not know it, Addiopizzo Travel is a cooperative that operates in the socially responsible tourism sector and that was born as part of the anti-mafia movement Addiopizzo.

The numbers are striking: in less than 10 years a group of guys with neither capital nor experience built up an organizations that in 2017 obtained over half million euros in revenues and that gives work to around 10 people (some of them part time).

I do not want to enter in the managerial details of the research I have conducted with my amazing co-authors: Prof. Matthew Lee (Insead) and Prof.  Tommaso Ramus (CLSBE-Lisbon). I am instead interested in highlighting three lessons that people can learn from this outstanding organization.

First, do not complain! South Europeans are champions of complain. During over 8 years of observation, I noticed that Addiopizzo Travel members generally looked for opportunities where all others saw room only for whining and inactivity. It is a matter of frames. Break your mental frames to identify the opportunities that emerge in your environment. If people complain about a situation, it probably means that you can find an opportunity to solve it making some good and responsible business.

Second, responsible tourism can be a main engine for economic, social and cultural development in South of Europe. Touristic flows are increasing every year in South of Italy, Spain, Portugal and Greece. Just look at the increasing numbers of cruise ships docking in new destinations every year. New opportunities for small entrepreneurial initiatives are waiting for talented and motivated people! Just be creative and realistic!
Third, be humble! Unfortunately, ignorance often matches with arrogance. My observation was that being humble helped Addiopizzo Travel members to learn from more experienced people and to acquire at very fast speed critical knowledge and competences.

Let me complete this small post inviting you to visit me this summer in Sicily. Of course, don’t forget to contact Addiopizzo Travel to make the necessary reservations and arrangements!