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Couchsurfing to Create a Global Community

Couchsurfing to Create a Global Community

 

They say that you don’t know a man until you have walked two moons in his shoes, but what about spending three nights on his couch?

Couchsurfing is building a global community. With 3.3 million users in almost every country, Couchsurfing is an online social network connecting travelers to local hosts. Think of it as a short 3-5 day exchange program where the visitor stays with a local host and is welcomed into their everyday lives. For example, if you stay in Rome, your host will probably show you around the city, help you access public transportation, reveal their favorite local spots for gelato and cappuccino and share their culture. You’ll see places you would have never thought of had you been glued to your guide book. In short, you see the city as your host does.

For many Couchsurfers, however, the experience goes much deeper then a brief exchange. Personal relationships have grown into a global community with large organized events. Couchsurfing has even brought together local communities of people who are excited about learning new cultures and sharing their own. Last year, Couchsurfing communities coordinated picnics, hikes, camping trips, and even a “Couchsurfing Invasion”, where the Berlin community visited the Paris Couchsurfing community en masse.

The Couchsurfing community is so close that change can be difficult. When Couchsurfing decided to transform from non-profit to social enterprise, co-founder Casey Fenton and his team were apprehensive but excited about the opportunities social entrepreneurship provides for the community to grow and sustain itself. B Corporation certification shows the company’s commitment to keep its non-profit spirit. It also provides opportunities to develop in ways that benefit all users. Fenton just completed a tour of ten Couchsurfing cities around the world to explain the transition from non-profit status. He hopes that over the next year Couchsurfing will demonstrate the power of becoming a B Certified social enterprise.

Learn more and better know Couchsurfing.

 

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25 comments

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2:29PM PST on Feb 26, 2012

Interesting.

1:05AM PST on Feb 23, 2012

Not for me either, but it sounds like a wonderful program!

1:26PM PST on Feb 22, 2012

not for me, but I can see how some people might enjoy it.

6:32AM PST on Feb 21, 2012

IDEA IS GOOD BUT I PERSONALY WOULD NOT TAKE IN MY HOME PEOPLE I DO NOT KNOW!

6:09AM PST on Feb 20, 2012

NOTED!

12:38PM PST on Feb 19, 2012

Come on John M; one may not be couch-less but it does not mean one has a permanent roof over the head!

4:58AM PST on Feb 19, 2012

I have to share some of Past Member's wariness, but on the other hand, some people do let strangers into their home almost every day - they call it running a bed-and-breakfast.

4:53AM PST on Feb 19, 2012

One other thing I should mention - it's not just young college students...I'm late 30's, husband 45-ish (lol) - we had one lady fr California stay with us - she was in her 60's - spent 4 nights over 2 weeks on her way to and fro, took us out to supper twice - I still communicate with her and am helping her with info for a trip she is taking to France...it's all ages - had a lady and her 13 yr old daughter stay, a couple fr US with their dog...that was fun...the reference part is the big thing - that people read the references and interests (I had one req - and of of the references he had was someone complaining about drinking all the liquor - that was a major 'X' - my info states we are party-poopers - no alcohol/smoking/drugs at all) - you can say if you will accept couples, 1 person, preference to female only, or no preference...and I know most females travelling alone tend to either look for couples or other females to stay with (as I would if travelling solo)

8:58PM PST on Feb 18, 2012

Thanks for updating us Past Member. How sad there's always somebody ready to ruin a good thing.

10:59AM PST on Feb 18, 2012

ty

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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Kathleen J. Kathleen is currently the Activism Coordinator at Care2. more
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