Reflections on the 2015 Global HI CEO Meeting


I am two days back from the annual global HI CEO meeting, this year held in Toledo, Spain.  CEOs from more than 40 HI national hostelling associations were in attendance, plus London headquarters staff and two international board members.  The venue was the HI-Castillo San Servando hostel, housed in a castle just outside the walled medieval city.

The HI hostel network is an expansive one, and its national associations are similarly diverse.  This annual gathering is an opportunity for CEOs to dialogue with each other, and engage with the London office about the global focus.  As always, a strong mission bond made quite constructive the unavoidable (and healthy) differences in perspective.

As a continuing fan of word clouds, here is my report.  The size and typeface reflects my representation of the frequency of topics during the 2015 meeting:

Word Cloud 2015x







(For those who prefer a written summary: a heavy focus of the meeting was on moving forward during a time of both global uncertainty and organizational transition.  Two practical topics – enhancement of the HI reservation system and the hiring of a new HI CEO – received most discussion.   And while fiscal and operational considerations tended to define the agenda, social and “green” initiatives, as part of both mission delivery and a newly defined promotion strategy, received important consideration.)

For comparison, here’s the way I reported the 2012 meeting results:

Comparing 2012 and 2015, the importance of a robust reservation platform, as a way both to connect with travelers and to fill our hostels, continued as a priority focus – very good news for those we serve!  The new CEO hiring, financial planning, and the Triple Bottom Line agenda were emerging themes.

In all, the 2015 meeting outcomes well-served the entire Hostelling International network, especially our hostel guests.

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