We are a group of academics and educators, affiliated with different Polish universities, who have been cooperating with each other on various pro-poor projects for years. The cooperation with the Academics Stand Against Poverty (ASAP) network gives us an opportunity to increase the scope and intensity of our activity.
The main aim of ASAP is to bring together an international community of scholars and researchers working to confront the rules and practices that perpetuate global poverty by advocating for targeted, evidence-based reforms.
ASAP-Poland’s activity focuses on interactions between man and the environment. Modifications of the environment (both natural and social), caused directly or indirectly by people, pose an existential risk to humans, especially to those living in countries of the Global South. Furthermore, an important part of our work is to eliminate discrimination, since the phenomenon – reflected in popular attitudes and behaviours as well as administrative practices – creates a context of inequality that can be both cause and effect of poverty.
ASAP-Poland’s activity is based on three pillars: Research, Education, and Coordination (REC).
Our research is guided by the idea of helping to improve the quality of life for the poor who have been excluded, in one way or another, while their living environment might be deteriorating. We focus on a model approach that offers important insight for planning activities.
We do so by, for instance:
- introducing new concepts in tourism development so as to consider it as one of the key contributors in prosperity and well-being of all stakeholders, especially in the countries of the Global South;
- making impact assessment of the environmental consequences (both positive and negative) of industry, agriculture and tourism in their natural, social and economic aspects;
- considering impact of global warming on various aspects of human well-being.
As well as by:
- studying immigration and integration policies, especially as seen through the local and regional lens;
- analyzing public discourse and public attitudes towards migrants.
We put a special emphasis on educational projects that aim to show Global South’s perspectives. Education based on facts and truth has never been more important than now in the time of post-truths and the so-called ‘alternative facts’, which introduce a series of distortions to public discourse. Our mission is to make people aware of complexities and interdependencies in a globalised and still globalising world.
We do so, for instance, in the following areas:
- ethics in tourism as a key to development, prosperity and well-being of all stakeholders;
- going beyond mass tourism: the road to sustainability of the Global South countries;
- global warming and climate change effects: information based on facts;
- human behavior and environmental sustainability in their natural, social and economic aspects;
- challenges and benefits of immigration;
- English classes for senior citizens and children with elements of Global Education.
With the ASAP-Poland chapter, ASAP Global created an international mountain tourism colab. Please contact us to get involved.
Michal Apollo is an assistant professor at the Pedagogical University of Cracow, Institute of Geography, Department of Tourism and Regional Studies. He received his M.Sc. and Ph.D. in Earth science in the field of geography at the Pedagogical University of Cracow, and PGCert in Global Development at the University of Warsaw. Michal is an enthusiastic researcher (research field: System man – high-mountain environment), traveller (visited more than 60 countries on 6 continents), mountaineer (several new climbing routes, including first ascent on two Himalaya peaks: in 2006, Masala Peak, and in 2012, Forgotten Peak), photographer (a few photo exhibitions) and science populariser (a few hundred of pop-science lectures). Michal’s unique background allows him to integrate knowledge from the perspectives of various points of view into his research and consultancy work. His areas of expertise are tourism management, consumer behaviours well as environmental and socioeconomical issues. In his main research field he focuses on human presence in high mountain regions, and their well-being. Currently, he is working on a concept of a sustainable use of environmental and human resources, as this is a key to development, prosperity and well-being of all stakeholders. Michal is a founder and board member of ASAP-Poland.
Viacheslav Andreychouk is a full professor and the head of the Geoecology Department at the Faculty of Geography and Regional Studies, University of Warsaw. Formerly, he was involved in the Faculty of Earth Science at the University of Silesia where he was in charge of the Department of Regional Geography and Tourism. Viacheslav is a board member of ASAP-Poland. Currently, his scientific research is concentrated on holistic (geosystemic, geoecological, geosynergistic and geoevolutionary) concepts of current geography, which have been applied to optimize interactions in the man-environment system, especially in the areas with a considerable impact from tourism. His research works concentrate not only on alpine areas of Eastern Europe but also on high mountains of Central Asia (Tajikistan). In recent years he has dedicated himself to the study of the Himalayan region (India and Nepal). Viacheslav has also been recognised – both in academic and popular scientific literature – as a speleologist, researcher and explorer of numerous caves. He is an enthusiast who promotes the concept of sustainable development.
Renata Rettinger is an assistant professor at the Pedagogical University of Cracow, Institute of Geography, Department of Tourism and Regional Studies. She received an MSc and PhD degrees in Earth Science, in the field of Geography at the Pedagogical University of Cracow. She is a board member of ASAP-Poland. Renata’s academic interests focus on issues related to determinants and consequences – as well as the process itself – of tourism development in selected regions of the world, the Caribbean in particular. Her research, in reference to sustainable growth and pro-poor tourism, concentrates mainly on enclave tourism as a prevalent form of tourism development. An important part of her work are educational and popularising activities. Renata is also an author of numerous lectures and workshops which involve world tourism geography by which she promotes slow and socially responsible tourism. She has also pursued voluntary activities in order to support the elderly to lead active lives.
Oimahmad Rahmonov is a geoecologist and a full professor working at the Faculty of Earth Science at the University of Silesia in Katowice. His academic interests focus on maintaining biodiversity where it is threatened with a considerable impact. In his work he concentrates on industrialized areas of Central Europe and mountainous regions of Central Asia, mainly Tajikistan – where he was born. In recent years he has focused on issues connected with ecological catastrophes and environmental threats, especially in countries of Central Asia. Oimahmad is a board member of ASAP-Poland.
Małgorzata Sołek, PR and Communications Coordinator for ASAP-Poland, is currently a teacher in early childhood education. She received her M.Sc. in Earth science in the field of geography at the Pedagogical University of Cracow. Also, she has a PGCert in Nursery Education from Ignatianum University in Krakow and the same qualification in Methodology of teaching English to young learners at primary and nursery school from the Krakow Institute for the Development of Education. At her work she is trying to encourage young people to become more active and broaden their horizons. Since the beginning of her carrier she combines professional life with voluntary activity, namely, teaching English to kids, which she greatly enjoys. Her interests concentrate on teaching English to young and older learners by combining conventional and unconventional methods. Since 2015, she has been cooperating with Youth Development and Integration Association STRIM, a non-governmental organization that gathers people sensitive to social issues. She is responsible for tutelage of students from Europe who voluntary teach their native languages to Polish children.