The Bodhi App: Linking Tourism, Technology, and Purpose

Bodhi Surf + Yoga / Surf + Yoga Camp Blog / The Bodhi App: Linking Tourism, Technology, and Purpose

We at Bodhi have for years thought about how cool it would be to have our own app. The world is changing, and people are on their phones now more than ever. This certainly has its ups and downs. We figured, if we could find a way to create an app that connects people to others and to something greater — and ultimately, that gets them off their phones (because they find something better to do)… it would be a win-win! We thought, if we could create an app that’s an extension of the Bodhi experience itself, which is designed to connect people to something greater — to their purpose. If we could do all those things, then, we said, we would love to create an app. Well, we are proud to announce that we found a way to make it happen. The Bodhi App is officially launching TODAY — August 1, 2018.

Bodhi staff on their phones!

Let’s face it — we’re all on our phones a lot!

The birth of the Bodhi App

Yet again, our B Corp community was clutch. Through that network, we were put into contact with MilkCrate, another purpose-driven [B Corp] company that does app development and design. They helped us answer the questions of how an app could benefit both Bodhi and its guests:

  • How could we use it to propagate our mission?
  • Which features should we emphasize?
  • Would our guests actually use it?
  • Most importantly, could it really inspire positive behavior changes?

These questions did not have simple answers, and we concluded the meeting with notebooks full of questions and action items. The team at MilkCrate had expertise and experience to facilitate the app development process. In April, we worked closely with MilkCrate to launch a pilot app based on our initial goals and ideas. A couple of weeks later, our collaboration with MilkCrate went live, as four of their team members touched down in Costa Rica.

Developing the Bodhi App on the ground

Our plan for MilkCrate’s visit was to demonstrate the Bodhi experience so their team could fully
understand our mission and empathize with our guests. During their four-day stay, the MilkCrate team enjoyed yoga and surfing while getting to know Bodhi’s community of Bahia Ballena. By becoming veritable members of the “Bodhi Tribe”, the MilkCrate team gained valuable insight for the app.

When we met with MilkCrate to discuss our proposals for the app, we quickly aligned and began generating exciting new ideas. The general format of the app is simple: provide our guests with environmentally-friendly actions for both before and after their stays. This is important, as we challenge/welcome guests to go phone-free during their time at Bodhi.

MilkCrate team in Bahia Ballena

MilkCrate team visits Bodhi Surf + Yoga!

How the Bodhi App works

Each action holds a point value that can be redeemed for prizes each quarter. As users earn more points, they advance up the tiers of rewards, from Belonging, to Mastery, to Independence, to Generosity. At each tier, users can choose from prize options that tie to Bodhi’s mission, such as mentions on the Bodhi blog, nature images, tree donations, and donations to Bodhi Surf + Yoga Travelers’ Philanthropy Program.

The actions fall into the four categories of Ocean Guardian, Responsible Consumption, Wellness, and Bodhi Tribe. There are nearly 60 actions right now that range from simple daily tasks (“Refuse using a plastic bag at grocery store”) to major accomplishments (“Participate in Bodhi Surf + Yoga annual Ocean Guardian Contest”). By offering a wide variety of actions to our users, we hope to reinforce the lessons learned and behaviors modeled at Bodhi and provide practical ways to incorporate them into their own lives and communities. Taking the awakening back home with them!

Just the beginning

MilkCrate proved to be an ideal partner to pioneer a value-driven app in the ecotourism space. “Over the years, we have held onto our belief that every organization needs and deserves tools to tie values with action,” said MilkCrate founder Morgan Berman. “When we meet companies like Bodhi, we are reminded of why we do what we do”.

The Bodhi app, as well as the Bodhi Tribe group (stay tuned!) are just a few of the ways that Bodhi Surf + Yoga is driving forward its mission to awaken purpose.

Download the Bodhi App — instructions here!

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About the author

Bodhi Surf + Yoga

A surf and yoga camp providing community-engaged travel experiences in beautiful Uvita, Costa Rica. Learn about what makes Bodhi Surf + Yoga different and don't hesitate to contact us.