Bestselling author, hospitality entrepreneur, disruptive business rebel, and social change agent, Chip Conley is a leader at the forefront of the sharing economy. At age 26, the founder of Joie de Vivre Hospitality took an inner city motel and turned it into the 2nd largest boutique hotel brand in the world. Inspired by psychologists Maslow and Frankl, Chip’s books, PEAK and the New York Times bestseller EMOTIONAL EQUATIONS, share his own theories on transformation and meaning in business and life. Chip was CEO of his innovative company for 24 years. In 2013 he accepted an invitation from the founders of Airbnb to help transform a promising home sharing start-up into what is today the world’s largest hospitality brand. As Head of Global Hospitality & Strategy, Chip taught his award-winning methods to hundreds of thousands of Airbnb hosts in nearly 200 countries, and created the Airbnb Open that brings thousands together in a global festival of belonging (he transitioned to a part-time role as Strategic Advisor for Hospitality and Leadership in January 2017). Chip founded Fest300 in 2013 to share his passion for travel and the world’s best festivals (the company merged with Everfest in 2016 where he is part-time Chief Strategy Officer).
Chip has received hospitality’s highest honor, the Pioneer Award, joining industry icons Marriott, Kimpton and Wynn. He is the founder of the Celebrity Pool Toss, which has raised millions for the Tenderloin neighborhood where he opened his first hotel, and San Francisco’s Hotel Hero Awards that shine a light on the unsung heroes serving hotel guests every day. Chip holds a BA and MBA from Stanford University, and an honorary doctorate in psychology from Saybrook University. He serves on the boards of the Burning Man Project and the Esalen Institute.
3 words to describe Nature?
Spiritual, cleansing, awe-provoking
3 things Nature taught you?
Animism: everything has spirit; there are forces way bigger than me; "discover the pace of nature"
3 most treasured Nature spots?
A deserted beach in Baja, the Ventana wilderness in Big Sur, a quiet rice paddy field in Baja
When you look at the ocean, it makes you feel...?
The vastness: there's so much above and below the surface to explore, I wish I had many lifetimes to do this
When you see a forest, it makes you feel...?
Trees breathing with me and the phenomenally complex and beautiful eco-system
When you see a volcano, it makes you feel...?
Metaphor for powerful human emotions
When you see a sunrise or sunset, it makes you feel...?
The end is also the beginning
When you hear thunder, it makes you feel...?
There is nowhere to hide
When you hear the wind howling, it makes you feel...?
I'm reminded of the stunning scene in American Beauty when the two teenagers are staring at the video of the plastic bag in the wind...wind creates life
Are you an Ocean, Mountain, Forest, or Desert person?
I can't say I'm only one of these but if I had to choose one, it would be Ocean.
On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is Nature to your well-being?
Share with us a childhood nature memory?
I remember staring at a live starfish on the beach I'd found and realized how much life was under the sea.