Couchsurfing dissolves boundaries through host/guest exchanges

Thanks to care2.com.

Couchsurfing to Create a Global Community

February 16, 2012

by

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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