Since the 1950’s when Nepal was first opened to outsiders, the Khumbu region has remained as one of Nepal’s most popular tourist and research destinations, and many researchers from a variety of disciplines have completed their Masters and Ph.D.s based on field studies conducted in the region. Unfortunately, the sharing of research results and findings, both between researchers as well as with local people, has been chronically limited. Local people have been largely unaware of the findings of major research projects within their own homeland, information which likewise rarely finds its way into the development planning process.
The Walk the Talk conference is an innovative field-based initiative organized for researchers and practitioners to discuss contemporary environmental, cultural, and developmental themes of the Khumbu while in the field instead of in an office. Walking naturally leads to increases in creative thinking and exchanges of information, and is usually much more productive than traditional sit-down conferences or meetings. It also provides opportunities to educate and inform participants about the environment in which they are in, while directly experiencing that environment for themselves. Walking also helps to enhance problem solving, as well as encouraging informal interactions among people.