The Problem

When the pandemic began taking its toll on the global economy in the first half of 2020, some businesses were hit harder than others, especially those in the travel and hospitality industry. Looking for a way to be part of the solution, one major hospitality company, Airbnb, enlisted the help of our client, Larry Brilliant, MD, a world-renowned public health expert, epidemiologist and pandemics consultant.

Airbnb leaders wanted to organize an effort to support local first responders and health care workers who were regularly treating COVID-19 patients. The idea was to provide temporary housing so they could go to and from work without having to go home each day and potentially infect their families. But first Airbnb leaders had to make sure the properties were properly sterilized, met hygiene and safety standards, and that protocols would be put in place to keep them that way. And since the need was urgent, their plan had to be activated quickly.

The Method

Serving as an advisor on the project in early 2020, Dr. Brilliant worked with Airbnb leaders over a period of several weeks, helping them plan and implement safety measures and determine how best to run their new Frontline Stays program. As more and more properties were made available, health care workers across the world were signing up.

The Result

In May 2020, Airbnb was delighted to share the news about the overwhelming success of the program, reporting that their community made over 200,000 properties available to frontline responders fighting the spread of COVID-19, more than double the anticipated demand.

Stern represents many of world’s top thought leaders who continue to help organizations address a wide range of issues via virtual engagements including 1-to-1 or small group advisory and consulting services, interactive workshops, and dynamic keynote speeches. If your organization is looking for better ways to innovate and drive growth, contact us to connect with any of these transformative change agents who are helping businesses and governments strategically plan forward.