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How travel companies can best prepare for future shocks

Global futurist Rohit Talwar speaks candidly about the risks
he sees threatening the travel industry – things such as global economic
volatility, rising energy costs, climate change and the impact of automation on

But he also takes a decidedly optimistic view: “The future
is not already written,” he says.

As founder and CEO of Fast Futurea research and consulting
business based in London, Talwar helps corporate leaders envision and shape
their companies’ futures. His strategy is based on helping businesses future
proof themselves by developing foresight – a process he equates to building a
muscle that must be strengthened over time.

In a keynote address at The Phocuswright Conference in
November, Talwar tells industry leaders to “unlearn” past views and
assumptions to enable them to prepare for the range of opportunities – and shocks
– that may lie ahead.

He encourages executives to consider “radical scenarios” and
to be willing to experiment and “get messy.”

Following his remarks, Talwar stopped by the PhocusWire
studio to offer more specific examples of how travel leaders can create a
company culture that is best prepared for the future.

Talwar says it is critical that leaders create an environment
that welcomes new ideas – even when those ideas may seem foolish or illogical.

“We all say we are innovative, we’re open, but then what
happens when someone brings in a new idea?… Do we dismiss it outright?” he

“Are we as leaders showing great body language by asking the
right questions that are open and encouraging people to explore rather than
telling them that there’s a path to the future that looks pretty much like the
path that got us here.

It’s about how we behave, how we think, how we open our
mindsets and how we create a culture that’s always looking ahead and is really
willing to embrace the fact that there will be shocks, there will be shifts and
there will be existential risks.”

Watch Talwar’s keynote address and his studio interview below.

Keynote: Fast Future – New Thinking, New Customers, New Opportunities – The Phocuswright Conference

Executive Interview: Rohit Talwar

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