Quantitative futurist Amy Webb dazzled the audience with stories about companies that successfully anticipated and adapted to disruption over and over again. (Did you know that Nintendo got its start creating handmade playing cards in the 1800s — and that it still produces them?)
Webb described how companies can be “pathfinders” by confronting uncertainty using data — and by flexibly recalibrating their strategies when needed.
Vice President of Southwest Business Dave Harvey talked about the feedback the airline has received after announcing this summer its decision to expand its corporate travel distribution strategy.
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President of United Airlines, Scott Kirby, shared about his experiences in the travel industry that led to his current leadership role at United. He also discussed his leadership style in building a strong company culture: “It’s my job to create an environment where people feel like they can make decisions, where they can take risks,” Kirby said. “I think it’s one of the reasons why United has been so successful.”
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President of JetBlue Technology Ventures, Bonny Simi, shared about the startups they’re investing in to explore AI, IoT, mobility and blockchain technologies. She said travel brands should be focused on distributed ledger technology and machine learning.
Jetblue Technology Ventures' Simi: Why Airlines Need to Train Revenue Managers to Be Data Scientists
Journera founder Jeff Katz shared his insights for removing seams between suppliers throughout the traveler’s journey, providing a more streamlined and intuitive experience. He and ARC’s CEO, Mike Premo, discussed how organizations can evolve to deliver enhanced value in a changing landscape.
TravelConnect audience favorite Wayne Best, chief economist for Visa, shared his outlook on the global economy and its impact on the travel industry. He shared with the audience what they may expect from a slowing economy.
Closing out the conference, a panel of industry leaders (BCD’s Miriam Moscovici, United Airlines’ Tye Radcliffe, JetBlue Ventures’ Bonny Simi and ARC’s Peter Kane) was moderated by Skift’s Rafat Ali. Their conversations focused on the hottest topics in travel, including sustainability, blockchain, omnichannel retailing and the future of travel journalism.