Eyewitness reports from the year 2036 - Technological Changes

By Woody Wade - Scenario planning expert

26 May 2016
Wade

Technology has always been a hugely disruptive factor, not only in the business arena, but certainly also for society as a whole. A technological change (even one that's invisible to consumers) can trigger the rapid demise of a company – or even an entire industry – that is unfortunately still tethered to a product or process that has suddenly become obsolete. But in the wake of this destruction, new and improved products, companies and industries arise. (At least, we all hope they're improved.)

As for this chapter of The Hotel Yearbook 2036, I don't have a crystal ball, so it's just as hard for me to predict what kind of technological changes could come about as it is for the next guy. But when you write a book like this one, you have to stick your neck out and come up with something sexy anyway. So be warned: predictions of future technologies usually sound like science fiction. And as everybody knows, there are two kinds of science fiction. Good science fiction is intelligent, prescient, and gloriously provocative. Bad science fiction is cheesy and ridiculous. I will do my best to avoid the second kind.

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Woody Wade

Woody Wade is a specialist in scenario planning for the hospitality industry, helping companies identify and understand the trends that have the potential to change their future business landscape and thus affect their future competitiveness. He is the author of “Scenario Planning: A Field Guide to the Future” (Wiley, 2012) and of the forthcoming “Hotel Yearbook 2036” which provocatively uses fiction as a framework for exploring the industry’s very different competitive landscape two decades from now. Woody was previously an Executive Board member of the Geneva-based World Economic Forum, the foundation organizing the annual meeting of world leaders in Davos. He was also the Marketing Director of the Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne. He graduated in history from Indiana University and has an MBA from Harvard Business School.