Thoughts from Th!nk: Putting the human into tech development


Thoughts from Th!nk: Putting the human into tech development

Tech screen

Everyone has the potential to have those lightbulb moments. That’s why we wanted to get you thinking about the future of travel, technology and mindsets at FCM and GBTA’s Th!nk event.

Our keynote speaker Shivvy Jervis, Futurist and Founder at FutureScape 248, looks at technology developments differently to everyone else. She believes technology should be built around what we care about: our livelihoods, health, identity, education and cities.

Human-led technology

At Th!nk, Shivvy spoke about how technology such as AR, AI and the Metaverse can enhance those things that we care about. It’s not enough to simply build and implement technology that hasn’t been properly thought about for your audience, in your case your travellers. Technology has to be accessible.

In the case of AI, its ability to be predictive and prescriptive when it comes to reporting is already informing future decisions. AI can help spot cancer in a patient four years before a doctor even discovers symptoms, and it can helps build better, safer cities by monitoring air pollution. At FCM, our powerful reporting is helping customers get ahead of their travel programmes, and identify future trends so they can take early action.  

It’s also got to be simple, and always have the human touch behind it. At FCM, we often use the phrase AI + IQ to talk about our blend of innovative technology and top-quality service. Because we all know that when something goes wrong or it’s not a typical scenario, technology cannot do everything, as shown by this video that Shivvy shared with the Th!nk audience.

Keeping digital projects moving

Shivvy shared a project where her team went through 180 studies, and found 65% of digital transformation programmes splutter, fizzle or die out. Travel is a category always going through technological change, and while technology projects might not fizzle out as much as company-wide initiatives, her approach is a good starting point for many projects.

What could lift them and take them to next level? Shivvy outlined three factors:

  1. Don’t look at digital transformation, or in business travel’s case, technology roll-outs and projects, as just an IT challenge. Other departments need a voice, in your case it might be HR, Finance or Risk teams that may want to be involved in your technology decision making.
  2. Having an inventor mindset. See what the front line faces, in your case your travellers, and think about what long-held assumptions may be invalid.
  3. Taking inspiration from the way Hollywood directors write scripts, Shivvy advised building programmes in non-linear timelines. Most of the time, we think A needs to happen first for B and C to follow. “But if you dip in and out of a timeline instead, two things can happen in parallel and that’s how a story [or programme] develops. It brings fluidity to the process,” said Shivvy.  
It’s hard to break down a full conference into a few words, and there is plenty more to uncover in Th!nk’s on-demand library. The library remains open to explore.