THE WOODPECKER’S TONGUE
by Signe Jungersted, CEO of Group NAO

Describe the tongue of the woodpecker,” writes Leonardo da Vinci in one of his many notebooks. Why was the master painter curious about the tongue of a woodpecker, you might ask? Because being passionately curious was the true mastery of the polymath Leonardo da Vinci as he combined art, science, technology, the humanities and imagination to think differently and across disciplines, while questioning his observations and marvels along the way.

The Woodpecker’s Tongue is my reminder and call to be curious, ask questions, rebel and learn. I’m going to share with you my readings and perusals that have caught my attention and made me curious for more. I hope, you will read along, ignore what doesn’t entice you, smile or frown at what does and send me feedback and ideas for what else to include. And yes, travel and tourism are interests of mine. Among many other things.

So, welcome to The Woodpecker’s Tongue with my curious readings, my favorite research and insights into a world of travel, technology, innovation, leadership, creativity and inspiring extras. And, just so you know – the woodpecker’s tongue is in fact one of the most bizarre tongues of the animal kingdom. How did Leonardo know this? He probably didn’t – he just asked because it seemed worth knowing. Here’s what I found worth knowing these past weeks:

TOO MUCH OF A GOOD THING…

  • According to this article on the degrowth movement, it seems the future wants … well, less growth! The movement (of activists, researchers and policy makers) are questioning the dogma of growth and calling for a post-growth world to address growing financial and social inequalities as well as save the planet.
  • What does success look like in a post-growth world? This is a question that the tourism industry is asking itself these days, discussing issues of overtourism and negative tourism impact. Pictures of climbers queuing on Mt Everest or cruise ships docking in Venice hold global attention, but I was quite mesmerized by this 2 minute video of people looking at the Mona Lisa – or rather, in most cases, people looking at their screens in the vicinity of Mona Lisa.

WE NEED MORE POLYMATHS

THE YOUNG, THE OLD AND THE ONES THAT WANT TO LIVE FOREVER

  • Did you know that the 1.8 billion youths of today make up the largest generation of 10 to 24-year-olds in human history – with 50 % of the world’s population under 30 years of age! This article – and referenced study – on young people’s love-hate relationship with technology is a must-read for all of us older generations, who just don’t quite get it.
  • And while youth is often celebrated, I think the idea of Senior Planet needs to be celebrated too – a tech-themed community center that prepares seniors to hack their way through a world so very focused on youth. Aging with attitude indeed!
  • Maybe age will become less and less important as the transhumanists are aiming to live forever. Transhumanism was a new word to me – but this is an interesting read as focus on longevity (and issues related to that) increases.

THE TOURISM SNACKS FOR LAST

  • Here’s to the new era of conventions – SneakerCon anyone?
  • For the data enthusiasts, Politico did a deep dive into European tourism that worth a scroll.
  • Finally, almost fresh from the press – DestinationNEXT Futures Study is out with trends and opportunities that will shape the future of destinations (and destination organizations) across the world. Always a strong reference – note that authenticity in experiences as well as local community engagement is ranking top of trends and strategy.
  • And though not completely new, I’m glad I just came across this interesting report – a study made in public-private partnership between EY, Airbnb, London & Partners and MasterCard, mapping the local value of international visitors to the British capital city (with 2017 data) and some very interesting insights to add to discussions of dispersal and value of tourism in less central neighborhoods.
    This was the first version of The Woodpecker’s Tongue. Have any feedback or ideas for what you’d like to see included? Reach out to me at [email protected]