THE WOODPECKER’S TONGUE – 2ND EDITION
by Signe Jungersted, CEO of Group NAO

From OK Boomer and generational clashes to the digitally distracted and powerfully indistractable, the future of work and silent meetings with a detour to the community of simulation glitchers and new reality chasers – these are some the topics of my curious readings, now out in this second edition of THE WOODPECKER’S TONGUE.

Forgot why it’s called THE WOODPECKER’S TONGUE? A hint – it’s related to Leonardo da Vinci’s fascinating notebooks that also inspired a recent attempt by MIT researchers to prove the feasibility of one of his more spectacular bridge designs and (spoiler alert!) it turns out, da Vinci’s ideas were really good.

Here are other good ideas, thought-starters and insights that caught my attention over the past weeks from the worlds of travel, technology, learning, innovation, leadership, creativity and curiosity.

AGE IS BUT A… LETTER, RIGHT BOOMER?

  • There will always be clashes between generations, but the “OK Boomer” trend seems different. Amidst climate strikes and Fridays for Future, it’s the younger generations’ clapback at the older generation. Which has offended some of the Boomers, crying “ageism” in return – the psychology of which is explores here. Not all Boomers take offense and not all “OK boomer”-comments are reserved for the online world, which made me smile, when I read this report’s mention of a New Zealand (millennial) politician.
  • The GenZs are the next generation of workers, travellers, consumers, world protecters. Here’s World Economic Forum on what motivates them in the workplace, while for the Swedish (or Nordic) readers, Kairos Future’s mini-report on the GenZs also outlines a generation with strong moral principles and ambitions to become better human beings, while Booking.com dives into the GenZs travel intentions and motivations.

UNDISTRACTED, UNFLUENCED AND FLAT OUT CANCELED

  • Not only the younger generations, but all of us have grown attached to our devices. Vienna Tourist Board encourages visitors to get out of their digital bubble and filters through their campaigns to unhashtag and unrate Vienna.
  • The art project Removed explores what we look like without our devices. Meanwhile, this article explores what happens to us we let ourselves become digitally distracted (and the dangers of letting that distraction become habit), pointing to “being indistractable” as a potential future superpower.
  • Among digital distractions, you probably know about influencers, but what about the unfluencers in your daily feed?
    Finally, this idea of “being canceled” or the “cancel culture” makes me relieved that there was no social media, when I was a teenager – and scared that it’s so easy to point fingers and leave those fingers hanging. Or, what Mr. Barack Obama said

THE FUTURE OF WORK AND SHHHHH… SILENT MEETINGS

  • This report from Cognizant takes you through 42 ideas of changes relating to the future of work. Every page is a “From/To” – like from 4G to 5G, from TGIF to TGIM, from CEOs to SHE-Os, from Privacy is Dead to Long Live Privacy and from Free WiFi to WiFi Free – to name a few.
  • It’s difficult to talk about the future of work, without talking about the need for continuous upskilling or reskilling. This interview with CEO of Infosys points to the two major developments that require lifelong learning: 1) shift from repetitive to non-repetitive and 2) shift from problem-solving to problem-finding. I like his take on the need for an anti-disciplinary approach to education.
  • A lot of meetings suck! That’s probably why I listened to this podcast on silent meetings in the first place. Then I felt like diving in a bit more and read the manifesto. Apparently, Twitter and Amazon do it. And I like the idea of table reads, getting beyond the different levels of preparation and ability to speak up in crowds (or just liking the sound of your own voice) and finally, in-meeting creation.

TRULY CURIOUS AND RANDOM

  • In the first version of THE WOODPECKER’S TONGUE, I shared my curious reading on transhumanism. This time, it’s about randonauting and the (growing?) community of randonauts (as explored here by The Outline) – a group of people who believe that transforming randomly generated numbers into location data can help us glitch the simulation, we are living and discover new realities. Curious to understand how exactly, then it’s worth reading Medium’s guide to randonauting for Dummies.

THE TRAVEL AND DESTINATION SNACKS FOR LAST

  • Vienna Tourist Board launched a new strategy for their visitor economy. I like their approach to the visitor economy as an ecosystem – “as diverse as the visitors themselves”.
  • There’s a lot of writing on overtourism, but this report from May 2019 takes a different approach with open and big data – p35 is their take on overtourism as a process and with concrete examples of how technology can be of help in better managing and balancing tourism.
  • And then, because they are really taking innovative and experimental steps, look to Helsinki for inspiration. I was talking to a startup in tourism the other day, which gave me occasion to once again point in their direction – their Think Sustainably has gotten a lot of attention in the world of tourism and beyond. Did you know that Helsinki Marketing also maintains three databases with information on places, events and activities – with a completely open interface and that the city has a platform of open APIs for developers. Also, they made it possible to visit Helsinki without actually going with their digital VR twin version of Helsinki. And the city’s mayor has been quoted to say that he understand how Helsinki is an “acquired taste. We will never be a mass market destination and are happy to leave that to some other destinations”.

This was the second 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]