Rafat Ali, CEO, Skift: Where is Travel Going Next?

As humans, we crave travel. It connects us to each other and the world around us. Or, as Rafat Ali, founder and CEO of Skift, a leading travel media company, puts it, “Travel as a human need is the default human condition.” But during the pandemic, that need went unfulfilled. Our ability to fly on an airplane, hop in an Uber, or stay in a hotel was drastically limited, if not put on pause. Now, travel is coming back…but just a little bit different. And that raises new questions for both the industry and travelers. Rafat joins the podcast to discuss how the pandemic has both accelerated existing trends and forced a break from the norms of the past — and what the future of travel means for the world.

Listen to this episode to learn:

  • How Skift takes an “outside in” approach to understanding changing travel behaviors and connects the dots to what it means for the travel industry

  • Lessons from the 2021 Skift Global Forum, and predictions from the CEOs of Airbnb, Hilton, and Uber about the future of travel

  • Why embracing flexibility for their customers and pivoting their core business (i.e., becoming cargo carriers) helped airlines survive the pandemic (along with big government subsidies)

  • How airports are redesigning their experience through the customers’ lens — from elevated food options to biometrics and “contactless” check-ins

  • Why we’re seeing a boom in domestic travel and how travelers’ rediscovery of the outdoors and local areas is helping small businesses thrive

  • How the hotel guest experience has changed as a result of the pandemic (and why your room might not get serviced daily ever again)

  • Google’s new sustainability scores, sustainable aviation fuel, and ways in which the travel and hospitality industries are approaching “sustainability”

Mary Barra, Chair and CEO, General Motors: On The Road to an All-Electric Future

At the beginning of 2021, Mary Barra, Chair and CEO at General Motors, set an ambitious goal for the legendary automaker: end tailpipe emissions from new light-duty vehicles by 2035 and focus on the transition to an all-electric vehicle (EV) future. With the manufacturing capabilities, trained workforce, and the brands people know and love, she believes that GM is uniquely positioned to lead the EV transformation. But Barra is also a realist. She acknowledges that there are factors outside of GM’s control that will impact its long-term vision, one of the biggest being infrastructure. Barra joins the podcast to talk about GM’s goal to lead the industry into an all-electric future. She also discusses the changes happening within the company, including the technology inside its vehicles, the GM brand, the company’s “work appropriately” culture, and the evolution of its identity from a 20th-century car company to a 21st-century tech company.

Listen to this episode to learn:

  • The factors that will influence customers’ decisions to purchase electric vehicles
  • Why utility vehicles like Hummer EV can attract new customer groups who might have dismissed EVs in the past
  • How GM’s famous “dress appropriately” dress code — simplified by Barra when she was formerly the company’s VP of HR — inspired the company’s new “work appropriately” post-pandemic philosophy
  • Why culture change starts with values and behaviors — and holding everyone accountable (including CEOs!)
  • GM’s vision to “create a world with zero crashes, zero emissions, and zero congestion”
  • Barra’s advice on leadership and why women should never be afraid to speak up and have a point of view
You may be interested in:

From Captive to Captivating: The New Customer Journey Model for Companies

From Captive to Captivating: The New Customer Journey Model for CompaniesFrom purely transactional to personalized and unique, customer experiences can extend far beyond the exchange of goods. Companies often focus on functional and transactional experiences because...

Rafat Ali, CEO, Skift: Where is Travel Going Next?

Rafat Ali, CEO, Skift: Where is Travel Going Next?Subscribe to the Outside In podcast: As humans, we crave travel. It connects us to each other and the world around us. Or, as Rafat Ali, founder and CEO of Skift, a leading travel media company, puts it, “Travel as a...

C Space Hires Head of Tech

C Space Hires Head of Tech

Research Live

Global customer agency C Space has appointed Alan Zall as chief technology officer, sitting on the business’ executive leadership team. Zall was previously vice-president of North America cloud delivery at Cloud Technology Partners, which is part of Hewlett Packard. In his new role, which he started on 27th September, Zall will focus on developing in-house scalable tools to create better relationships between customers and clients.

Big Brothers Big Sisters Forges New Path with Corporate Partner

Big Brothers Big Sisters Forges New Path with Corporate Partner

massnonprofit news

What began as a corporate contribution to help Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Massachusetts retain volunteer mentors during the coronavirus pandemic has blossomed into a fuller partnership that is projected to save the organization $700,000 over five years, the organization recently announced.

De-risking new launches for biotech: the customer advantage

De-risking new launches for biotech: the customer advantage

PharmaTimes

With the capital required to develop breakthrough biotech innovations, it goes without saying that when it comes time to bring these offerings to market, the stakes are high. And they are even higher among smaller biotech players, who take on an even greater amount of risk. So what does it take to create a successful product launch in biotech today? C Space Health Managing Director Corey Schwartz spoke to executives from across the biotech space to understand the barriers to successful launches, and what (customer) strategies led to their success.