School Name: Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne (EHL)
Concept: SEVCCO – Creators of Communities
Imagining what the world would look like in 2050 is an almost impossible task; a far-fetched prediction much greater in scale and magnitude than our feeble attempts to forecast the journey of humankind in 2020 from the year 2019. The mere extrapolation of current trends and global behaviours can yield countless scenarios. However, when predicting the world from the standpoint of the planet ́s health and potential regeneration after decades of damage, the potential scenarios are more dire. Hospitality has always historically lagged behind other industries and it is time to reverse this stereotype and stigma to become the forefront of sustainable innovations. We anticipate the hospitality industry of 2050 to be a community builder, innovator, and a responsible and ethical member of society. Accompanied by reimagining the market lifestyle, business models and the positioning strategy of hospitality, there has never been a more pressing time to reinvent the industry. We want the neo-hospitality industry to transform societies; become the driving force that inspires communities and other industries to engage in the very transformation of our world by 2050.
We currently stand at crossroads of important decisions to reduce the propensity for irreversible damage; decisions that will not only decide the fate of the world but also change the course and trajectory of where we will be heading. The research conducted concluded that there are four large categories of possible scenarios when looking at the world in 2050 ranging from pessimistic to optimistic (Arup Foresight, Research and Innovation and Sustainable Development, 2019). These four categories are: Extinction Express, Humans Inc., Greentocracy, and Post Anthropocene (Refer to Appendix A). Extinction Express describes a society where both planetary health and societal conditions decline at alarming rates, pushing the very existence of humanity into question. Humans Inc. follows our current trajectory whereby societal conditions improve vastly but at the detrimental cost of the planet ́s health. Representing the most realistic scenario of ̈business-as-usual ̈, Humans Inc. places people over the planet accompanied by half-hearted environmental stewardship. Greentocracy displays an evident improvement to planetary health but at the cost of severe restrictions on society. A planet-over-people mentality reins high and mandatory behaviour changes permeating throughout daily life. The most optimal scenario, Post-Anthropocene regards the planet and people as part of a symbiotic relationship where both improve in a harmonious relationship for mutual benefit. So in which scenario will hospitality thrive in? We regarded any scenario where societal conditions improve as equally benefiting for the hospitality industry, leaving the Humans Inc. and Post-Anthropocene as plausible scenarios for the continued and sustained growth. As such, hospitality (like other industries) will no longer be relevant in an Extinction Express scenario, and hospitality will have difficulty thriving in a restricted world of Greentocracy. Our goal here is to develop solutions to bring our current trajectory of Humans Inc. to the Post-Anthropocene ensuring the best interest of the hospitality business as well as the planet.
A number of assumptions have been made for the world of 2050 which will greatly impact the analysis defined in this report. It is understood that by 2050, a carbon tax will be issued to all firms potentially achieving net carbon emissions of zero. Furthermore, renewable energy will be significantly cheaper globally than fossil fuels (which may not even exist in 2050) achieved through substantial economies of scale and efficient energy distributions. 90% of all waste streams will be either repurposed or upcycled in a circular economy. The use of artificial intelligence (AI) will be well integrated within the many technological and management systems of hospitality and contribute to continued efficiencies. A few other assumptions will be introduced throughout the report.
Following an analysis of the major problem sets, we identified the most pressing issues at hand as Slum Development and Unsustainable Production and Consumption. The research and findings conducted by this report will follow how hospitality will redefine itself to not only create value and make a meaningful impact but address these key issues as the industry transitions from Humans Inc. to Post Anthropocene by 2050. It is to be understood that at any stage of this timeline should half-hearted implementations take place, society risks slipping down to Greentocracy scenario and if none of the solutions are adopted, the risk of degrading to the Extinction Express scenario increases dramatically; both of which would endanger the very sustenance of the hospitality industry.