Keynote Speakers at The 26th Nordic Symposium of Tourism and Hospitality Research

Abstracts for the symposiums Keynote Speakers

The Hyper Tourism Researcher, Ana Maria Munar

KvinnaHow can we move from promoting super-heroes to appreciating human-heroes? Using my research in the fields of postdisciplinarity, higher education and digital humanities, this talk will examine our global academic cultures of hyper productivity and hyper connectivity and reflect on which values those cultures take for granted. To do this I will introduce the identity of a contemporary super-hero 'The Hyper Tourism Researcher'. This ideal archetype will be presented to help us reflect on the questions of speed and busyness (why do we all run so much?), meaning and purpose (towards what end?), productivity (what are the values associated to quantity?) and connectivity (how do constant connectivity and infinite information impact the way we learn, think and produce knowledge?). I will present how ideal types shape our perception of excellence, our creativity and engagement with the world. I will then use this broader discussion to explore the idea that we are in a time of 'over-reactivity' and how for many scholars, after some years, hyper academic cultures result in stress, cynicism and detachment or abandonment. Finally, a series of hopeful 'human-hero' alternatives to the super-heroic archetype will be presented.

Imagineering as collaborative innovation by design, Diane Nijs

New actors in the tourism field such as AirBnB and Uber illustrate that todays connected society offers new possibilities for innovating whole industries. The connected society offers possibilities for rethinking relevance, roles and relationships as to innovate existing situations with lots of (creative) actors. It offers the possibility for collaborative innovation. But processes of collaborative innovation, or else: processes of organizational emergence such as organizational innovation, public innovation and social innovation, don't start from themselves. They need to be designed for. Imagineering, a design approach that integrates explicitly the imagination of all involved actors is a possible design approach to innovate whole systems.
"Evolution and design, the course of nature and man's intervention in it, are notions that seem to clash in the dualistic view taken by Western thought" (Jantsch, 1975). Mankind is traditionally seen as an element at the mercy of evolution and not as an active agent in universal evolution. Recent breakthroughs in the study of non-linear, dynamic systems as articulated in complexity science point a way to overcoming the duality of traditional models. Especially since the principle of 'order through fluctuation', a discovery of Noble price winner Prigogine which seems to underlie all processes of evolution in living dynamic systems, designing for evolution seems to be a distinct possibility and even responsibility in human systems. In this presentation, the possibility of designing 'an adaptive tension engine' to evoke 'order through fluctuation', in a direction that is desirable for an organization as well as for society at large, is explored and illustrated with phenomena and interventions out of the tourism industry.

Tourism, exclusion and disconnectedness, Nigel Morgan

Tourism policy and research do not have the same tradition of addressing forms of inequality, disconnectedness and exclusion as sport or leisure policy/studies. Despite the work of early pathfinders and more recent arguments that exclusion from tourism limits people's ability to enjoy the full rights of social forms of citizenship, the field of tourism management has yet to actively engage social policy in promoting the wider socio-economic benefits of tourism participation or its role in addressing inequality and exclusion. Tourism is such an integral component of modern lifestyles that to be excluded from it is to be outside the norms of everyday life. Non-participation in tourism therefore makes a deep contribution to exclusion that goes beyond the immediate experience of being deprived of participation in its activities. For example, poverty is about more than poverty of income. It is also about poverty of opportunity and expectation, of cultural and educational resources, of housing and neighborhoods, of local services and community resources. At the same time, the retrenchment of public sector finances impacting many of the world's affluent societies threatens to create a new generation of impoverished older people.Whilst there is a substantial literature, which analyses the connections between poverty and tourism development in less economically developed countries, far less work focuses on tourism poverty in affluent societies. This presentation will draw on several studies published during 2010-2017, which examine the connections between tourism and social exclusion in the UK and will discuss key policy developments in the devolved UK country of Wales, which offer opportunities to cohere tourism studies and the Welsh Government's health and wellbeing agenda. The presentation will argue for greater academic and practical collaborations tourism and social policy and suggest how such partnerships can address global agendas on social inclusion, well-being, mental health and life satisfaction.

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