It seems that if there is one constant in our lives today, it is change. As the editorial team began its discussions about the educational program for the International Retail Design Conference this year (IRDC; irdconline.com), it was clear to us that any attempt to take a static snapshot of the retail industry would be a challenge.
The very nature of retail itself is ever-changing, and after the ups and downs of the past few years, change has become the new normal. Given that fact, and our mission to provide our readers with information and inspiration that helps them succeed, we thought carefully about our choice for the opening keynote presenter this year.
Our selection, futurist and CEO of innovation consultancy Tomorrow, Mike Walsh has made a life of finding method in the seemingly chaotic by studying technologies and human behaviors to create a roadmap for the future. Simply put, he teaches organizations how to flourish in an environment of continual disruption and change.
As a cultural anthropologist, Walsh spends about 300 days per year on the road, conducting original research on topics ranging from Big Data to artificial intelligence to Amazon. He studies consumer behavior, focusing on how consumers view, interact with and react to brands, and how that behavior will change in the future.
At IRDC, Walsh will share his insights, experiences and research on “Designing Your Business for the 21st Century” with an eye toward how retailers can thrive in a rapidly evolving global economy. His background as an analyst and strategist give him a unique perspective into how organizations can deliver meaningful change by embracing disruption and breaking the rules.
We hope you’ll join us Oct. 2-4 for the 18th annual IRDC at the Motif Hotel, set against the backdrop of tech-savvy, future-centric Seattle. Though none of us have all of the answers about what the future holds, we can surely benefit by asking the right questions.