Cultivate calls for fresh ideas


The Flight Centre Travel Group’s (FCTG) new corporate travel think-tank event, Cultivate, will kick off this afternoon in Brisbane amidst a buzz of business brainstorming.

More than 40 of FCTG’s best and brightest employees from the company’s corporate division, plus leaders from the likes of global distribution system (GDS) provider Sabre, online booking technology specialist Serko and customer relationship management platform giant Salesforce, are gathering at South Bank’s Swiss-Belhotel in Brisbane this afternoon for the inaugural Cultivate event.

During the 1.5 day event starting this afternooon and wrapping up Friday afternoon, Cultivate participants will be asked to brainstorm what the future could look like for customers and suppliers when the latest tech, content and product developments are incorporated into the big picture.

Delegates will form small cross-functional teams and be given the tools they need to evaluate, design and activate cutting-edge solutions.

Each team will get the opportunity to present their ideas to a judging panel at the end of day two. Senior managers from across the FCTG global network including James Kavanagh Executive General Manager of FCTG’s corporate division and Chris Locke, Chief Information Officer for FCTG in Australia and NZ, will sit on the panel.

Cultivate follows FCTG’s highly successful Illuminate corporate travel event in 2018, which featured the very latest developments in the corporate travel industry. Additionally, FCTG was one of 20 companies named as the ‘most innovative ASX200’ companies in Australia in 2018 by consulting firm Campus Collective.

FCTG’s corporate travel leader James Kavanagh said he was delighted to launch the event and was looking forward to hearing from the many different people who were participating.

“This event follows hot of the heels of our Illuminate event in September last year, the launch of our exclusive online booking product Savi, our AI-powered chatbot mobile travel assistant Sam, as well as our participation in the industry groups leading the way for the new distribution capability (NDC) discussions in Asia Pacific and Europe,” James said.

“In January FCTG partnered with Silicon Valley firm Plug and Play, for an initiative that saw about 14 tech startups pitch their new ideas to us as part of the travel stream. Plus FCM Travel Solutions also has some cutting-edge technologies being produced out of their Innovation Labs across Europe, the US and Asia Pacific.

“There is a groundswell of next-gen technology activity within FCTG’s corporate division and also a significant amount of activity happening across the industry at the moment, so there will be plenty of exciting topics for delegates to work through and discuss.

“For the event we were keen to involve people from all differents roles, business areas, professional experience and seniority so we could leverage fresh ideas from people who can bring different styles of business ingenuity to the initiative and even challenge the status quo if necessary.

"The goal is to continue to foster a culture of innovation and further solidify FCTG and our key corporate technology partners, as leaders in the business travel space.  In doing so, we expect to further enhance our customers' experience."    

James said employees taking part would have a golden opportunity to have their say on how processes or tech products could be further transformed for the future.

“This is a great opportunity for Cultivate delegates to truly make a difference in how we shape the future,” James said.