Digital natives – they think differently, they act differently and they are already amongst us in our families,’ according to Neil Ashworth, Chairman of The Chartered Institute of Logistics & Transport UK (CILT) who opened the 17th Annual Conference of the Logistics Research Network at Cranfield University today.
‘Digital natives’ are the generation who have grown up in the internet age, are under 16 at the moment and we need, according to Ashworth, to create a business environment that is fit for them when they join the work place. Whilst no-one can predict the future, we can offer a view of what the world will be like. Ashworth shared his views of how this ‘disruptive’ group could shape our supply chains and, in particular, the retail sector. He stressed the need to exploit the use of social media, and what he described as ‘gameability’ and ‘gamification’ to engage this new generation who have different ways of thinking and abilities and will have alternative ways of working.
Professor Richard Wilding of Cranfield University welcomed delegates to this conference, which attracts speakers and participants from the academic and commercial world exploring the latest leading edge logistics and supply chain research. Embracing the digital world and social media, Richard encouraged participants to create a twitter cloud to enable people around the world to share the insights into the discussions taking place at #lrnconf2012.