Gráinne Morrison: Who is the future human of Dublin Airport?

28 Jun 2018

Gráinne Morrison, futurist, Future Factory at Dublin Airport, speaking at Inspirefest 2018. Image: Conor McCabe Photography

At Inspirefest 2018, Gráinne Morrison from The Future Factory at Dublin Airport described who the future human of the airport will be.

Airports in the coming years will look an awful lot different to how they do today as research teams go to great lengths to find ways of making the whole trip to the airport and beyond considerably smoother.

One of the noticeable trends already starting to take shape is increasing automation, highlighted by recent events at Dublin Airport. For example, the new Honest Eats initiative allows people to take food from a stall and pay for it without needing cash. Based entirely on the honesty of the individual to pay, the experiment has already gone amazingly well – recent figures found that 96pc of people paid in the first week of its operation and that more people were honest on a Monday than a Sunday.

Driving this initiative is Gráinne Morrison, a futurist at The Future Factory, who took to the stage at Inspirefest 2018 to not only call on people to suggest new ways to make people more honest when buying food – such as the Tap Tap developed by Kathryn Parkes – but to describe who the future human of an airport will be.

Aiming to be effortless

Based on her analysis, Morrison said that the 50m-plus people expected to travel through Dublin Airport each year by 2050 will be multinational on a grander scale than before and will typically be older as our population ages.

She also foresees that there will be a significant increase in middle-class passengers and that the majority of them will no longer be travelling in multiple groups, but often alone, as the concept of daily commuter journeys becomes more widespread.

“Our future airport will be seamless, our future airport will be effortless and, most importantly, our future airport will be responsible,” Morrison said.

Away from the passenger experience, she added that the last point about responsibility can be seen in the airport’s attitude to its local flora and fauna, especially given that it recently harvested more than 80kg of honey from its site, which it will continue to sell at the airport.

Inspirefest is Silicon Republic’s international event celebrating the point where science, technology and the arts collide. Ultra Early Bird tickets for Inspirefest 2019 are available now.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic