ISPIM presents the Super Wicked Florence Tourism Challenge

Do you want to take up a challenge this summer ?

So take off for Italy in June ! To the Super Wicked Florence Tourism Challenge...

Or " How do you manage approximately 14 million tourists in a small area like Florence ? "

The XXX ISPIM Innovation Conference will be held in Florence from 16 to 19 June.

In this framework, ISPIM (a network of innovation professional) organizes a specific session related to overtourism related to the city Florence will take place.

" How do you manage approximately 14 million tourists in a small area like Florence?
Monday 17 June – 13.25 to 15.35 "

Welcome to the home of The Medici and one of our greatest ever wicked challenges. The Metropolitan City of Florence organisers and key actors are eager and will join us in trying to conquer what we know is one of our more complex challenges yet. Florence tourism numbers are staggering. 14 million visitors per year want to see the most famous sites, taste Tuscan food and wine, and everyone wants to have a wonderful time. However, this really tests the territory’s resources and capabilities and is potentially a tourism destination nightmare. Sustaining growing tourism numbers and yet still supporting a local community is a real dilemma. The ISPIM organisers and our WickSprint team are keen to help our friends in Florence work this challenge through. Our sessions are always a lot of fun and we have some interesting tools we again will be sharing. This time we are encouraging the ISPIM community to start thinking about this challenge early.
Here are some insights into Florence and our WickSprint that need contemplating:

✓ We have a Quintuple Helix of stakeholders involved (community, industry, government, university and environment), so coordinating this ecosystem effectively is not easy. There are five layers of governance and this requires a “community of practice” where the public is very much empowered, and stakeholders are collaborative.

✓ Assisting Florence in better capturing information and utilising emerging technologies will be a key. In terms of data, Big and Open, “what does Florence have”, “what is missing” and “what will they need in the future”. How can we use present and future technologies to turn information into knowledge to help manage tourist and local community logistics and flows?

✓ There are fantastic historical sites in Florence that stretch beyond the City Centre. One of the bigger issues for the Florence community is how to encourage people/tourists to go beyond city limits to enjoy broader Metropolitan City benefits and additional experiences? The latter is a key to enhance the tourists’ experience, but also important for managing overcrowding while reducing people pressure on the city of Florence and overwhelming the territory’s carrying capacity. An important focus therefore is the empowerment of alternate destinations within the metropolitan scale.

✓ Florence is not the only region in the world being “stretched” by its tourism visitors. The region however wants to be an exception and is super keen to turn weaknesses and threats into better opportunities and outcomes. Growing more productive jobs for locally trained people is a priority. This means improving tourism management, advancing operators, and bringing the public with you.

Overall from the above this is clearly a multifaceted and holistic challenge. Finding problem solving pathways capable of harmonizing the many elements of the Metropolitan City of Florence ecosystem will not be easy., A key aspect is to allow the tourism development process to be ongoing while simultaneously respecting Florence, its citizens, resources and territory. Already you can see that we, as the ISPIM community, are up against it. Fortunately, we all love a challenge. Previous wicked sessions created great ideas for the Barrier Reef. We also helped our friends in places like Porto, Canada, Vienna, Melbourne and Stockholm. Florence is equally exciting. The locals are keen to participate and want to add their insights and so we won’t be alone. What better place to ponder ideas, trigger innovation processes and resolve difficult problems? It’s obvious why the attraction to Florence with Da Vinci, Galileo, Michelangelo, Dante, Machiavelli all inspirations. How sensational to be working on this challenge surrounded by the spirit of such icons. The WickSprint team looks forward to seeing you in Florence in June for what we expect will be our greatest session yet…

If you would like to consult the programme of the XXX ISPIM Innovation Conference, click here.