Keynote Speaker Trends & Future

18. October 2020 – Oliver Stoldt

The future is not for scaredy-cats: Keynote Speaker Trends and Future researchers illuminate the world according to Corona.

Oh, how much would we love to have a glass ball right now, to tell us all about the future. How much would we love to know how things will continue, now, in the confounded Corona year. How much would we love to know what the world will look like tomorrow, in a month, a year – and beyond.

Futurologists and trend researchers are in high demand in times when the world yet gets even more unpredictable, although it basically is anyway. I mean, let’s be realistic: trend researchers and futurologists also base their methods on probabilities and predictions. But isn’t that better than having no idea of the future at all?

One of the most famous futurologists in Germany and even worldwide is Matthias Horx. His futurology institute, founded in 1998 and based in the Taunus region near Frankfurt am Main, Germany, has had a major impact on trend and future research in Germany. The company and the team around Matthias Horx himself have long since become leading international contacts for questions concerning the development of the economy and society.

Keynote Speaker Trends and Future

But what is trend and future research actually? Matthias Horx explains it like this: “Trend and futurology research is something very different, you first need to know. Trend research is contemporary science, so it looks at what is currently and immediately changing. Futurology turns it into long-term models, probabilities, which we can calculate better and better today, because there are completely different approaches available now. For example, we have huge data systems that we can use to work with and sort out what can and cannot be predicted. (…) In this respect, what futurology from the 1960s once was, i.e. a speculative, narrative, even very soft science, is today completely different. We know relatively well about the future through most systems”.

Forecasts about the duration of marriages are a very vivid example, according to the futurologist Horx. For example, there is an American married couple that performs couple diagnostics. By means of a simple experimental system in which spouses are asked to talk about everyday problems, the researchers use the emotional transmissions to calculate with fairly accurate certainty whether the couple will still be married or not in five years’ time. So far so good. The example also illustrates the crux of this science: it is the ambivalent relationship between us humans and future predictions. In the case of marriage diagnostics, according to Matthias Horx, the research couple unfortunately lacks customers. In the end, nobody wants to know for sure.

So, it is in the nature of trend and future research that it irritates and questions the existing images of the future that people have in their heads. It is also clear that these new pictures do not always feel pleasant. The future can hurt. And not every trend is one you want to have.

Trend and future researchers such as Matthias Horx, Sven Gabor-Janszky, Nicole Brandes, Peter Cochrane or Karin Frick are experts in the fields of trend and future research. As speakers, they inspire and, yes, perhaps even shock with their results.

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