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Magnus Lindkvist

The man who shapes the future

Tomorrow is happening today.

Futurologist Magnus Lindkvist knows how progress comes about.

Magnus Lindkvist is one of the most renowned speakers on matters of the future. The Swedish futurologist has taken to the stage well over a thousand times to explain to his audiences what the future holds. He explains that we cannot predict the future because the future does not actually exist and will not just hit us one day like a thunderstorm. “The present is full of dead ideas and symbols,” he claims. “The future is not a condition or a scenario, it is an activity.” It is a constant process that we can and must determine ourselves. The future is variable and we control it, both today and tomorrow.

Lindkvist is a gifted speaker, as has been proven by his numerous TED Talks and events that have left executives highly impressed. This is also why he was invited to the BSH Corporate Summit in mid-March 2017, the company’s anniversary year. Wearing a striking red jacket and green scarf, he told 500 international managers of BSH how they can not only prepare for, but above all, create the future.

“It’s all about vertical change, vertical variation,” says the futurologist. “Otherwise, Europe will become the museum of the world. We must not want to be the same as everybody else. Most companies think only about horizontal growth, about how they can obtain more of what they have. But the magic lies in that which is new.”

In Lindkvist’s way of thinking, companies must decide where they want to focus their energy: on competition or on creativity. And for Lindkvist, it is an obvious choice. If you want to shape the future, you will only achieve this through creativity. “Creation is liberation,” says the Swede, who, on a side note, is a big fan of Rammstein vocalist Till Lindemann. “We live in a discontinuous world, a world that is not simply developing in a linear direction. Entirely novel things are being added to the mix, especially in the area of biotechnology.”

If a brand is to have a future in such a constantly changing world, it must embrace three essential features:

  • Consistency in its values. This is what gives it a profile; makes it recognizable.
  • Compassion. It is very much in short supply, but costs nothing.
  • Conjury. “Technology,” Lindkvist says, “is all about making magic become a reality.”

There are a few rules that companies that wish to have a future must follow – and these, according to Lindkvist, also apply to BSH:

  • Ignore trends and look elsewhere. Look for the hidden, the unknown, the mysterious, the secrets.
  • Experiment and remain flexible. Progress requires mistakes.
  • Have patience. We need optimism and perseverance to develop new approaches and solutions.

“New ideas,” says Lindkvist, “are born in noise, not in silence.”

In addition to his appearance at the BSH Management Conference, Lindkvist gave a short interview with presenter Dagmar Binder, which you can watch here.

Text: Peter Wuerth

Photo ©Darren Jacklin

Video ©Prio Intermedia GmbH

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