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Futures authors FUTURES: Building a future in times of uncertainty

Who knew that giving the finger can lead to a beautiful friendship and three books? In Futures three top trendwatchers (Herman Konings, Joeri Van den Bergh and Tom Palmaerts) combine their forces to guide you through times of uncertainty.

Since there aren’t a lot of trendwatchers in Belgium, you would expect that Tom, Herman and Joeri see each other as competitors, but the opposite is the case. However the way this tight friendship started is quite a funny story: “For a long time Herman and I were just acquaintances, but everything changed when we had to speak on the same event. I started my lecture explaining that I wasn’t a trendwatcher that just talks about fancy hotels in Dubai. Looking in the audience I immediately saw Herman giving me an obscene gesture, little did I know that he just returned from Dubai, where he talked about fancy hotels”, explains Joeri. Together with Tom, they regularly meet up to fill their crystal ball with gin and tonic and organise inspirational FUTURO Getaways to the beautiful Silicon-free Valley of Tuscany.

The ultimate result of their ping-ponging with ideas is the book Futures, which gives you three different, but complementary, ways to look at the future(s). Tom Palmaerts hopes that after reading Futures, people will start to talk about multiple futures instead of the future. “People often have the tendency to just think about their ideal future, which can have a paralysing effect. In reality, innovation follows an erratic pattern, where we always have to adapt to environmental changes.” By highlighting current changes in our society, reading Futures is an eye-opening experience that helps you to remove innovation blind spots. Enjoy the futures!

Herman Konings (consumer psychologist and trend analyst at Pocket Marketing/nXt) uses his telescope to see what will happen in the coming years and strongly focuses on the impact of demographic shifts. In Changing Herman draws attention to Cathedral Thinking. This new way of thinking forces you to think about the next 100 years, thus helping your business to become more future proof. Herman Konings is intrigued by different changes, both in retail, mobility and hospitality. “A change that fascinates me is the revaluation of serendipity. It’s an anti-reaction in times of algorithm marketing and predictive retailing, where it becomes increasingly difficult to be surprised. Serendipity is about searching for a needle in a haystack and going home with the beautiful farmer’s daughter.”

Hot tweetawayHot tweetaway: The future is #Changing says @soeproza #FUTURESbook insit.es/1SmmtR0 via @CoolBrands #trends #trendwatching

Joeri Van den Bergh (co-founder and partner at InSites Consulting) has a background in market research and uses his stethoscope to carefully listen to Gen Y and Gen Z. The central theme of his book is Bonding, influenced by the growing number of singles. “I didn’t want to tell a pessimistic story about loneliness. It even turns out that, thanks to their extensive social network, single people feel less lonely.” There are several types of bonding, such as bonding with pets and anthropomorphism, where human characteristics are attributed to technology and other non-human beings. “I hope that my story can inspire entrepreneurs to adapt their products to changing structures and to meet the growing need for real bonding, both in real life as with brands and products.”

Hot tweetawayHot tweetaway: The future is #Bonding says @Joeri_InSites #FUTURESbook insit.es/1SmmtR0 via @CoolBrands #trends #trendwatching

Tom Palmaerts (partner at Trendwolves) uses a periscope, allowing him to look for thrills in the deep. Thrills are weak signals that you can find with innovators or in subcultures and are a tremendous source of inspiration. Some of these thrills stay hidden in the underground, others have the potential to evolve into trends. “In Thrilling, I explain the reader how they can look for thrills themselves and how creatives interpret them. My favourite thrill is Raw, where we step away from polished perfection and are attracted to things that make us feel powerful. A perfect example of Raw is The Dirty Rabbit in Antwerp, that can be compared to a dirty biker bar, but without the bikers.”

Hot tweetawayHot tweetaway: The future is #Thrilling says @palmaerts #FUTURESbook insit.es/1SmmtR0 via @CoolBrands #trends #trendwatching

As of today, Futures is available in Belgian book stores and online (Lannoo’s webshop or iTunes).

Futures cover 3D

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