Hello and welcome to the virtual frontier, the podcast about virtual teams created by virtual team. Disclaimer, all of our interviews are conducted virtually, I'm Daniel your host and I'm part of the team here at a virtual frontier. In this episode, we welcome Sven Gabor Janszky as our guest and we are going to have a look into the future. Did. we recently change the narrative of the virtual frontier to an esoteric psyc show? If we take a look into the past, it's filled with stories of people who possessed supernatural talents and abilities and could foresee the future.
The talents of those Oracle's were often feared, but also widely respected, and access to them was guarded, in many places, only the priests, the wise men, or even the ruling class had the privilege to consult the appropriate Oracle. Whoever had reliable information about the future could use it to his advantage and thus sometimes be a decisive step ahead of the rival. How is this related to today's guests Sven Gabor Janszky. Sven isn't an Oracle but he knows to tell us something about the future.
He is the founder and chairman of Europe's largest independent futurology Institute called 2b Ahead Think Tank and the author of six books where he talks about the future and possible developments. Due to his deep passion and love for the future he helps organizations and leaders to get a better understanding of possible pathways and trends for their businesses so they can embrace the future and take initiative rather than just react. They are Today I talk with Sven about the future for why the way we work and learn is changing radically, and how organizations can start to think in future scenarios rather than stuck with fixed ideas and mindsets.
A quick mention of our sponsor Flash Hub. Build your virtual team systematically and methodically. Scale with your business at any time and make work better. You want to expand your knowledge of how virtual teams work and learn how to build your own team. Join the next virtual team challenge and get all the tools and frameworks for it. If you want to learn more about the next challenge visit flashhub.io. Four our English speaking community. This is a German episode and you can find a transcript of the conversation on our blog flashhub.io/blog at happyscribe.com slash public slash virtual minus frontier or watch the video with subtitles for this episode on our YouTube channel. You will find all the links in the show notes below. So without further ado, let's dive into Episode 33 of the virtual frontier. Enjoy the conversation.
Yes, hello dear Sven, I'm glad that you are here with us today in the podcast, I've been waiting a very long time for you and hoped that we come together for a conversation and of course I'm even more pleased that it worked out today. For our listeners who don't know you or have never heard of you or your think tank, let me just introduce myself. What do you do at 2b AHEAD Thin Tank? And what do you perhaps do differently compared to other futurology institutes or people and companies that deal with the future in general?
Yeah, I'd love to. I'm glad that the you stayed tuned, actually she had the last few months a little bit, a little bit much to do and therefore have done little podcasts. But all the better I'm here now I'm here now. So I founded a futurology institute 19 years ago in Germany, in Leipzig and this futurology institute is called to be ahead and in the meantime, there has been a small generational change in the futurology landscape, so to speak.
In the meantime, it has developed into the largest independent futurology research institute in Europe. And what we, what we do is that we actually do the scientific futurology, so that, I don't know how deep I should explain this, but there are just in science since the middle of the last century really scientific methods of futurology recognized, everywhere is taught at universities worldwide. And we try to translate these methods of futurology. Very, very concretely for companies and for individuals.
In other words, we give companies a picture of the future on the inside. What does it look like in your industry in the next ten years and then break that down? What does that mean for your strategy? What is an ideal, an ideal path, so to speak? And we do the same for individuals as well. So we do futurology, so to speak, which we make the noble science very, very applicable and break it down so that everyone can use it, so to speak.
What makes the difference between a futurologist and I'll put it a little provocatively, the psychic who simply looks into the future?
You don't have to. You didn't have to use the psychic at all, so to speak. But there are. There are also a lot of people who call themselves futurologists on the Internet and then say something about the future, but they don't do it on the basis of scientific studies. And that is actually the term futurologist is not a protected profession, anyone can claim to be a futurologist. And the big difference is actually whether you use scientific methods or whether you think up something at some point or are convinced of something, what it should be, so to speak.
And then your wish or your vision is somehow trumpeted as a trend. We futurologists, who really only do this on the basis of science, are perhaps a bit, how should I put it? So we try to distinguish ourselves very strongly because, of course, at the moment you will find the most bizarre forecasts on the Internet under futurology and trend research and whatnot. The ones that have no probability whatsoever, at least from our point of view. And we are just scientists and the research.
We distinguish ourselves, if you like, somehow my institute or I myself actually on two sides, namely to this, to these self-appointed clairvoyants or futurologists. Or, on the other hand, to those futurologists who really work with scientific methodology, who do great things, but who, as I said, do it so abstractly that you can't apply the stuff they forecast. And we just really break it down. So, for example, they talk about some megatrends like globalization and individualization, which everyone has heard before.
But what does that mean for your life in concrete terms?
How do you have to do the next, the next six months, the six months after that, and the third six months after that, and so on? What do you have to do so that you reach your best possible future you, so we call that the ideal positioning in five years, so that you reach your best possible future you. And that's what you get. So from some, from the theorists, they don't break it down that far, you don't get it or you have to guess it yourself somehow.
And the others, they give you some clues, but they don't have any substance. And we, we try to make exactly this, this, this middle, namely actually the, the real, true scientific futurology so to speak so manageable that everyone, every, every person, every company can apply it.
Ah, okay, now I get it. So actually it goes in the direction that you really have a practical application pattern, after which you can then also really act in the next months and years and can then still align yourself.
So that's exactly it, (indistinct speech). That is exactly the point. I believe that futurology really only makes sense - in my view, this even applies to science in general - that science only makes sense if you manage to make it so that every person, every company can really apply it, can really learn from it, can participate in it and can, so to speak, create an improvement for themselves, for their way of life. And that is what we are trying to do here in our, in our area of futurology.
I believe that this is very, very well received. It is also the reason why we have relatively quickly gone from being a newcomer in futurology to the largest European futurology research institute.
Does the futurologist make so in such uncertain times that we have now currently, where everything seems to be somehow in upheaval or things are simply not yet really clear as sees, how does that look like with yourself? How do you deal with it? What does it do maybe with your daily working life? You also have families yourself. How do you act in such situations, which we have had in the last months or we can already say in the last year?
So honestly, I am who I am. I think I relax it when I look at my surroundings. I live with the people I deal with and find and the people I talk to. Then I think I'm much, much more relaxed about dealing with that situation than than others. Or at least than others claim to be and write about and tell us, etc. The reason for that may be that change is nothing new for the futurologist himself so profound changes, so to speak.
Because that's actually what we talk about every day in our studies and in our talks that we, that we give and whatnot, webinars or online courses, whatever it is that we're doing. We're always talking about change. Dealing with uncertain is daily bread and butter business for us, you might say. In that sense, I think we're significantly less excited about it than the people around us or society at large. The thing that we're noticing or that I'm noticing is that there's so much talk about uncertainty and change as well.
The fundamental trends that we describe we futurologists, technology, changes in companies, the changes in value chains, in business models and all these things that the there has been no change at all now. So no new technology in technology has emerged now that would somehow turn everything upside down. Nor has anything slowed down or or become faster in development. So on these, on these long long lines, so ten years so forecasts has actually virtually nothing changed. It has to be said that there could still be some change, depending on how long the lockdown lasts and whether that really translates into a significant unemployment rate in the end.
That then yes, but. But so far, in the short year so far that we've had this Corona time now, nothing has really changed in our projections. So in short short answer to your question Like what, what do I do and how do I live? I try to live also with my family as normal as possible in inverted commas. So times, as it was just before, that you know quite, there is change and change, but is nothing bad.
Change is a part of human development, of human evolution, both in the long term and in the course of a lifetime. In that sense, yes, we live in we just live. We live very, very unexcited. We've made it. Which the kids, the kids, so the little kids go to kindergarten. Further the big one, she has no school now, she is at home. That's so mine. My husband, my little one, that's my, my little, my little fear that fear is exaggerated.
But a little thought Is that so good, so to speak, that the, that the school children are really alone at home and can't do much, except do some schoolwork. Yes, but there is also light at the end of the horizon, as far as we try to live our normal life behind me. Maybe you can tell, it's snowing like crazy. We got a foot of snow in the backyard. It's nice for the kids, too.
In that respect, yes, normality.
Yes, as so often counts just the perspective and what you make of it. In the last few months, I have noticed your contribution regarding the various scenarios that have now been created in relation to the Corona Winter, but generally speaking, you would also think of many scenarios in your institute and I would like to get into this with you again and ask you a bit about how we as a company or as individuals come to think of more possibilities and scenarios in order to prepare ourselves for the future and also to be prepared.
Depending on what's coming up. Because I have the impression that in many cases this is not done and we then become rigid in a certain direction. This is then thought through and planned, and in the end it usually turns out differently than expected and you are then really not properly prepared for the overall situation. How do you work with scenarios? What is the background and how can you apply them if necessary?
I'll start with the background, because I think that's important to understand. In futurology, that is scientific futurology, there are two main methods that you can use. One is the Delphi method and the other is the future scenarios and which one is the prerequisite or which one is the occasion, when you take which one is very different. With the scenario with the mithalf Delphi method it's like when you do that you end up with a the most likely, the most likely scenario coming out.
The most likely development, your likely future picture. You apply that, if you do it right and smart you apply that when you want to really step it up in a business, but also as an individual. So if you want to set a new goal, swear all employees to this goal and then really step on the gas, then you need a goal and then you need the way to get there. And this Delphi method is a very good way to find out how to get there.
The second method, the future scenario method, is used when you want to hedge your bets. So if you want to minimize the risk, so to speak. Of course, this is especially important in times that are a bit more difficult to forecast than normal times, that are a bit unpredictable, where unforeseen things can happen. Then you actually take the scenario method and that means to me again that I do that in the future development in parallel five scenarios, so five different scenarios.
In the method there are then, so I don't want to go deeper into the science now. But methodically there are the so-called disruptive factors. That means one, one, one calculates or one imagines a scenario, so to speak. And then you also think about the disruptive factors before which unforeseen events could occur. And at these disruptive factors there's then the branching off into another scenario. And then there's again the after to a disruptive factor. One calls it the measures as a reaction to it from some authority.
And then weighs again a scenario. So I'll make it very simple with the example of now, of the Corona situation. Yes, we have at the moment so we have now the beginning of February, we have at the moment in Germany an extensive lockdown, so the schools are closed and the shops are closed and so on and so forth. And so far, those who find the decisions of the politicians assume that this will continue until mid-February. Okay, so now there's in the scenario until mid-February.
If then. And now comes the disruptive factor, if in mid-February the, they're called the in the incidence numbers , so those to which the infected numbers have not dropped significantly, so to speak. Then there are two ways, one way Either this lockdown continues or there is the political decision. The lockdown is still lifted or or minimized so to speak. Those are two completely different, different scenarios. If the lockdown were to be, let's say, lifted, then about a month later, mid-March, is again the, question Have the infected numbers gone up, then maybe a third lockdown is put in place.
Or have the numbers gone down or or up to a steady level so to speak. Then there will be further relaxation. And that's sort of how it goes on. As far as the Corona times are concerned, until the point in time when everyone is halfway in agreement that there is a high probability that the numbers will really drop, namely the summer, when it gets warm again here in Germany. So in a nutshell, the scenario technique is going to predict various scenarios.
And the interesting thing is that the important thing is, if you look at it scientifically none of these four of these four scenarios has a higher probability than the others. Because you can't tell from today's perspective which one of these no's is likely. That means for you as a company, for example, you have to prepare yourself as a company, board of directors or managing director or whatever, you have to prepare yourself equally for each of these scenarios that lie ahead.
That means that we then say, if this, if this occurs, and of course we are doing this very, very strongly with our customers at the moment, then we say to the people, pay attention, you must now prepare for several futures or you must now prepare for several futures. And depending on which one is taken at this, at this point in time of the disruptive factor, so to speak, which branch is taken, you don't have to start preparing again or start from the beginning, but you have already thought about future number two, number 3, number 4, number 5 and then you simply switch to the other strategy, so to speak.
So that's what you do as, how shall I say, a responsible fully aware board of a company when you, when you plan your own or when you plan the future of your company in such uncertain times in advance. You take scenarios and you prepare for each scenario. That takes a little bit, a little bit of effort. That takes a little bit of diligence, but it's just not just like, everything goes straight on until. But that's actually the, the yes the professional and recommended response.
Applies by the way, also if I may add that, applies to personal life as well. So when I, when I do with my coachees I, also personal development for individuals who want to make the most of their life, so to speak, and so they want to reach a new level in five years and so on. And one of the different techniques that we use there is the method, the so-called method of the ten future selves. It basically follows the logic that at the present time, from today's point of view, there are several possibilities for future development within me.
I am now starting from my own personal point of view. I run a futurology institute here, I work a lot for the economy. Theoretically, I could put the future in me in terms of work. I'll let it be related to work my institute sometime into a larger worldwide, so at the moment we do a lot of Europe, but we could also integrate into a worldwide network of management consultants, so to speak. Then we would suddenly have a whole worldwide focus.
Second possibility I could, the other day my university asked me if I would like to fill a professorship somehow. Working a lot with students is just as much in me. Third possibility I could also. I have such a passion for always in my life, for marathon sports. So I've often run marathons and long distances and so on. And I haven't really done that lately in the last three years because I just haven't had much time with kids and work and stuff.
But maybe I could sell my company and then I would have a year to just do sports again, so to speak. That would be great too. Well, in short, like exactly like in me. Yes, I named three. You can increase that to 10. And probably in everyone who's listening or watching this podcast now, there's actually a minimum of 10 different futures, 10 different ways to develop you in the right direction. And that's exactly what we do.
We then also do these scenarios in these one-on-one coaching sessions for individuals. That's where each person really writes down. What does my professor me look like? What does my athlete me look like? What does my business consultant, global business consultant look like? That was based on me, of course. And it's not until you have these ten different scenarios in front of you that you get a but mostly it's even a gut feeling then at that point you get a gut feeling like which one captivates you the most?
Which one appeals to you the most emotionally? And that's the one. That's where we say okay, this is the best possible future. Now we're going to get there. Now we do it. Let's give them our way there.
Since you also have your hands full at the moment. What we have also heard in the last conversation with you, it seems that there are many people who have not yet done so to think in scenarios or to prepare for different possibilities. What is the reason for that? Can you determine that so I mean, lie as a futurologist rather in the future. It's more like that. Maybe never looking into the retrospective. But why is it that a person or even a company tends to think in terms of individual cases?
Well, so. You have to differentiate that a little bit, because there have been companies or tried to give too many companies, for which it was a normal routine exercise to give themselves a five-year strategy every five years, so to speak. So for the next five years, of course, mainly larger companies that are, how should I say, where there are a minimum of two people in such a strategy department or who somehow think strategically. And what's happening with them right now is that they're really doing that across the board.
That's why so many people, so many companies can approach us. They are just finding that these typical 5 year strategies don't give them any answers anymore, do they? So I say exactly that you have made a 5-year strategy and find that after 18 months or two years at the latest, this strategy that you have given yourself is simply completely out of date, that the development has overtaken it, the technological etc. and so on. And then they come to us and say man futurologist, here is a strategy that should actually last for five years and now it is somehow outdated after only one and a half years.
And then we say or we have to say, well, you took the wrong method. So you didn't work in an unclean way or something, but you simply used the methods of futurology that existed in the past, methods of strategy development that didn't have anything to do with futurology, but simply asked. OK. I look here now somehow the now in the present, so to speak, I look at my company, look at my environment, look a little bit, whether there are start-ups that do something interesting in my environment.
And then I ask myself what I'm going to do next year, the year after that and so on. That is the classic way of strategy development. And this classic way of strategy development is based on the fact that you can recognize the problems or challenges that are here and now, so that you can always improve them a little bit at a time. So a small small steps of improvement. Well, and in times where strong technological change is digitalization and so on.
This small improvement does not help because it is simply too little. And that's why they come to us and say, you futurologists, in addition to this scenario technique that you work with, you also have a technique for strategy development called back casting, which is completely different from classic strategy development and the basic thing that is different. I just said, the classic one, it asks itself What is here and now? And then it says What is next year or next six months and then times more and so on.
And we do it differently. We start from a picture of the future. So how does the environment of a company or the environment of a person look like in ten years according to today's forecast with some probability the futurologists make. And from this picture of the future we calculate back. So back casting. We say OK. If that's your ideal positioning in five years, what did you do in year 4 to get you to that ideal positioning? What did you do in year 3?
What did you do me 2? And so on. We do the math back and suddenly, through this little trick so to speak, you come up with a completely different strategy. So you can take the word strategy in a different way.
So you come up with a completely different plan for the future, namely you have to deal with other related to companies, with other technologies, take bigger steps at a higher speed. Possibly one is much faster and much more affine, leads for new types of business models and what I have now said on the company side, that also applies just as much to the for the people side. So for the individual, so to speak, the opportunity to make huge, huge leaps in the next five years, or ten years for that matter, has probably never been better than it is right now.
However, you can only see this if you extrapolate from such a picture of the future. By the way, the last comment on this, on this thing that the big startups of this world, that is the Amazons and Elon Musk and Google and so yes, they have always calculated from such future glasses, so to speak. Whereas the classic companies or sometimes also the small, the smaller startups, the ones I meet here in Germany, they just don't do that.
That's a huge difference that you can actually learn from a futurologist. That's why our business is humming right now, if you will.
Exciting. I think that's one of the things that you're seeing more and more now. So, what you just mentioned, the big startups from around the world. If you look at this exponential difference in terms of growth and that of their agility, you're now probably just seeing the difference in the day-to-day mindset after the last 15 years. What the way of working of these companies one goes and how the results from that Denon. As you just mentioned, how many traditional companies perhaps in Germany or even in startups that are not yet so flexible and agile in thinking and acting, of course, will then rather flounder as far as the next months or years are concerned.
If we focus a little bit on the future of work and dive into that because at Flash Hub and Virtual Frontier we work with models, with flexible working models, with freelancers, with project workers and so on. And I'd love to talk to you about what from your perspective, from your perspective that picture or a picture of the future of work might look like. And where is that going right now? Where are we maybe in 2035? I think you've already done quite a bit of work on what shifts we're going to have in the next few years.
Yes, it is a very big topic for us, because we, because in the future of work, in this question, so to speak, two big trends come together. And the change is even stronger in the intersection. So to speak, these, these two big trends that come together is on the one hand digitalization, artificial intelligence, all these, these things. And the other trend is the demographic trend. Particularly in the German-speaking world, we're seeing in the next 10 years that the so between now, between if we say until 2030 approximately that the baby boomer generation is retiring.
So they will reach the legal retirement age. And the baby boomer generation were just quite a lot. And the ones who are now coming up from below, the young ones, are just very few. These are the low-birth-rate cohorts. If you simply set them off against each other, purely mathematically. You don't need a futurologist for that, just statistics. Then you find out that between 2025 and 2030 there will be 6.5 million fewer people in the German labour market than in 2015.
And 6.5 million fewer, you can now subtract unemployment, which is 2.3. So now with Corona it's back to 2.8, without Corona it would have gone towards 2.0. But after Corona it goes again exactly in the same direction. So in short, you have to subtract unemployment. Then you have to subtract about a million jobs that are really lost through automation and digitalization and so on. But apparently you have to calculate back and forth somehow.
That would be going too far. But the bottom line is that we will have a relatively constant 3 million missing workers in the German-speaking world. So in short there are the jobs, but there are not the people for those jobs. 3 million unfilled jobs. That's what today, well today we kind of say we have a shortage of skilled workers and stuff like that. The fact that we have what we have today is kindergarten compared to what will come in the future.
And now you have to ask yourself the question OK. What does that mean? What effect does it have if there are 3 million unfilled jobs in Germany or in the German-speaking countries? Quite banally and simply said that means with everyone, which is halfway properly trained, every two weeks the Headhunter calls or the personnel consultant and says you, I have there again something new. Do you want to change? I know you've got a job, but there's three million unfilled positions.
You don't want to switch, you get a five percent raise or something. Now the question. What do people do when they get called up? According to today's forecasts there are still 40 percent who say Oh come on, don't call me anymore, I'm happy here. My family is fine, everything's great. I'll stay here with the company. These are the classic long-term employees. This also exists today. Today there are just many, many more. Then only 40 percent.
Then there's about 20% freelancers. That's almost a doubling of today. But 20 percent is not 100 percent. That's just freelancers, a few more than today. And the main difference lies in a third area, which we futurologists call project work. 40 percent project workers, that is 40 percent of the total working population in the country and project work. These are not freelancers, there's no mistaking that. They are employed by a company, but only for one project.
So let's say for one, two, maximum three years. And when the project is over, they move on to the next project and most likely to the next company. Why do they do that? Because every two weeks the headhunter calls and says "You, I have another project there, I have a project there. There you could get a bit more responsibility, a bit more personal challenges. There you have a great team, great people to work with, to learn from and so on.
There, with the projects, it has a very deep social meaning, corresponds to your ethical moral values, you can really do something for society. So there are many reasons why people change. The interesting thing is that at this point they lose something that still strongly characterized our generation, or let's say my parents' generation, namely the basic fear of life, namely becoming unemployed. In the generation of my parents become unemployed was the super disaster, because then you had to go to the office, had to somehow in what I Hartz4, social welfare, something has lost social status and so on and so forth.
Exactly this fear of losing one's job, the basic fear that has shaped the country almost since the war, will no longer exist for the next 20 or 25 years. Because it doesn't matter at all whether you are in 2030 today, it doesn't matter at all whether you lose your job or not. Because tomorrow you'll have ten new offers anyway. Well. And that of course shapes our image of work. You will or we, our children will most likely change jobs every three years, change companies, often also change the city or the region, the home, if you will.
And if one is completely honest and honestly forecasts, then also not every three years, but much more often in life actually change the phase of life, which then again has to do with partnership. So my the trend that the more than half of the marriages within seven years divorced, is also not entirely new. It just goes on. So we are entering a time in which a patchwork life is emerging, a life made up of mosaic pieces, and people have the opportunity at many, many points in their lives.
And I really want to call this an opportunity. The change has to decide anew for the next phase. For this, for that, and so on and so forth. So what's the positive part, if you will? Now there's a downer. That comes from the, from, from technology and digitalization. None of us, no matter what we have learned or studied, none of us can assume that what we have in our heads today will still be enough for our job in ten years.
Because it is precisely through this digitalization, artificial intelligence and so on, that the knowledge
in the world is increasing so rapidly that in some areas the world's knowledge doubles after just five years. In plain language, this means for us that we actually have to relearn at least every ten years, maybe even five years in the future. So this hard drive up here is a reboot. If you will, forgetting the old stuff and putting in the new stuff. And when we've been talking about, you know, many times in the past few years there's been this buzzword lifelong learning yes, kind of.
And a lot of people have said it but nobody really knew what they meant by it somehow. We meant some kind of weird workshops, or continuing education seminars. Two days a year. That's not the picture of the future, but the picture of the future is, every ten years, at the latest every five years, out of the job. Again for half a year or maybe for a whole year. Back to education, so to university or college or any schools.
And actually relearn every five years. Completely relearn. That's probably the, that's probably the only way that, that we're going to cope with this, with this insanely rapid growth of knowledge in the world. And some will find that burdensome. Others say it's great. I love to learn and I'm a permanent learner. That's great. But some, the ones who think they're going to have a degree at the end of their, their education or their studies without a real degree, which will last them until the end of their life.
They'll look at you funny and say, "Oh, God, that was such a midterm report card, I've got to get back to it.
Keyword the shortage of skilled workers and also what the, the or the lack of workers in the near future. If we go into this again. Why is it so important for companies to fundamentally question and change this so-called work culture or the way of working? I think I've heard you say something about that. Because I think, as you just mentioned, if in a few years the headhunter is standing in front of the door every two weeks, I think I have to change something internally in the companies, how they deal with their employees, with their colleagues and how they work.
Because otherwise it is suddenly difficult, probably the knowledge and the knowledge also in the company over a longer period.
That's the way it is. So if this forecast is correct, which is in our studies right now, then that means that companies are losing 40 percent of their best employees every two to three years. And that's natural. If that were the case, it would be really dramatic. There is a need for a counter-strategy. And we already describe these counter-strategies in our studies. In principle, you have to assume or we have to assume that this is what it's all about.
Or I'll put it another way. We have in our studies, the top three criteria named, predicted according to which the people, these project work then make their decisions, so their job decision. Do I go there or do I go there or do I stay there? And that number one criteria is personal challenge. So does this job really, this job, this project really bring me right? Something of a challenge. Something that I haven't done before that's going to get me myself.
Secondly, a great team. So I'm surrounded by people where, first of all, it's fun and I can learn something from them, who push me, who give me energy and so on. Third, what I'm doing here makes sense, so in a social, in an ethical sense, so to speak. It makes sense. That is, companies must strive to provide these three criteria to their employees, especially project work. But now the question is how do I do that.
So I always try to put this into a simple, into a simple sentence called employees or leaders, the main, the main, the main, goal of leaders. The main task of managers is that they promote the personal development of the employee and promote it to such an extent that they even develop this employee out of the company or develop him out of his own project if he develops higher than the requirements of this project. That sounds, if one, if I discuss this today with enterprises, with strategies, with personnel chiefs, personnel executive committees in the enterprises, then most look what.
A little bit funny because I'll tell you why. I've got a skills shortage here. I'm not trying to get anyone out of the company. I'm happy if he's here. But that's too short-sighted. At least from the futurologist's point of view. Because the logic is relatively, well, relatively banal. It's relatively banal. I have that in my books. There's a chapter where I described it. There's a chapter where a department head dismisses his best employee.
He doesn't dismiss him because he's done something wrong or anything like that. But because this head of department knows that if I now terminate this employee and at the same time delegate or recommend him within my personal network of contacts to an interesting project, then the probability is that
who is now two years at another project in the other company, but that he comes back to me after these two years. The probability is then high, whereas if I now hold on to him, so to speak, yes, employee loyalty and so on, then he might still be with me for half a year. But then he is so frustrated that he has looked for a new job himself and somewhere else not in my personal contact network and then the probability that he will come back to me in two years is virtually zero.
So what's better? It's better to let him go somewhere for two years or to get him back or to tie him up for half a year and he's already thinking about where he's going and then he leaves. So, this permanent if you describe it as a corporate strategy so to speak, then some companies we call it the fluid companies, the fluid companies will have a very professional, very targeted attracting and again pushing away of these project workers, yes always attracting, pushing away, attracting, pushing away and the main effect or the main asset which is important, for this it is a perfect, a cultivated, a great contact network of the managers.
And then for the sake of completeness there's the second strategy, so these fluid companies, these are the ones, these are rather the ones that operate in the, well, in the metropolises of this world. But then in Germany there are especially these large medium-sized companies, the so-called hidden champions, who usually don't work in some big city, but somewhere on the prairie, you could say, yes, or in the region. And for them it's a bit more difficult, because these project workers are constantly passing by.
So project work is now more attracted to the metropolises of the world.
And what do these medium-sized companies do then, these large, also great companies, what do they do there? In contrast to the fluid companies, they have to try to hold on to their employees. They have to try to hold on to their employees. We call them caring companies. And this retention of employees is done in a different way than before. Up to now, employee retention has always been aimed at one employee. Yes, you get a little more money, you get a little more incentive, you get something, you get more.
This you get more is for a headhunter who calls me or calls you and says you, I've got something great don't you want to switch? It's pretty easy to cut that cord. He says you'll get what you got plus 5 percent. Well then, that's, that's cut. That's why the employee loyalty of the future, at least that's what our studies say, is very likely to be a loyalty to the employee's social environment, i.e. to the children, to the parents, to the family members, to the leisure environment, to the holiday environment, and so on.
Picture this, imagine if you had, you were employed by a company and your parents were being cared for by a company owned care service and your children were going to the company owned school or the company owned kindergarten and so on and so forth. Yeah, you, you live in a house, in a home, which is also owned by the company, which you kind of become cost effective and so on. So and then the headhunter calls and says you get 5 percent more.
So you think, well, 5 percent more. That's nice. But if my parents have to change care providers and my kids have to change schools and I have to move out of this house, then please, I won't do it. I'd rather stay here. And these are typically caring companies that build up these ties in the social environment of the employees in order to simply keep the employee with them as long as possible.
A trend that you could see now also in the last year is that more and more companies also allow their employees to work from where they want themselves. So free location and time were at work today. I think that would probably also still a large component, if I see that just here in our region to. Is in recent months an incredibly large chunk of people from the city again out of the metropolis out and again you in the rural regions gone, because there is on the one hand such a mixture.
Okay, the technology is there, we have a good Internet here and the job opportunities allow it at the moment. Then the rents and the prices in the rural regions are currently high again and the cities are relieved again. And I think it would probably also still play into the future.
That plays a role, indeed. But the forecast for the next 10 or 15 years does not say that everyone will be in a home office. Yes, that would be an exaggeration. Rather, it says that everyone will take responsibility for deciding where they work best. So who can work super in the home office, because he has a big house or a big apartment, because no children disturb, so children disturb. Kids are great I have three so logical.
But if they are at home all day you just don't come to work. So in this respect, those who can actually guarantee that they work very well in the home office will certainly be in the home office a few days a week. Those who can't guarantee that because there are children or whatever. Maybe the space is too small. Those will continue to go to the office. Probably there'll be a mix like that. Somehow. I don't know, four days in the office, one day at home or three days in the office.
Two-day home office. But the major, the major change from today to us futurologists seems to be coworking spaces. That is, you go if you so if you live somewhere in a village or in a suburb or wherever in the urban area. You don't have to go into these headquarters in the city center anymore, you just go in your, in your village or in your neighborhood into a coworking space rent a desk or an office for a day or half a day, depending on how you want and you can do everything, that offers then again the technology, exactly.
You can do everything, you can connect to your, to your company, you can do any conferences, you can do everything that you can do in the office, but you save the way and these In some megacities it is really two, three hours away in the city center. You save all that and you're still not at home. You still have a separate workplace reserved for you, so to speak. That's, that's where we say in our future studies that it's very likely to emerge.
That and worldwide, of course not only in Germany, but worldwide.
What about the images of the future, Sven I would like to go into this again. What can we do, as individuals but also as a society, to really develop these positive images of the future, for ourselves or also for companies, which we see as an active task and claim. And to position ourselves more positively for the future and also to develop this Yes, as you said before, that there really is a development work behind it. Because I also see that there is probably another keyword, which concerns the whole technology hostility or this hostile attitude in general in aspects of the future, how can we get such a turn and get this in a positive direction?
Hm, well, the good news is these positive futures already exist. You don't have to completely reinvent them or anything. They're already out there in the world. A smart, smart person. I don't even know anymore. We are, what was not aware of who said it, he talked about that everything is everything that is future is already there in the world it just does not know everyone yet. He said it's distributed differently in the world. So what am I trying to say?
These positive images of the future that exist in the world parallel completely negative images of the future, completely positive images of the future and all shades in between. And the question of which picture of the future each one of us has in our head is simply a matter of where do I look, at which, so where, where do I pull my information from? Who am I letting shape me? Am I allowing my, my, my, my time, my consciousness to be imprinted and by whom not.
And I, I'll put it this way So I think I have a very, very positive image of the future. I think you get that when you read my books, my books. And of course that's because I let myself be shaped in my environment, so that I constantly get the I'll be very specific, that I get news every day about social media channels, about what do I know, what about all the channels of each of the best technology development in the world.
And someone has done this again and someone has done something else there and this brings this and this brings that. And from some investors from worldwide standups investors again invest in in new technologies and and thus eradicate diseases and extend life expectancy and produce electricity very sustainably, so to speak. And so on and so forth.
And if you surround yourself the whole day only with such news and the other news, that is, what you read in the newspaper or on TV and do TV and radio news so, so is read out, so to speak, if you ignore that, then you have a totally positive picture of the future and you have totally concentrated and focused on what is possible in this world, in the next 10 years, etc.? Whereas if you do it the other way round, that is if you only read, let's say, normal German newspapers and watch normal German television and you also only have friends who somehow see everything black and say Oh, it all makes no sense anyway and everything is bad anyway and what do I know, the politicians are deceiving us as this it so yes then you just have a very bad, future-oriented, very, very, very negative picture of the future and believe it that it's going downhill.
So therefore back to your question What do we need to do, both for us individually and for us as entrepreneurs? If you will, yes, if you have responsibility for businesses. I think the Hück the biggest responsibility we have is to actively shape our our mindset, our awareness. To actively surround ourselves with the information that is just positive that somehow says it's going to we're making big steps. Mankind is making great strides in the next few years and not only claiming that, but also proving that through, well, through daily success stories, so to speak.
And those people and information to disconnect, to cut yourself off from those who just eat energy, who just eat away energy, eat away energy optimism and ultimately give you a negative picture of the future. So I'll say it again I said this earlier there are there are different futures. Each of us has different futures.
And in fact, if we. If someone is convinced of themselves or convinced that they have a very bad future and that their children will be worse off than they are, yes, there's a relatively high probability that that will be the case. Whereas if someone has the conviction and talks to people who are constantly creating these how shall I say it's able to create these successes and are convinced that their children will be better off, then the children will be better off.
So that's the one here. Both of those are in the world and I'm a person who is the very close contact with these positive future images because they like I'm not making this up. So none, none. None of the stories that are in my book or in our studies I kind of made up. I'm just, I'm just analyzing them. The question is just what are you sort of analyzing. So where do you bring your focus. So to that extent, I think first of all, and by the way, we do this in the coaching sessions that I, that I do, that's the very first exercise.
By the way, no matter if it's online, coaching or live or whatever, one of the very first exercises is get clear about your mindset and if you have a mindset that tends to be more negative and the negative future picture, then, then we change your mindset. Then we just completely reshape your information environment and you can see, you can really directly understand how the mindset changes. That's the very first point. And then, of course, there are many, many steps.
There are three, three steps, which are basically called firstly, get to know, so I always say discover your future environment, so get to know what, if you were to do nothing now, what the others are doing and how that would change your life in five years, so to speak. That's the environment, most of us can't do anything about it. So what somehow big politics does or what Google or Amazon or whoever decides, most of us personally can't do anything about it.
But you have to understand what they're doing. And within that environment is what I always call the possibilities space. Within that environment you then develop different possible futures. Is into these 10 future selves that I talked about earlier and sort of develops your ideal positioning if you will within that possibility space. And then the third step is. Then you set your path. So through this back casting method that I've already talked about, you then calculate exactly and make yourself an exact plan, what do I have to do then and then, what do I have to do then and then, what do I do then and so on.
And in order to really get out of this, out of this idea, out of this picture of the future, and to make a real future self out of a picture of the future. So as you can see, from my point of view it has nothing at all to do with hocus-pocus or luck or fortune-telling, but is a pure, pure scientific methodology, which one, and by the way we also have nothing to do with somehow Chaka or or esotericism or any other clairvoyant fortune-telling stories, but it is a really very, very sober strategic methodical approach, with which each of us can give ourselves every five years again a new image of the future and a how, so to speak, a successful, a more successful future can work out.
We just have to do it. The problem for me is not in the
School. That is my main problem or my main task for the next few years. I will do everything I can to ensure that there is a school subject on the future, and if it is only very small, that's okay too. But that pupils learn that there is a method how they can permanently work out these images of the future in their whole life, because that is the basis for a successful life and a self-determined life from my point of view.
Yeah, absolutely. Because as we talked about in a conversation. The lifelong learning will never stop, as you have also addressed in your new book Generations Immortal so I think is the title, we will probably or our children quite normal, the 100 years in the year 120 years also in quite, quite different life cuts have, in the next decades, because if we have more time, I have to change there the whole drumher her. And I think what there just somehow or at least from my point of view.
It is important that we do not lose this human connection with the technology and the people included and draw a positive picture and then also develop all.
Yes, you, I believe that this Human Connection will even become much stronger, because simply technology takes things off our hands, which we, like I say, if you look at a normal worker on an assembly line, somewhere in a factory on an assembly line, today yes, he does eight hours a day or seven and a half hours a day. Things that don't really promote human connection, but he actually works as a machine. He does activities that a robot could also do and that, in my view, a robot should do, so that this person can really focus on the Human Connection, so that he has time to, so to speak, live the interpersonal aspect more strongly in his life.
So from my point of view it's exactly the technology that leads to giving people the time and the space to give them the opportunity to act more interpersonally. And now, of course, and this has to be said, whenever we futurologists talk about technology and technology development, there are two kinds of reactions among our readers and among our interlocutors. The first reaction is called "For God's sake, that's terrible. Now technology is taking our jobs away. Then we don't have at all, then we don't know what to do anymore either.
Because then we'll be sitting in front of the game console all day, playing games and getting fat. Some people say that and others say that it's wonderful when technology takes away our work or these routine activities, so to speak. Because then we have much more time to be creative, to finally do what we really wanted to do, what's really in us and so on and so forth. And the big question now is who is right about that?
And honestly, it sticks the answer as always is the answer in the middle. Somewhere. Yeah, but. But I'm. I'm really optimistic at this point. I don't believe that man or mankind as we live today so with eight hours of wage labor a day. I don't believe that man was born for eight hours of wage labor a day. That's perhaps a bit rhetorical. But we, we, we will certainly come up with something better if we, if at some point, not yet by 2030, but perhaps by 2000, that is in our studio and 2050 or thereabouts, the volume of available wage labour begins to decline.
So then come such debates. We wouldn't all have to work eight hours anymore, we'd only have to work six or four or or only two days or three days a week and so on. And I'm rock solidly convinced that humanity can come up with quite a lot of useful and great things if it just has more free time.
I couldn't agree more. If people want to take our conversation slowly to the end, more than engage with you on your approaches. I've been sneaking in a bit about you and your channels the last few days. I heard something like Janszky Day. Tell but times briefly to what people can come afterwards with you in contact to these thought games and future images also like to develop further and to do something actively there .
Well, you are, you are absolutely right. I am at the moment or I and we my colleagues we are on very, very many channels on the road, because just our our endeavor is to break down, so to speak, what we can, so the scientific methodology so that as many as possible have a benefit from it, and indeed both individuals and as well as companies. Because the entry is actually quite good over such a one-day online seminar.
Yes, for companies there is the so-called Future Day. There I tell really very, very compact in one day, which methods the companies can apply for themselves, how the most important trends, the value chains, changes that will continue to Our business model for the next few years are really very, very compact in one day. That's what's called the To be Ahead future day and for individuals that's Janszky Day. And on this Janszky Day I also tell a day or actually only half a day.
So that starts 12:30 German time and goes to 5:30 - 6pm digital. So everybody can do that on Saturday afternoon. Anyone can do it from home, so to speak. It really costs very little money because there is always a discount campaign and so as many people as possible can come, so to speak. And on this Janszky Day you get the overview, the overview, the overview of what you can learn for your own future development from a futurologist.
Which, steps of the individual, so how the individual steps run, where we say, this is the most effective and fastest way to lead you to your future self. Then there are many examples of coachees that I've had who have actually been very successful on this path. So I already talked very briefly about the fact that we futurologists also found startups or, let's say, help startup founders to build their startups.
There's the connecting of course with such a coaching and there's quite great, quite great results, where within 18 weeks not 18 and 12 13, 14 months from the from the startup foundation to the first 5 million round of financing that have come, so really in 18 months have made a real, a real leap. My record so far is from 0 to 50 million in 18 months. There's a that was an Israeli company. Savor Eat is their name. I met the founder on a,Learning Journey that I did, through Israel, walking through the through the university, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
After the lecture, I was walking through a cellar, really a cellar, through a cellar corridor, and I looked to the right and to the right in a room, there was a student working on a machine, and I let her explain to me what she was doing, and they said with big eyes. This machine will eventually print meat, so in the 3D printer that prints meat. and I said Hey, if you can do that, it's great.
That's exactly what it says in our studies and I'll help you now so if you want, I'll help you, I'll coach you, I'll give you some money, so as a first -investor so to speak. And it took this woman 18 months until she went public in Tel Aviv and was really worth 50 million, the company was worth 50 million. So all that in this Janszky Day. Now that's not to say too much to sound too financial. So many, many coachees who participate in this Janszky Day or first participate in the Janszky Day and then
possibly do an online course with me or also do live courses with me. They are also not so financially oriented, but they just want so there are great examples I also tell how someone has found back to his passion, so to speak, who had somehow slipped into such a manager and manager activity, but actually deep in his heart is simply a drummer so drummer, so to speak. And the one who now so to speak can really connect his passion of course also with money and also has to earn a little bit of money with it.
So in short, I think this, this path that we describe there, namely in three steps. Identify your image of the future. Develop your image of the future and achieve your future I this, this, this scientific methodology is manageable for everyone. You don't have to have studied it, don't let the word science distract you or scare you off. You don't have to have studied at all. Anyone can do it. And within half a year you get really visible results.
Well, I don't want to advertise too much. The Janszky Day is the start for something like that. And whoever wants to do it, there is a regular Janszky Day in digital form at the moment, that is, for two months. Later, when we are allowed to meet again with Corona, that will be halfway over, then there will be those again in the big cities as a live event, so to speak. In the big cities in Germany and so on.
That's the easiest way to get started. And who is already too difficult, which can also read a book of me is also no problem. Just order a book first. On the web page Janszky.de is a quite simple web page there is in principle everything that in the
Summary you can, you just come over here to Janszky Day, you just come to the books. Some of them are even free.Can be sent to you. And then you get in and you develop. And that's the most important thing is taking responsibility, taking your future into your own hands and shaping your future self. If you want that, Janszky Day is ideal for you. For those who don't want that, Janszky Day is ideal.
Yes, but that's exactly why I mentioned the day and also the possibilities. Thank you for bringing that up again with the books and also with the online courses. Because I think, as always or mostly in life, it's important to get into the action and not to remain somewhere so idle from the observer's perspective and then wait and see what then comes crashing down on you. I think that is crucial that we simply get into the doing and we just addressed us, the future that we ourselves wanted to have, also co-create.
Dear Sven, thank you very much for the interview. It was really very informative and I was able to learn a few new things myself, especially with regard to the shortage of skilled workers, which will be very strong in the future, and also the images of the future that we discussed. Was in any case is worthwhile and I'm glad that now the time also waited me with you here to find and the time and thank you again quite cordially. It has been great fun for me.
Many thanks to you.
I want to thank our guests for joining us today. If you want to find out more about the Work of Sven of his Think Tank to be ahead, visit the website zukunft.business to open up some new personal frontiers. You could also visit his personal website and grab a copy of his latest book 2030 your path to the future. All links can be found in the show notes and description. You can subscribe to the virtual frontier on Apple podcast, Google Play Amazon, Stitcher, Spotify YouTube of ever podcast can be found.
And while you're there, you can leave us a review. Please support us on Patreon so we can keep improving the show and your experience. On behalf of the team here at the virtual frontier I want to thank you for listening. So until next episode, keep exploring new frontiers.