When I started at CIFS in the 70’s presentations were not a big part of the activities. This changed in the 80’s and particularly in the 90’s. The founder of CIFS, Thorkil Kristensen, was a brilliant lecturer who had mastered the technique of making presentations that left the audience deeply impressed by their own intelligence. He had the advantage of talking as a former professor, minister of finance and secretary general of the OECD. Today it is not enough to be somebody –with perhaps the exception of media stars – in order to make people listen. People are not willing to be bored and the competition from other media is tough. Therefor my motto is ‘to benefit and to amuse’. If you don’t to some extent amuse they don’t listen and if they don’t listen you can’t benefit. Edutainment is for me positive word. Having done some 3-4.000 presentations I think a have some practice. If you search me on YouTube you can find examples of that practice.
My presentations are always tailored to the event. This does of course not imply a total reinvention every time but different elements of futures studies are relevant in different events.
The content of the ’armoury’ of the futurist is in brief:
- Trends covering the shorter term – 1 to 2 years
- Megatrends – heavy, inertia rich, long range trends – up to 10 to 15 years
- Scenarios – alternative pictures of how the future could look like
- Wildcards – defined as events that are extremely unlikely but extremely rich in consequences should they be realised.
A presentation will always be a mix of these various approaches depending on the event.
Some subjects appear more often than others. Some of the more common subjects are:
- The future labor market
- Education in the future
- The future of the health sector
- The future company
- Economic crisis – and then what?
- Production in the future – where are we going to find our living?
These are concrete examples of presentations given already but only the imagination limits what could be interesting to look at in the context of a presentation. If it’s got a future it is most likely that it will be possible through the use of futures studies to say something and give some AHA experiences.