Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Futurist Stefan Hyttfors to Visit Dublin

Acclaimed Swedish futurist Stefan Hyttfors will be in Dublin this week to speak at the launch of a new global entrepreneurship competition, Journey Re.

Hyttfors is known for predicting technology trends that are changing the world.

His predictions include a future where machines can drive, but humans can’t; and where there are 90 per cent less cars in the world as a result.

He also envisages humans becoming part-machine; banks becoming defunct; and a strong “dematerialisation” trend, whereby people’s desire for material goods diminishes as they live their lives increasingly online.

Commenting in advance of his Dublin visit, Hyttfors said: “We live in the most exciting of times, where the internet is connecting people from right around the world. This has laid the foundations for a new kind of society: for the first time in history, civilisations are being cultivated through peer-to-peer collaboration rather than hierarchy.

'The future is about creating business models and new forms of society that expand wealth and quality of life, and this is the focus of my work. Change is what makes life fun, what makes each generation better off than the next and what makes this a great time to be alive.”

Predicting Future Trends

Hyttfors’ work covers topics ranging from public services and artificial intelligence to financial markets and employment trends. His recent insights include:

· The future gap between rich and poor will be in health. Today, healthcare is focused on curing illnesses and fixing problems. In 10 years, its focus will be on upgrading healthy people – who can afford it – with improved body functions.

· When everyone has constant access to information, knowledge is no longer power. The education system and the role of teachers will become irrelevant if they don’t adapt to meet individuals’ needs.

· In 10 years’ time, we will be as dependent on IT as we currently are on electricity. The world will be driven by data, and privacy and net neutrality will become the defining issues for future democracies.

· Change will never again be this slow. Digitisation has rapidly increased the pace of change and is also leading to demonetisation: we can’t charge the same as we did for a service in the past.

Journey Re: Reinventing the World of Insurance

Hyttfors arrives in Dublin this Thursday, 21st April, to deliver the keynote address at the launch of Journey Re, a global entrepreneurship competition with a prize fund of €70,000. The competition is an initiative of Hannover Re, the third-largest reinsurer in the world.

“Journey Re is looking for aspiring entrepreneurs to develop disruptive ideas aimed at reinventing the world of insurance,” said Hyttfors. “It’s the type of initiative that appeals to me because it’s encouraging people to look at a long-established system – in this case, the insurance industry – and reimagine it to make it better.”

A limited number of places are still available for the Journey Re launch event, at which Hyttfors will deliver the keynote address. The event takes place at the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin 8 at 5pm this coming Thursday. To register, go to: www.journey-re.com/dublin.