Back to the future

Insights , Technology
25.06.2019 Tempo di lettura: 1 minuti

The human longing for more slowness in the digital age

Magnus Lindkvist is one of the most important trend researchers of our time. In this Vontobel video interview, the Swedish futurologist explains which jobs will change in the future, which are guaranteed to remain, and why many people yearn for a little more slowness.

Futurologist and bestselling author Magnus Lindkvist

In his lectures and books, the Swedish trend researcher Magnus Lindkvist warns, "We need to understand the digital revolution as one of the greatest challenges humanity is facing. In this age, we must once again become researchers of our own curiosity. We must dare to experiment so we do not lose our humanity and empathy."

“In these fast-paced times, many people are yearning for more slowness in their lives."

Auditors will disappear; priests will remain

Lindkvist has made it his life's work to study our future (digital) worlds in the areas of politics, economics, faith, and sociology and examine their “sell-by date”. His tongue-in-cheek conclusion: In the future it will be a lot easier for people to do without accountants than without dentists and priests. Indeed, although artificial intelligence is much better able to handle massive amounts of data than the human brain can manage it, AI will not be able to replace the precision work of a dentist quite so quickly. Not to mention the spiritual succor that a priest has to offer.

“A priest can provide answers to questions that Google cannot answer.”

The wheel of time turns at different speeds

Lindkvist sees a further challenge for us humans in the compatibility between rapid technological progress, ongoing sociological change, and long-term climatic changes. His credo: "The wheel of time is spinning at different speeds and we have to be the ‘gearbox’ that synchronizes these different speeds.”

Who are we? How do we live today? And how will digitization change our lives? How the future will unfold is preoccupying society more than ever, with engineers, doctors, politicians – each one of us, in fact – seeking answers. This conversation with the futurologist Magnus Lindkvist is one of many contributions that shed light on the theme “Digitized Society” from a new, inspiring perspective. We are publishing them here as part of our series “Impact”.

Our great sense of curiosity at Vontobel means we are attentively following scientific research in many key areas. This helps us recognize new investment opportunities early on. That’s why our thematic portfolios and thematic investments also reflect megatrends such as digitization, as we consider companies that are making valuable contributions to solving global challenges.

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