Africa CACS Keynote Herman Konings to Introduce “Cathedral Thinking”


Trend analyst and consumer psychologist Herman Konings will present the Africa CACS 2016 closing keynote address, titled Cathedral Challenges: What Happens After What Comes Next? Konings is a genuine storyteller who inspires the spectator on an engaging course about the amazing world of passions and interests, trends and future expectations, and about what is and what will be.

Africa CACS will take place at the InterContinental Nairobi, Kenya, from Monday, 8 August to Tuesday, 9 August. For more information click here.

The following is a question-and-answer session with Konings.

ISACA NOW:  What major societal trends do you see in the near and long terms?
KONINGS:  To understand trend watching, it is vitally important to know what a trend is. It is not, as many think, a term exclusively associated with the world of marketing, fashion or design. At its most essential, a trend can be defined as the direction in which something/anything tends to move and which has a consequential impact on the society, culture or business sector through which it moves.

Trends are, therefore—as London-based trend forecaster Martin Raymond describes—a fundamental part of our emotional, physical and psychological landscape; and by detecting, mapping and using them to anticipate what is new and next in the world or business, we are contributing to better understanding the underlying ideas and principles that drive and motivate us as consumers, citizens, users, creators, and decision makers.

From a global point of view, interesting (societal) trends are, among other things, the growth of life expectancy (and the related overpopulation), the digitization of jobs, the sustainability (including mobility) challenge and the collaborative mindset of Generation Y. I have the strong conviction that these global trends are “true” global trends, not only relevant for Northern America, Europe or the Far East, but in the “long-near” (= within 5 to 10 years) also self-evident for Africa.

ISACA NOW:   As a trend watcher, what have you learned about the portability of trends? Does a trend in Europe, for example, generally translate into a trend elsewhere? Can you predict portability? Also, can you predict which trends will move from fad to mainstay?
KONINGS:  A legitimate question is whether trends are portable from one region or even continent to another. Can a trend detected in Europe take root in, for example, Sub-Saharan Africa? The answer is quite complex. One has to take into consideration different demographic, economic, socio-cultural, technological, ecological, political and—maybe the most tricky of all—psychological circumstances. On the other hand—and this is promising—the profound globalization of the 21st century means that younger generations (the so-called “Millennials”—GEN Y—and “Digital Aboriginals” —GEN Z) are behaving more and more in the same way as their peers on other continents. The similarities within a global age group have never been more pronounced as within the group of teenagers and twenty-somethings of today. This will obviously enhance the portability of trends associated with young adults.

ISACA NOW:  What will attendees of Africa CACS take away from your presentation?
KONINGS:  On 9 August, I will introduce the idea of “Cathedral Thinking.” Short-term, instant-gratification thinking seems to fail. Both consumers and business leaders are reconsidering the idea of long-term thinking. Like builders of cathedrals in medieval times (in Europe), when fathers passed the task on to sons, who in turn passed the task on to their sons. Once initiated to the job, cathedral builders knew exactly that neither they, nor their children, grandchildren or even grand-grandchildren would be joining in the housewarming party of that cathedral.

The attendees of my presentation at Africa CACS will learn, among other things, about sensors leading to an Internet that is more adapted to the individual, turning the Internet of Things into an Internet of Me. I will also be discussing the humanization of the digital and “augmented intelligence,” the joint forces of hyper-cognitive intelligence (supercomputers) and both social and emotional intelligence of (bio only) humans.

For more information on Africa CACS, click here.

[ISACA Now Blog]

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