17 May 2022
His latest book, Gap the Mind, a play on the announcement that many visitors to London hear each year when passing through underground stations, is no exception. The gap in this case refers to the stretch that our minds have to make when crises happen and we are forced to embrace solutions, or ways of doing things at an accelerated pace – Covid, for example, and the speed at which we took to remote working, home delivery, video conferencing, new ways of working and doing business.
History, as he sees it, is laced with such examples, from famines that reframe our views on food security to the ongoing climate crisis where ideas that were once marginal, idealistic or fantastical – sustainability, renewables, even nuclear fission – are examined, embraced and embedded as the new norm.
In this way, he says, history teaches us that progress isn’t always about a slow, measured push into tomorrow, but about accelerated shifts that require us to be bold, brave, imaginative and daring to think differently.
We’ve survived,’ he says, ‘because we imagine and intuit the solution, not because we have it readily at our fingertips.’ And this is what good forecasting is about – imagining what could be, then helping people to broker a solution.
To find out more about Herman and his work, go to http://www.nxt.be/en, otherwise eavesdrop on his conversation with The Future Laboratory co-founder and fellow forecaster Martin Raymond here.