Back to the F**kture: Herman Konings

type - podcast
In the first episode of season two of the Back to the F**kture podcast, The Future Laboratory co-founder Martin Raymond discusses the adventures in the futures trade with Belgian forecaster Herman Konings

Given the current state of the world – from war in Ukraine to Covid to the ongoing climate crisis – we now need forecasters more than ever. Specifically, we need forecasters who take a more erudite, less linear, perhaps even a more poetic, look at all things related to the future.

Herman Konings is one such forecaster. He is author of seven books, studied theoretical psychology at the University of Leuven, and in his own words, ‘loves the theatrics of psychology and tomorrow as much as he does its theoretics’.

But he also loves forecasting’s complexity, as I discovered in my recent Back to the F**Kture podcast conversation with him. For him, forecasting is as much about drama, storytelling and the great potential and many possibilities of the human condition as it is about data, spreadsheets, and the forward extrapolation of bald facts and sometimes blind conjecture.

As he tells it, we can’t predict tomorrow, merely intuit, or imagine it. This was a lesson he learned from his own work, and from listening to the late great Watts Wacker, co-author of The 500 Year Delta, in which he suggests that we are moving from the age of reason to the age of possibility and imagination. And for Konings, as we hear, it is all about the latter, especially when dealing with the conundrum that is tomorrow and how we need to fabricate and design it.

‘Possibility and storytelling, when combined,’ he says, ‘are more truthful and accurate than any amount of data and analysis when it comes to envisaging the future, because data in many ways can exclude people and poetry, while good storytelling,’ as he learned from speaking with Wacker, ‘tells a great story, but a great storyteller tells you a story that helps you find yourself in that story.’

It is no surprise, then, that his books as well as his forecasts place people at the heart of their story as well as those fields like sociology, anthropology or psychology that attempt to explore, explain and decode them.

Published by:

17 May 2022

Author: Martin Raymond and Herman Konings



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, otherwise eavesdrop on his conversation with The Future Laboratory co-founder and fellow forecaster Martin Raymond here.

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