Themes

My speeches are suitable for events that are about how we will live in the future; i.e architecture, lifestyle, design, furniture, building, and city development. Below are outlines of 4 of my most popular speeches, as well as an A to Z of topics to choose from depending on the event and audience and the customers wishes. For more detail or information about any of these, please don’t hesitate to contact me: o.strathern@zukunftinstitut.de

FUTURE LIVING: MEGATRENDS
AND BUILDING FOR TOMORROW

This talk takes a look at the Megatrends and the impact they will have on how we will live, on architecture, design, and the cities of the future.

Understanding and exploring the Megatrends is the key to understanding how we will live in the future. The demands today on our homes and cities are bigger than ever before: not just in terms of technology, but also in terms of our longer lives, gender roles, work and design. How will architects, city planners and designers face the challenges of increasing technology, mobility and our multi-biographical lives?

  • The new life phases: how the down-ageing effect is impacting on our lives and living spaces
  • Megatrend women: the changing work and home landscape
  • Individualisation and the We-volution: from the single society to a new network culture.

Changing lifestyles means that our homes are becoming increasingly flexible, modular and “smart”.  But what really is “smart”? What role will Megatrend connectivity have in the home of the future?Will robots cook for us, and will our life be enriched or made simpler by the connected home? Smart living will not just be about how we can integrate technology, but also about social intelligence, adaptability and flexibility. The home of the future will, in a hyper-urban world, be a more “mindful” space – not just in terms of technology, but layout, design and function.

CITIES OF TOMORROW:
THE EVOLUTION OF A NEW URBAN CULTURE

This talk looks at new urbanism in the context of the Megatrends using inspiring examples from around the world with a focus on demographics, ecology, connectivity, architecture mobility and city planning.

Urbanisation is a force for good and we are moving not only towards greener urban landscapes, but “smarter” cities, better homes and working spaces. Architects, city planners and mayors are the new heroes of the future pushing for innovative solutions to the old problems and challenges of the growing cityscapes.

Individualisation, Silver Society, Connectivity and Mobility are just some of the key Megatrends changing how we will build, live and work in the new urban landscape. Taking examples from around the world we look at the new strategies, designs, materials and ideas that are forming the look, feel and function of our cities.

In the future living spaces will be defined not so much by square metres, but by the quality of the shared spaces. Which Megatrends are driving this rise in so-called co-culture: from co-working and co-living, to co-gardening and co-mobility. Flexibility, modularity, prefabrication and diversity are the new buzz words in city planning as well as movements such as urban acupuncture, shared spaces and mindfulness.

  • Smart Cities, Creative cities: the new benchmarks for city development
  • Creative Cities: the role of the creative class in the new urban culture
  • Urban Acupuncture: strategies to heal problem cities and city areas
  • New Urbanism: the Renaissance of the city depends on the evolution of a new co-culture-

The growth of the megacity means that worldwide we are moving from a political geography to a functional geography and entering a new learning phase and challenge for worldwide sustainability, mobility and life quality. 

THE MINDFUL HOME:
AN EXPERIMENT IN LIVING IN THE FUTURE

This speech is about how we will live in the home of the future using the example of the Future Evolution House. Built for a mobile individualistic family with the knowledge of Megatrends, it is a case study in thinking about architecture, technology and the home of the future.

What happens when two futurists build a house for living in the future? In 2010, Oona Horx Strathern and Matthias Horx and their two children moved into the Future Evolution House in Vienna. A live experiment in “translating” the Megatrends with which we work into a home and work space, this talk explores how we will live in the future through the planning and building of the Future Evolution House. It takes a look at the architecture, ideas and dreams behind an attempt to create a model for the future of living and working.

Is our home an adaptable system that evolves and ages as we do? The evolution of the contemporary home is the story of social and cultural change, but also of the power of architecture and design over our lives. The house we built is a flexible modular home-work space for four individualists that set out to challenges the old rules of building:

  • The Bathroom salon: the evolution from sanitary cell to a second sitting room
  • The Kitchen Hub: the new heart of the house that challenges new gender roles
  • Technology terror: the never-ending search for simple, smart  technology
  • Eco-tism: the eternal dream of self-sufficiency, energy autonomy and the symbolic salad.

TOMORROW’S VISIONARIES:
A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE FUTURE

Who were the most interesting, important and influential future thinkers and how can their methods, mistakes and successes can help future thinking today?

From Delphi’s virgin visionaries, to pop futurists, science fiction writers, trend gurus and evolutionary experts, this talk looks at how thinking about the future developed into a respectable discipline and how it has branched out to adapt to the changing needs and greeds of civilization.

In trying to predict how we would live, work and even love, some futurists were spectacularly right, some were embarrassingly and hilariously wrong, and some really gave the future a run for its money.

  • Which are the key lessons to learn from the world’s first and most successful future prediction business, the Delphi Oracle?
  • Who were (and are) the key movers and shakers in the business of predicting the future, what can we learn from them, their methods and their mindsets?
  • What does it take to become a great future thinker and why you should beware of the “futurists monkey trap”?
  • From scenarios and game theory to media scanning and Trendtrekking. How forecasting methods have developed over the years, and which ones can we rely on?