Trend researcher Sven Gárbor Jánszky predicts that the world of work is approaching a period of profound change

Saxony-Anhalt too, will see dramatic changes in the coming decade in the world of work and world we live in. In five years, a point will have been reached where less young employees are entering the job market than older employees leaving it. One of the most significant trend researchers, Sven Gárbor Jánszky, says that this gap can only be filled if everyone works longer in life. "As life expectancy is also set to rise significantly over the same period, this will no longer be viewed as something terrible" prophecies the manager of the think-tank "2bAhead Think!Tank GmbH" in Leipzig. With these thoughts, Jánszky really is ahead of the game.

He claims, that society must come to terms with the fact that in 2020 many men and women who would today be at retirement age will want to continue working. They would be encountering a job market very different to today's. Jánszky predicts "In 2020 work will be highly flexible. The trend towards a so-called project based economy will have become the norm". "Only 30 to 40% of workers and employees will have permanent employment contracts, and the number of freelance workers will double to 20%". All others will be so-called job nomads, who will change from project to project and from company to company annually or biennially. The 37 year old explains that they would not necessarily see this as a disadvantage or as forced temporary work, but rather as a choice they have themselves made giving them more freedom to plan their lives.

For more than a decade, Jánszky has been investigating the question of "How will we live in the future?" For 9 years the trend researcher has annually gathered together 250 top-level managers from Germany, Switzerland and Austria. Together they have devised a scenario for the future of what the world will look like in a decade's time and have developed ideas for future business models.

For Saxony-Anhalt it is a question of creating conditions to attract such job-nomads to the area. Jánszky emphasises that this has consequences for a number of branches: for the job market, for the real estate market, for child care and for schools. In his book he summarises the most important trends.*

These include the fact that technology will play a central role in life. The son of a Hungarian father and a German mother is absolutely certain of this. He describes the dominant trend, that the internet will no longer simply be the realm of the computer, "in a few years, every object and appliance that we use, regardless of whether it is a yoghurt pot, table, refrigerator, television, newspaper or anything else, will have an internet address and will be able to be controlled online" Appliances will be able to communicate with one another, compare data, analyse, evaluate and feed information to their owners for every situation in their everyday lives. Just as there are hardly any more televisions using cathode ray tubes, in three or five years there will be hardly any mobile phones which do not have internet access. Jánszky is describing a trend which he calls service-robotics where they will become intelligent, electronic assistants of people.

Jánszky sees the most important trend as a marked individualisation of life. According to him, normal mass industry is facing extinction. It will be replaced by production for individuals. He uses medicine as an example. In this field medicines and prostheses are manufactured to fit the special needs of every individual. The trend towards individualisation is also catching on in the media. Whereas today newspapers are still printed in large editions for all, Jánszky expects that newspapers and radio or television programmes will, in the future, be compiled according to specific individual wishes.

The researcher believes Central Germany has the sound innovative foundations in place to be able to keep pace with these dramatic changes. This applies to the area of virtual reality in Saxony-Anhalt, optics in Thuringia and the manufacture of microchips in Saxony. These strengths could be realised to an even greater extent in Magdeburg, Jena and Dresden, if these areas were successful in becoming influential centres of development.

The "future shaper" from Leipzig offers food for thought, however, with his opinion that lasting success will only be had by those who break the existing rules. He explains that the most important innovations of the 20th century came about, because their creators broke basic rules and therefore discovered new markets. In his book** which will be available towards the end of August, Jánszky portrays examples of such rule-breakers, who consciously cross society's existing boundaries. This examination of the past should enhance our view of the future.

*2020 - So leben wir in der Zukunft, Wien 2009 (2020 - this is how we will live in the future, Vienna 2009)

**Rulebreaker - Wie die Menschen denken, deren Ideen die Welt verändern, Wien 2010 (Rulebreaker - how people, whose ideas change the world, think, Vienna 2010)



Mario Hess
2b AHEAD ThinkTank GmbH
Gerichtsweg 28
04103 Leipzig
Tel.: +49 (0)341 564 34 54
Fax: +49 (0)341 564 34 55