Visionary speaker & trendwatcher
Adjiedj Bakas: Biography highlights
Trendwatcher Adjiedj Bakas offers lectures, chairmanship and panel participation for events. Each year 150,000 people attend his lectures in the Netherlands and abroad.
Adjiedj Bakas (1963) is a highly acclaimed trendwatcher, author and speaker with roots in India, Latin-America and Europe. He researches financial, social, cultural, economic, technological and spiritual trends and interprets these for an array of clients.
Bakas is a much sought-after speaker for conferences, strategy sessions and other business gatherings. He is captivating, stimulating, visionary, humorous, inspirational, challenging, and accessible. He is provocative but always positive, even in these times of economic decline, hence a favourite phrase is: ‘A kite rises highest when it flies against the wind.’
He researches and interprets social, cultural, economic, technological and spiritual trends. He delivers inspiring and engaging lectures about 200 times annually for clients including Samsung, Apple, Credit Suisse, Philips, Air France KLM, DSM, Google, Microsoft, Shell, JPMorgan, ING Bank, Nike, Aegon, Canara-Robeco, Rabobank, ABN AMRO Bank, PWC, KPMG, Deloitte, E&Y and BMW. He was voted ‘Trendwatcher of theYear 2009’ and ‘Immigrant Entrepreneur of the Year 2008’ in The Netherlands. Dutch magazine ‘Management Team’ placed him in their list of the 25 most creative Dutch people, magazine ‘Sprout’ has described him as one of the 50 most influential Dutch people under 50 years of age, the Dutch Marketers’ Association NIMA elected him the most influential trendwatcher in the country, and he was voted one of the 30 most influential people in the Dutch financial industry by magazine ‘Fonds.nl’. His books about the future have been published in countries ranging from Brazil and China to Norway and Germany and have sold more than 600,000 copies worldwide.
The topics he covers take in a broad range of interests and sectors. He can speak to entrepreneurs about future-oriented entrepreneurship, to bankers about the banking of the future, to IT professionals about the role of IT in peoples’ lifestyles, and to builders and developers about the future of construction. He can also speak about trends in the labour market, in the healthcare sector and about the future of public administration. His work is always well grounded in research information about trends and the future, but never fails to entertain. Unorthodox, optimistic, inspirational and animated: he is one of the most appealing speakers currently available.
Bakas is a born optimist. ‘When my grandmother was young, housekeeping was a full-time job. She didn’t have a refrigerator, freezer, vacuum cleaner, toilet, washing machine or supermarket. Now it’s possible to do the housekeeping in just a fraction of the time. That is a terrific advance isn’t it?’ Bakas’ view is that the human race is continually making such advancements and that every crisis offers the potential for new improvements, even if this throws some people off course. ‘Look at the facts: there is less hunger in the world than ever before, there are fewer wars. The human race is richer than ever and there is a better distribution of wealth. Humans are fantastically inventive creatures!’ This inventiveness leads to huge potential for innovation. In his book The State of Tomorrow he describes the opportunities created by the economic global crisis for real entrepreneurship and for a real transformation of the economy. ‘Difficulties are just opportunities with spikes,’ says Bakas. ‘For example, a lower exchange rate for the Euro means cheaper and expanding export opportunities for European exporters.’
Love & loneliness
Despite his infectious optimism, Bakas is also alive to ‘the reverse side of advancement’. When working on his book The Future of Love he found that one in four Dutch people are lonely; that 30% of Americans have fewer friends than people did twenty years ago; that 20% of Americans have absolutely no intimate friends. As a result, Bakas concludes that loneliness will become one of the hottest topics of the coming years. ‘In a time when we have more means of communication than ever before, more people feel lonelier than has ever been the case in the past’. According to Bakas, happiness can be created; it is a question of making sensible choices. ‘Unhappy people get just as many chances at happiness as happy people. But unhappy people often don’t see them.’
Bakas has a unique ability to link economic and spiritual themes. In his book The Future of Faith he shows how economic trends run parallel to spiritual trends. He predicts the emergence of the ‘Personal God,’ created by and for every individual, which fits in with peoples’ growing spiritual awareness. He calls the environmental movement the ‘Green Church’ and predicts that in the twenty-first century it will become the largest church in the world.
Bakas has written various bestsellers about the future that have been published in the Netherlands, the US, China, Brazil, England and other countries. His English language titles include: The State of Tomorrow,The Future of Food, The End of Privacy, The Future of Health, The Future of Faith and The Future of Love and his first German book; Deutschland rechnet ab, about Germany after the collapse of the euro. The English books Plenty, about megatrends regarding water, energy and resources andState of Tomorrow appeared in the autumn of 2013.
What others say about Bakas
He is considered to be ‘eminent’ (Dutch TV show – De Wereld Draait Door – The World’s Going Crazy), ‘approachable’ (De Telegraaf, newspaper),‘unorthodox’ (Het Financieele Dagblad, newspaper), ‘Europe’s best trendwatcher’ (Story), ‘prominent’ (De Volkskrant, newspaper), ‘well-founded’ (NRC Handelsblad, newspaper), ‘the personification of advancement’ (Elsevier), ‘not commonplace’ (Intermediair magazine), ‘original’ (Elle magazine), ‘unusual’ (Linda magazine),‘exciting’ (Esta magazine), ‘optimistic’ (CNN), ‘inspirational’ (BBC), ‘provocative’ (TV2 Newscast Denmark), ‘festive’ (Quote), ‘a real citizen of the world’ (Times of India), ‘a major trendwatcher’ (China Daily), and ‘an oracle’ (Zero Hora, Brazil).
Watch Adjiedj in action
The Chartered Institute of bankers of Nigeria (CIBNG)
"I heard Adjiedj Bakas speaking in Lagos, Nigeria. He is such an inspirational speaker and a very personable fellow. He added color and glamour to our Conference. He was the toast of the conference and everyone enjoyed his presentations. He simply ran the show."
"Adjiedj Bakas lectured at our event in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. We only had raving reviews from our clients about his breathtaking presentation."
Intesa Sanpaolo Bank, Milan, Italy
"It was a great pleasure to have Adjiedj Bakas as speaker at our event!"
Design Post Amsterdam
"Adjiedj Bakas recently held a fantastic presentation for our costumers, architects, designers and others. We had a lot of high level visitors, his presentation was part of making this happen."
"I heard a lecture by Adjiedj Bakas in Berlin. It was truly fantastic, and definitely the best session of the whole week."
"Adjiedj Bakas was one of the 50 speakers at our major Shell conference about the future. The audience elected him as one of the two best speakers out of the fifty. We sincerely appreciate his out-of-the box future vision and the eye-openers he gave us in his witty speech."
"Adjiedj Bakas gave a wonderful and inspiring speech at the opening of our conference about the future of boat, during our annual Fair BOOT Düsseldorf 2014. Our audience was really delighted!"
"Thanks to Adjiedj for his inspirational presentation."
The Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN)
"Adjiedj Bakas was keynote speaker at our recent conference. He added great value to this 22nd WCBI (World Conference of Banking Institutes). His presence and presentations were invaluable."
Icomia World Marinas Conference
"Adjiedj Bakas was the keynote speaker at the ICOMIA World Marinas Conference. The feedback of the participants was very positive. We thank Adjiedj for his outstanding presentation."
"It was a pleasure hearing Adjiedj bakas speaking at a financial conference in Lagos, Nigeria. His presentation was unique, educative and interesting!"
"It was refreshing to hear Adjiedj Bakas speak. Hs speech struck me so much I haven't stopped talking about it."
Yakult Deutschland GmbH
"Adjiedj Bakas gave a meaningful and valuable lecture for Yakult in the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. I got a lot of energy and motivation from his speech."
Adjiedj's speaking topics
Trends 2021, the Year of the Ox
2020, the Year of the Rat according to the Chinese zodiac, would be the year of illness and economic recession as Adijedj correctly predicted in the summer of 2019.
2021, the Year of the Ox, will be a year of toil, both for citizens and entrepreneurs. Anyone who has the strength and perseverance of the ox will have a good year. It is not going to be pleasant for complainers. So let go, people. De Os is known for his robustness, health, enthusiasm, reliability, strength, determination and honesty. But it is also a stubborn creature and not such a good communicator.
All these qualities will return in 2021. It will be a year for go-getters, the strong, the stubborn. And there will be the necessary communication problems. Well-known Oxen are: Vincent Van Gogh, Walt Disney, Margaret Thatcher.
The Future of Energy
The prerequisite for making the 21st century a golden century for all of mankind is to have proper systems in place for the management and availability of water, energy and natural resources.
While there is pessimism about this in many quarters, this is without foundation. We can expect there to be super-smart water management systems that can regulate the availability of the 1 – 2% of fresh water to cover the needs of 9 billion people without the need for water wars. In addition we will make progress in desalination of seawater thereby increasing the fresh water available exponentially.
Whilst certain new forms of energy will make enormous progress we will continue to use some fossil fuels as part of tomorrow’s energy mix. Most waste products are destined to be re-cycled.
And more than that, there will be a bio-based economy that will process plant waste to become the basic resource for chemical and other sectors. Bakas will explain those breakthrough innovations that lie behind today’s headlines.
His stories will feature: smart toilets, houses that are self-sufficient in energy, green coal power plants, gas won from coal in an underground process, LNG, new mobility, the cars and planes of the future, the breakthrough of solar energy, space mining, smart water grids, smart energy grids, deserts destined to bloom again and new earnings models involving water, energy and natural resources.
Adjiedj has made an extensive tour of insiders and outsiders in these sectors and has written an exciting book on the subject entitled Plenty.
Compassion in care
Increased use of technology in the care sector is set to continue in the near future.
Think of the role of artificial intelligence and the use of health Apps - both will be increasingly familiar in the coming years. High blood pressure and sleep apnea will both be managed through means of chips implanted in the body.
There will be a choice of health insurances geared to a variety of lifestyle choices. Life and death with dignity will become the norm. Digitalization ensures that patients are better informed and become more demanding.
Doctors’ authority will be under scrutiny, and patients will require both proof and transparency with regard to their health professional’s medical knowledge. Since health is of great importance people are likely to force a revolution in this sector, and this is what the innovators in the care world predict.
Bottom-up patient organizations are expected to ensure that the autonomy of the patient is respected. But how trustworthy are the many medical websites consulted by patients before visiting the doctor, or used as a second opinion once they have been prescribed a form of treatment? The ‘nippies’ (= new hippies) are instrumental in forcing a blurring of boundaries between conventional and alternative medical treatments.
Food & Health will become a natural combination: by altering our diet we can prevent many illnesses.
A change of lifestyle can prevent or reverse Diabetes type 2. In the future there will be more encouragement of lifestyle changes to improve health. Currently we pay a doctor to make us better, but maybe in future we will pay the farmer to keep us healthy. How will the practices of doctors and consultants change? How will care providers change? And health insurances? Is it still necessary to maintain big hospitals? What is the future of medication in the care sector, and what are the developments in pharmaceuticals?
All of these subjects will be covered in this inspiring lecture by Adjiedj Bakas.
The Digital Transformation
A digital nerve centre comprising 1 trillion sensors delivers a continual stream of real time data and some fascinating new insights. In 2020 the market for IT-solutions will be worth approximately $7.2 trillion. Digitalization is completely transforming the existing measurement of wealth. There will also be a fundamental shift in the way consumers will relate to businesses. As well as access to the information highway, digitalization makes life easier for consumers in other ways, for example when doing their shopping, managing their banking, arranging appointments, booking travel and keeping an eye on their health. But digitalization trends are not linear. By 2020 many pure web shops will be bankrupt (IBM), because an integration of physical and digital is what customers want; omni-channel and click & collect represent the new shopping. This is one of the reasons that web retailers Amazon and Zalando are opening physical shops. The digital transformation will lead to the loss of 80 percent of current jobs (Singularity University). To date, insufficient new work is being created. A 3-day week, basic income and ‘helicopter funds’ lie in the future. Old coin disappears and new currency will come along, on the basis of blockchain technology. And all the joined-up digital functioning will increase our vulnerability to terrorism. IT security will take on even more importance. You could call it ‘the Israelization of the economy’ because it is in Israel that we find the most start ups and patents per head of population, a direct result of living under permanent threat.
Decades of peace and security have made us spineless. But now we will re-group and decide what is really of value. Today’s information revolution is leading to a ‘global political awakening of the masses’ according to Zbigniew Brzezinski (88), ex-US National Security Advisor.
The underground media that has sprung up has led to a situation where only 23 percent of US citizens believe the mainstream media. In Europe the same thing is bound to happen. And as elites lose power and control over their subjects they react in confusion. Censorship is back, having never truly been gone. Dictators are trying to control social media, for example in Turkey, and the privacy debate is increasingly heated. The fear of loss of power among the elites together with social unrest fed by mass unemployment and the threat of jihadism are creating the perfect storm that could lead to another world war. The modernised army will take up the task of cyber warfare. Increasingly ‘smart’ objects become new economic entities that start to participate in the economy alongside businesses, local authorities and consumers. Technology becomes ever more intelligent, autonomous, intimate, personal and intuitive. But will technology help us to become more human? The more important our online life becomes, the more we will value our offline life. We will find increased enjoyment in physical meetings, cooking and eating together, and sharing intimacy. We are heading towards a hybrid digital future. In the Century of the Citizen we will become happier and more complete.