2020 Vision expert insight

Magnus Lindkvist on the trends that matter


Trendspotter and futurologist Magnus Lindkvist argues that competition is the theft of big ideas – and offers his solution to unlock true creativity.

Magnus Lindkvist is a trendspotter, futurologist and author of ‘Everything We Know Is Wrong’, ‘The Attack of the Unexpected’ and ‘When the Future Begins’. He is an active member of TED and experienced keynote speaker.

Magnus Lindkvist

“You can choose to compete or create — but not both. The big requirement of competition is that you have a competitor, whom you are reacting to. If you look at the modern airline industry, for example, it is a kind of Game of Thrones, where company X tries to outdo company Y, with better pricing or wider seats, or a new destination. And it’s a short-term advantage.

“Competition is the theft of big ideas, because you limit yourself to what is already here. You start admiring what has already been done, instead of dreaming about what is not made. So actively create a different narrative. Give people a different story to believe in. It doesn’t matter what you do, craft your own world view and sell it.”

Business hacks

  • Magnus believes ‘infobesity’ is a rising trend, damaging to creative thinking. “Information has become a buffet, where we eat a little too much of the things we like, and ignore what we dislike. Widen your information sources, resist the temptation to linger on local media, or media in your native language. And don’t rely on second hand information – there is great value in direct experience.”
  • Are you allowing enough headspace for pure creativity? Magnus advocates scheduling three hours every week to do nothing but reflect: “Insights come when we let go.”
  • You can’t ignore risk, but don’t be mired by negativity. As Magnus suggests, “The big trend is that the future seems like it’s ending. But if we give in to this sense of unease, that just makes the worrying thing come true.”

 2020: Magnus highlights five key trends

 1. Macroeconomic volatility; 2. Digitalisation; 3. Globalisation; 4. Infobesity; 5. ‘Armageddon is nigh’ - a sense of unease that the world is ending, either through some kind of war, environmental disaster or financial collapse.


Can you answer the call for a creative response?

  • 82% of business decision-makers see a strong connection between creativity and desired business results
  • 61% do not see their companies as creative
  • Only 11% believe their company is highly creative.

Source: Adobe

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