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.
Others 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).