In this book interview for ‘Strategic Tales’, Anne Lise Kjaer paints a picture of tomorrow world and explore how holistic thinking will impact on health and healthcare in the future.

Key Facts
* Anne Lise Kjaer is a futurist and a visionary thinker
* Born in 1962 in Denmark – apparently the happiest nation in the world
* Today I live in London

Q: What do you do?

I help global brands navigate the future. Originally I started my career in design and product development, over the years my work evolved into ‘deep’ consumer understanding.

Q: Why do you love what you do? 

Working with people is a constant process and always an inspiring 360º journey. When we start a project we never know the destination – we evolve with the project and this is why I love going to work every day.

Having seen Anne Lise Kjaer,  founder of Kjaer Global and leading futurist, speak at the TEDx Salford event earlier in the year, and as much of our own work is future focused, we were keen to hear more about what she does, her exciting work in trend mapping and to get her thoughts on the area we work in; healthcare.

So we were delighted when we got the opportunity to visit her at her North London office which is also her home. She was kind enough to show us around and introduce us to her family and colleagues; with beautiful open white rooms, and an impressive coffee machine, it is clear to see why Anne Lise has combined her living and working space in this relaxing environment.

Anne Lise has a background in design and started her trend mapping work in the fashion industry. But she found that her skills were transferable to a wide range of other consumer markets, and today she works with big brands like O2, Dell, Toyota and Ikea. It was interesting to see many similarities to our work in healthcare. We both help clients navigate the future. Like Strategic North, Anne Lise sees her role as one of ‘sense-maker’.

Her clients have a lot of information available to them but what does it all mean for them, and for their consumers? She uses a ‘toolkit’ that she has developed over the last 30 years to bring together, not only the facts and figures, but also the feelings and values that are all too often ignored, but are central to the way consumers and wider society behave.

Anne Lise’s toolkit has three key unique components developed by Kjaer Global:

The Trend Atlas
* The Consumer Mindset Maps
The Lifestyle Navigator


Using tools such as these allow companies to go on a journey and help them to participate in the future, with the clear message that “the future is not somewhere we go, it is somewhere we create”. Let’s look briefly at each in turn.

The Trend Atlas
The Trend Atlas is a mapping of significant global macro trends tracked in four dimensions; scientific, emotional, social and spiritual, giving a multidimensional view of what is having an impact on the changing world. Each of these segments includes a range of topics. For example, the scientific segment includes the emerging technologies, politics, economics and the environment. This is an evolving picture as you would imagine, as the map itself will change over time, with new trends emerging or shifting to different dimensions on the map, as society views alter.

The environment is an interesting example of how trends can change and shift; a few years ago “the environment” topic would have most likely been found in the emotional segment of the map; driven by major concerns within society about the future of our planet and the damage we were doing to it. Today, however, there has been a broad shift in the concerns of society and the future of the planet, towards a more inclusive vision with focus on people and the greater good of all. The upshot is that the environmental trends have evolved from the emotional dimension, and is now also rooted in scientific findings.

However that is not to say that the emotional elements of environmental concerns have disappeared, they have been reshaped. In the emotional dimension we find the trend ‘A Better World’; this is about participation and community, on both an individual and corporate level, together with conscious consumption and social entrepreneurship.

These trend maps will vary across different geographies too, so for example in the developed world the ‘Obesity Time-Bomb’ is a major trend, but in developing countries there are different issues, dealing with malaria, childbirth and starvation.

We asked Anne Lise what is the biggest trend shift she has seen in the last 10 years?

She has seen two major trends.
1) The impact of Social Media – influencing the demand for corporate transparency and the rise of the reputation economy
2) Wellness and Happiness as a crucial factor to a better bottom line and a more content nation.

Consumer Mindset Map
The Consumer Mindset Map is a segmentation framework which outlines core typologies, and looks at how influences from the Trend Atlas affect different mindsets of people. We discussed these core typologies with Anne Lise in terms of their overall approach to health and wellbeing:

* The High Achievers are ambitious individuals with a rational progressive mindset. They will make the most use of smart technology to gain access to diagnosis, online support services etc. Smart pharma appeals to them as they believe in progress and short-cuts.

* The Happy Bohemes are looking for the ‘Good Life’ and engaging narratives. They are likely to take advice from online forums and social groups. This family-orientated mindset will take a fairly traditional approach and visit the doctor to “do the right thing” for their family.

* The Cultural Explorers are proactive and informed citizens looking for participation. They will look to alternative approached to medicine, using treatments that are as close to nature as possible to avoid anything ‘too artificial’.

* The Karma Hunters want intelligent health and happiness, seamlessly incorporated into every facet of their lifestyle. They are happy to pay for technologically advanced products, and will use technology to stay healthy. They are likely to have health apps on their smart phones.

Like the Trend Atlas, the Consumer Mindset Map is adaptable, as individuals will cross over and move between typologies. In some cases this could be triggered by a life changing event, so if a High Achiever has a heart attack they may change their outlook on life and become a Karma Hunter.

We asked Anne Lise what is the biggest trend shift she has seen in the last 10 years?

She has seen two major trends.
1) The impact of Social Media – influencing the demand for corporate transparency and the rise of the reputation economy
2) Wellness and Happiness as a crucial factor to a better bottom line and a more content nation.

The Lifestyle Navigator
Finally, the Lifestyle Navigator is a tool that brings together the findings from the Trend Atlas and the Consumer Mindset Map, to form different future scenarios. By looking at how trends link to consumer behaviours and values, the potential future challenges and opportunities can be identified. The Navigator works to illustrate how trends impact behaviour, needs and values but it can also be used to compare consumer mindsets across different future scenarios. This tool is the key to understanding tomorrow’s people, and bringing future opportunities to life, by balancing both the emotional and rational landscape.

Impact on health and healthcare
Looking at the content of the current Trend Atlas we considered what this means for tomorrow’s world of healthcare.

Patients: will be empowered to make decisions about their own health and wellbeing. The ability to self-diagnose (or at least turn up to your doctor with some good ideas about what is wrong with you) is already increasing. But the future will see this taken to the next level, with full genetic profiles providing patients with the ability to make better, more personalised choices about their health and wellbeing. As people understand that they will probably live for many more years than their parents and grandparents, they will start to take greater responsibility for the choices they make, and the impact this will have on their extended later lives.

Physicians: this shift in patient mindset will also drive a significant change in the role of the doctor, which will change from one of an instructor, telling patients what they need, to one of a guide, helping patients make informed decisions about their own care.

Delivery of healthcare: will also change focusing on prevention and wellbeing rather than treatment. The approaches used will be holistic, but will offer patients real choices about the care they receive, from the type of practitioner they access (traditional or alternative), to the level of data privacy they are willing to pay for. Health and wellbeing packages will focus on the delivery of caring aspects of wellbeing, rather than the clinical ones, an aspect which is often lacking today.

Q; So what is the way forward for pharmaceutical companies in this new world?

Choices of products and services will be made by different customer groups using different selection criteria, whose demands in terms of information and communication channels will be different from today.

Q: How can these new relationships best be delivered?

“Radical transparency and holistic visionary alliances is the way forward for pharma to build a future they can thrive in,” according to Anne Lise. Pharma will need radical transparency because consumers will have higher ethical standards than ever before and will demand to know what type of company they are buying from. Building alliances that bring together the strengths of ‘the many’ will enable medical breakthroughs, and a sharing mindset is key to tomorrow’s success stories. The picture we paint is a much more holistic and humanistic vision of healthcare, which is a significant shift from today. Are we as an industry ready for that future and are we in a position to drive and shape the new world? One thing is certain, only by truly understanding the trends driving an inclusive outlook and employing future focused strategic planning, do we stand a chance of success.

Book Contribution
: Strategic Tales, October 2011

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