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Knowledge for Tomorrow’s Business


The desire to look into the future is as old as mankind itself. The Delphi Oracle, for example, was a place of pilgrimage for politicians, government leaders and heads for over 400 years. In the late 20th century, first scientific tools were developed in the field of prognostics. Analysis, scenarios and research took the place of mystic predictions to create a universal science which today occupies itself with one main question: Which changes, trends and mega-trends are shaping our present?

The Zukunftsinstitut was founded in 1998 by journalist and publicist Matthias Horx. His vision was to create a Think Tank to further develop prognostic techniques whose resulting knowledge and potential could be used both in the field of business and politics.

Zukunftsinstitut GmbH today sees itself as a platform for future themes and knowledge in the widest sense. The main emphasis is on German-speaking countries, but we see ourselves as Europeans with a global outlook. We are open to new network and discussion partners, and investors.

We produce trend reports and trend letters for management, marketing and a wider public. You can find a list of english publications in our future database. We organise speeches, seminars and future events, as well as offering coaching and consulting.

Our idea is simple: The future is a process that people create. Even if you cannot predict all “events” you can still strengthen your “future fitness”. As Pericles, the mastermind behind the Parthenon said: “The point is not to prophesise the future, but to prepare ourselves conscientiously for it.”


Future and trend research is all about changes. So, what factors – if any – can industry and commerce still go by when they want to actively shape their economic future? How can they develop a sustainable corporate strategy, being challenged by globalisation and emerging markets? Certainly not by using the good figures on the last balance sheets: The radical changes in society and the economy won't let what works reliably tommorow work successfully today.

Figures have no history; they only reflect the here and now. But how can company owners translate available information into valuable knowledge? Here, trend research acts as a catalyst and future-filter. We integrate vertical perspectives from industry into larger processes and wider contexts.

The examination of trends and developments takes place on several levels with different tools. Understanding the nature of change is the main condition for every successful business strategy. And a methodically sound manner of proceeding is the prerequisite for robust findings.

Some of those tools and methods are:

  • Desktop Research – main topics: Consumer Trends; Trends in Society, Economy and Technology; Future Target Groups.
  • Trend database: The Zukunftsinstitut features one of the world's biggest trend databases. Within this tool all the relevant mega-trends, trends and consumer trends are scanned, clustered ad analysed. Every case study will be matched and complemented with the help of this unique technology.
  • Worldwide Trendscouting-Network: To monitor all the relevant trends, we are staying in close contact with trend-scouts and journalists all over the world. For each case study, we are working together with a broad network of trend experts and future consultants.
  • Delphi Studies: To gather a broad base of understanding towards specific questions, we use Delphi Studies to evaluate the consensus of experts in certain branches – or across those, if necessary.


Our customers can be found in all fields – from banking and business to politics and retail. We are working with almost all German DAX companies, a lot of European STOXX companies and numerous other enterprises. These include:

Airbus | AOL | Beiersdorf | Bertelsmann | BMW | CapGemini | Deutsche Bank | Deutsche Leasing | Deutsche Telekom | Giesecke & Devrient | Hewlett-Packard | Kärcher | Knauber | Lattoflex | Maggi | Microsoft | NASPA | Nokia | Opel | L'Oréal | Rewe | Sparkassen | Ticona | Siemens | TUI | VW

Further information and contacts on request.



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