Meet Barbara:

When Barbara was seven years old, she wondered how her cousins in the UK were able to speak English so beautifully. How did they master it? Her father told her: just tell them how you are able to speak Dutch so well...

The use of deliberate perspective switching for the benefit of mutual understanding never left Barbara. And in October 2013, when she started her Ph.D., she set out to understand the perspectives of both future and present focused CEO's. As it turned out, it was variation in expertise type that separated the CEO's.

What's futurist Barbara's story?

My Expertise Blinded Me

In this website, Barbara describes how top-managers can sensitize themselves and their teams to emerging disruption, how to implement a lightweight foresight process and to infuse their major decisions with foresight data. She learned it the hard way and wants to help you avoid that experience.

Barbara's baptism of fire in foresight and strategic decision-making took place many years ago, while she was trying to save a company from extinction. The range of difficulties in forward looking decision-making, particularly during the daily fight to make ends meet was extremely painful. Upon dismantling the company, Barbara wanted to understand how managers can see the directions of change earlier and accurately, so she began conducting research in this area.

I was taken by the idea that our expertise can make us blind to new, emerging, dangers and that another way of looking could improve the timeliness and accuracy of our strategic decisions

A few years later, as Barbara was learning more and more about decision-making and foresight, she realized that this knowledge may make the difference between an organization's survival or fall. Once she knew that understanding the limits of our expertise can help us become more competent searchers and interpreters of strategic information, Barbara started working on the means to get managers and entrepreneurs the same knowledge to increase our organization's chances of survival.

Barbara's speeches, masterclasses, and consultancy approach are her attempt to take her research findings and deliver them in a hands-on, no-nonsense way. Barbara wants more managers and entrepreneurs to learn and overcome the limits of their expertise, discover the excitement of foresight done right, and possibly use some of the insights to supercharge their organization's decisions.

how to introduce Futurist barbara?

The No-Nonsense Futurist

Barbara is a no-nonsense Dutch futurist and one of the few scholars specialized in how top-managers perceive the future in the information they consume (weak signals). 

Barbara goes on when other futurists stop: AFTER the exciting-scary videos of technological wonders. She does not leave you in turmoil, but she will help you with practical, actionable insights.  You will learn how to become sensitive to disruption, to implement a lightweight foresight process and to infuse major decisions with foresight data.  

When you're feeling an urgency to adapt the business to new and latent demand but are not (yet) sure how, then Barbara is the futurist for you: CEO's can shape the future under two conditions. Firstly, they envision at least three possible futures. Secondly, they innovate their way out of the present to survive and thrive in each future. 

Her entrepreneurial experience of 20+ years as a consultant in multiple industries and a Ph.D. in foresight come together in a thorough, can-do attitude. She will roll up her sleeves and respectfully spin your market foresight around for a full inspection. You will be asked to participate in foresight and learn to find new purpose on-the-job. As Barbara goes to work, she will think out-loud, sketch what she sees, and make suggestions for new approaches. This makes her easy to understand and difficult to ignore.

When Barbara's not busy speaking or advising, she loves to hang out with the equally curious. She has been known to talk lengthily and deeply about the wonders of human cognition, dog-dog interaction, or the preparation and savoring of good food.