Future Studies expert Leo Nefiodow was a keynote speaker at the 25th annual European Association of Hospital Managers (EAHM) congress held in Berlin between 10 and 13 September, where he presented his acclaimed work and discussed the role of biotechnology in driving the economy of the current and future decades.
Following Mr. Nefiodow's presentation at EAHM 2014, entitled ‘The Sixth Kondratieff – The New, Long Wave of the Economy’, we sat down with Mr. Nefiodow to get to know him a little better through our 7 Questions:
1. What are your key areas of interest and research?
My area of research lies in holistic health, whereas my personal key area of interest is my relationship with God.
2. What are the major challenges in your field?
There is a strong conservative attitude, which sustains our collective inability to enter the 6th Kondratieff. As explained in my presentation, humanity needs to attain a mental health level that embraces charity in order to be genuinely interested in the health of others. The virtue of truthfulness is required to achieve this.
3. What is your top management tip?
Believe in God.
4. What would you single out as a career highlight?
That highlight was a rather negative moment initially, which in the end became the turning point of my career. I used to be the chairman of a research institute when I was asked to step down due to differences with my superiors. This led to isolation in my job, which in turn led me to study the theory of waves.
5. If you had not chosen this career path you would have become a…?
This path was my destiny. I was born for this, and I believe I would not have been successful in anything else.
6. What are your personal interests outside of work?
I am a very curious person and I am interested in everything!
7. Your favourite quote?
There are so many clever and wise statements that have been made, it is very hard for me to single out one specific quote.
Nefiodow studied communication technology at Darmstadt Technical University, and since 1965 has held research-and-development positions with companies such as Siemens AG and IBM. From 1973 to 2002, he was affiliated with GMD/Fraunhofer Society in Sankt Austin, near Bonn. There, he served as Director of Project Management, overseeing IT programs and representing Germany at the OECD “software industry” expert panel. He also headed the Think Tank on Future Studies in Economics and Society.
In 1996, the first edition of Nefiodow’s book Der sechste Kondratieff (The Sixth Kondratiev) was published; the seventh edition of the book (in German) was released in 2014. Nefiodow is now world-renowned for illustrating the predictive power of the Theory of Long Waves, periodic economic cycles of approximately 40 to 60 years. They are named after economist Nicolai Kondratiev, who discovered the cycles. Previous waves were powered by a series of important inventions: the steam engine, electricity, the automobile and information technology.
Nefiodow has written and lectured extensively on the subject of The Sixth Kondratiev, which he believes is catalysed and carried by a holistic concept of health, including physical, mental, social, spiritual and ecological health. As such, he has said that healthcare is an area of opportunity for prosperity, and addressed the new role of hospitals and healthcare systems as growth drivers rather than cost drivers.
He has advised governmental agencies, such as the Germany Federal Ministry of Research and Technology, and private companies around the world. In 2004, the Club of Rome included him on its “Our Future Economy” task force, which focused on future research.
References: kondratieff.net; Medical Data Institute, International Institute for Health Economics
Image Credit: djd/Berufsverband Deutscher Präventologen