Nordicum - Real Estate Annual Finland 2014 - Page 67

In Casti’s views, it is no accident that “futurists” of all types – including economists and political analysts – fail at prediction. They get excited at major peaks in society and cynical at major bottoms; as a result, investors take risks at major tops and pull in their horns at major bottoms – just when they should be doing the opposite. There’s No Going Back Casti’s work on the development of earlywarning methods for extreme events in human society has been groundbreaking, so it was no wonder that the presentation at Aulanko was met with great interest. What does the future hold for the real estate sector? According to Casti, the problem with almost all social prediction is that it is based upon the extrapolation of present trends into the future. “And this always fails – because trends change,” Casti says, adding that there has never been a useful approach to anticipating changes in social trends. He feels that all that is wrong with social prediction today is due to one simple error: the presump- tion that “events” cause social moods and trends. This assumption, in fact, like the predictions it produces, is exactly backward, Casti argues. An example: most people think that a productive economy makes people optimistic and that an unproductive economy makes people pessimistic. The opposite is true: Optimistic people make a productive economy, and pessimistic people make an unproductive one. Casti admits that this concept sounds simple enough, yet no one in the social sciences has made this case before. Still, at stock markets around the world, this idea is not totally unheard of as everybody recognizes the significance of sentiment as a driver – and surely “sentiment” is not too far removed from “mood”. Random Success? Casti’s torch was carried on by Finnish thinkers such as Ilkka Kakko and Mika Aaltonen. Ilkka Kakko, founder of Karostech, commented that in the future, innovation management will give way to “serendipity management”. Serendipity? Sometimes called a “happy accident” or “pleasant surprise”; serendipity involves running into something good or useful while not specifically searching for it. For real estate professionals, the concept is highly useful as the need to nurture creativity is evident in the offices of future. Via various co-working solutions, for instance, people from various backgrounds can get together and something new can emerge from this. Aalto University Professor Mika Aaltonen painted a vision of Renaissance Society to his audience, predicting a new era of individualism and creativity. Aaltonen belives that we are in verge of a new age where consumer becomes a creator: spurred on by new technology, there is very little he can’t achieve. Reinventing Nature But what does this mean from real estate perspective? According to Aaltonen, one answer can be found in urbanization – as the majority of humanity now lives – for the first time ever – in cities, this will mean a reevaluation of man’s relationship with nature. “There will be a market for re-creating nature,” Aaltonen says. From the point of view of the developers, this means that the focus will not be on square metres alone, but also the natural values present in the surrounding areas (or within the building itself). Aalto University Professor Mika Aaltonen. Nordicum 65