Alexander Mankowsky

Futurist, Automobile
“In a dystopian future, technology drives culture, in a utopian world, it is the other way around. I hope we can contribute to the latter.” 

Futur/io faculty
biography

Born in Berlin in 1957, Alexander studied Sociology, Philosophy and Psychology at the Free University of Berlin. He graduated in 1984 with the title of Diplom Soziologe.

After four years in social services helping troubled children, he decided to follow the Zeitgeist and enrolled at a post graduate university, focusing on the then new field of Artificial Intelligence. After heavy programming in OOS and Prolog, he earned the title of ‘Knowledge Engineer.’ Since 1989, Alexander Mankowsky has worked in the research unit at Daimler AG, initially focusing on societal trends in mobility. This led him in 2001 to his current field of work as Futurist and Mobility Philosopher at Daimler Research.

Alexander Mankowsky is focused on human-centered innovation utilizing futuristic technological concepts. He is embedded in Daimler’s rich and diverse creative network. Discover the vision of Alexander Mankowsky on desirable futures in the Moonshot Thinking Masterclass curated by Futur/io Institute.

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Futur/io faculty ask
me anything

What’s your personal utopia?

A world in which we have managed to balance collective needs and individual freedom in a sustainable and resilient way. Diversity in my utopia includes biodiversity – our world view is multipolar and not just centered around men. Self-fulfilment should allow the development of talents in as many different ways as people will like. In my utopia we can be as lazy and industrious as it is in our genes, no need for continuous slaving around. Consumerism is contained through a circular economy approach. Bodily pleasures, aesthetics, productivity, interaction and play should provide a solid ground for satisfaction with life.

 

What was your first touch with the future?

In a professional way it started with the first wave of Artificial Intelligence in the 80-90’s at Daimler Research in Berlin. Before, the Radical Constructivism, as taught by Maturana and Varela cleared my view about our ability to think forward. Even before, it was Rhen Dark, a Sci-Fi series from the 60’s.

Creating future started in earnest around 2000 with concepts for research cars, product categories and devices.

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