Birgit Gebhardt is an expert for trend and future consultancy. At HIIG she analysed Foresight processes to pre-estimate the impact of internet supported technologies on society. For her research she merged scientific findings from technology assessment processes with methods of trend- and futurology. The aim is to design a strategic foresight process, helping companies or public institutions to identify new potentials of internet-supported technologies at an early stage.

Her dissertation project was based on twelve years know-how. From 2007 to 2012, Birgit Gebhardt was managing director of Trendbüro, one of Germany’s influential trend consultancy, based in Hamburg. During this period she directed the implementation of a new trend- and knowledge management, based on social media communication principles, operating now in 15 countries all over the world.

Before being appointed managing director by Trendbüro founder Prof. Peter Wippermann, she proved her skills in qualitative trend analysis for six years as senior consultant, developing numerous product- and communication strategies for renowned clients like Audi, Procter & Gamble or stilwerk.

As author of the book “2037 – Unser Alltag in der Zukunft” (2037 – our everyday-life in the future), commissioned by the Körber Stiftung, her public activities include lectures, studies and interviews as expert or moderator in workshops, think-tanks and committees.

Birgit is member of the expert committee “Arbeits- und Lebenswelten in Deutschland” of the Bertelsmann Stiftung, and is representing the Alexander von Humboldt Institute of Internet and Society in the ‘Münchner Kreis’ consortium, focussing “the futures of work”.

Before becoming a trend researcher, Birgit graduated as engineer of interior design in 1994 and worked in offices in Paris, Tokyo and Hamburg. 1996-2001 she joined the editor team of the magazine Design Report. Birgit is member of the board of trustees of the Academy of Fashion and Design (AMD), where she taught trend research from 2001 to 2003. She was invited as guest speaker at several Universities in Germany and Switzerland.