“The future takes place outside the comfort zone”
The strategy consultant, travel visionary and founder of “vision alphabet” Remo Masala is constantly searching for answers. He wants to know: What kind of destination and hotel concepts will exist? What does that do to us and our environment? As a trend receiver, he has also provided some information for our research project. In this interview, he reveals why the project has helped him as well and how it has enabled him to develop further.
Foresight Academy: You are fascinated by the future. Why is that?

Remo Masala: “I am fascinated by the fact that today’s new will be tomorrow’s old. Just as the old of today was the new of yesterday. For me, this is the most exciting part of my work: thinking about tomorrow. Helping to shape change instead of just watching it happening. The future is not just coming – it is already here, in our present, and it is taking shape even before we can see it. This is a fact and it must be understood and taken to heart. Many companies know about this fact theoretically, but they refuse to really take notice of it.
You could also say that they behave like a child who covers its eyes and thinks that you can’t see it. Is it because of the stock markets that are rife with impatience – and which might prevent managers from communicating a visionary strategy? Or is it because there are too few entrepreneurial personalities who are authentic and truly embody a vision? Whatever the real reason might be: I would like companies to concentrate more on taking the future seriously and less on just managing the present.”
Foresight Academy: What makes you a trend receiver?
Remo Masala: “If you have a creative streak, you tend to want to change things all the time. I worked as CMO of travel companies for 20 years. I was never a typical C-level guy, though. I’m all about changing things for the better, about not maintaining the status quo. I feel that the status quo in general is rather boring. At “vision alphabet”, we develop concepts for hotel destinations – or rather for “public spaces” where people come together to have a good time. It’s always exciting when I tell investors that the real future will differ from the version of it that they would like to spend their money on. Investors often want to copy an existing success story – even though they would never admit that. I go through life with a lot of curiosity and I feel constantly inspired. I have been travelling the world for decades, being open to other people and cultures and absorbing what I feel. I bring the right persons together for certain projects and I stay close to the clients until the success manifests itself – unlike consultants, we do not disappear after the concept paper has been written. Maybe this is how I’ve become a visionary and thus a trend receiver at the Foresight Academy."
Foresight Academy: What did you think of the Foresight Academy’s work?
Remo Masala:
 “I especially liked the one-on-one conversations and found them to be very enriching: as a trend receiver, I was asked specific questions by people from various companies and industries. I tried to really understand the respective industries and I wanted to encourage people to believe that change starts with them. Their will, their strength, their belief in their personal work will change the world. The future needs doers. The people I have spoken to know very well what tomorrow will look like. But the future always takes place outside the comfort zone. In order to leave that zone behind you, you have to step out of it – and you have to take that step yourself. I believe that the Foresight Academy enriches its members in a unique way.”
Foresight Academy: We develop desirable visions of the future. Which is your favourite one?
Remo Masala: "From a purely economic point of view, it would be nice if future companies were no longer just interested in making money with outdated management principles. Instead, they should think about their own attitude towards the world. In this way, they could add an emotional value to their products and thus differentiate themselves from anonymous and soulless corporations. In the future, margins will no longer be just the difference between costs and sales. A calculation that must include soft factors will co-determine whether companies are successful or a failure. I believe that every company will need such a societally relevant mission if it wants to be successful in the future."
»I would like companies to concentrate more on taking the future seriously and less on just managing the present.«
»We are used to focus on the strong and powerful, but we should never forget the weak. If we remember this, the future will be good to us.«
Foresight Academy: How should people look to the future?
Remo Masala: 
“They should not be afraid of it. The future comes – whether we like it or not. And we will like it better if we stay agile and don’t just look on phlegmatically. We can challenge the new at any time, but we shouldn’t become arrogant. We are used to focus on the strong and powerful, but we should never forget the weak. If we remember this, the future will be good to us."
Remo Masala, Founder of www.visionalphabet.com 
Photo: Steve Herud, Berlin