“Nobody can know today what tomorrow will bring. But we can carefully monitor trends and deduce what they could mean for the future of the energy sector. Our aim is to intelligently and actively help shape the future.”
Jakob Engel looks into the future for innogy
We don’t have a crystal ball that can tell us what is ahead of us. However, we at innogy still look carefully toward the future.
The market environment for energy suppliers has fundamentally changed in the last few years. The way we generate, distribute and use energy is changing more quickly and radically than ever before. These changes will even gather speed in the next few years, and there is no way to tell where exactly these changes will take us. But we want to predict the future of the energy sector as accurately as possible. This is why innogy has created a Corporate Foresight team. The team collaborates with colleagues from a range of different departments to look toward the future and identify and systematically analyse relevant trends.
In doing so, Corporate Foresight aims to identify future areas of activity for innogy and pave the way for the future at an early stage. To do this, we look far beyond the boundaries of our current areas of activity or of the energy sector. We invite external experts and trend researchers on a regular basis to exchange ideas with them, in order to avoid being blinkered by our habitual way of thinking.
Technological developments give rise to many opportunities as well as risks for our business. This is why the Corporate Foresight team has a dedicated focus on technology development. The aim is to identify and evaluate relevant developments in the energy sector and beyond. To do this, we draw on the many expert networks innogy is part of, search for patents and use a Web crawler, a software solution that automatically searches the Internet for news and informs us about relevant new developments.
We also monitor the social, political and economic climate and consider contemporary environmental issues. We also think about the different ways these areas may affect and be affected by technological developments. This approach sharpens our understanding of our customers’ changing requirements, our market environment and the potential applications of technologies.
We use this knowledge as a basis for designing a wide range of future scenarios that help us to not only prepare for but also help actively shape the future. What is more, we analyse issues on a regular basis that shed light on aspects of these future pictures, e.g. artificial intelligence and mobility. This way, we define the direction in which to take our R&D projects, which in turn allows us to develop new technologies that are useful and ready for the market. The Corporate Foresight team gives us a comprehensive vision of the future, allowing us to formulate the strategic direction of innogy.
The team’s foresight activities improve our agility and capacity for innovation and enable us to develop exciting, environmentally friendly solutions that will improve the lives of people well into the future.