18. May 2023

Andreas Krafft

Andreas Krafft

Our Hopes, our Fears, our Future – Learnings from 15 years of cross-cultural and transdisciplinary empirical research


The current experiences of a crisis-ridden world have fundamentally shaken many people's belief and trust in a better future. This triggers negative feelings of anxiety and helplessness and has a massive impact on mental health, especially among young people. Against this background, the question is, whether there still is reason for hope and, if so, what keeps our hope alive? How we look into the future, whether with confidence, fear or indifference, will determine the way we feel, think and act in the here and now, both individually and as a community. We cannot change the past, but we have a common interest in shaping a good and sustainable future for all. Based on the existential and multi-layered nature of hope, this keynote presents an inter- and transdisciplinary approach to the study of individual and collective hope in different cultural contexts. It integrates concepts of positive psychology, futures studies and pragmatist philosophy into a comprehensive model. The proposed concept aims to do justice to the fundamental nature of hope by taking into account the diversity of situations in which people can hope and being sensitive to different cultural worldviews and values. We report on research findings gathered over the past ten years in fourteen countries from the International Hope Barometer Research Program, which provide valuable insights about people's expectations for the future, their hopes and fears for the individual and common future and their psychological and social well-being.

About Andreas Krafft

Andreas Krafft holds a doctoral degree in Management Sciences at the University of St. Gallen (Switzerland) with special focus on Organizational Psychology, Culture and Development. He has academic specializations in Social Psychology of Organizations, Work and Health Psychology as well as Positive Psychology from the University of Zürich. Andreas is associate researcher for futures studies and lecturer at the Institute of Systemic Management and Public Governance at the University of St. Gallen. Furthermore, he teaches at the University of Zürich in the field of Work and Health, at the Master of Applied Positive Psychology at the University of Lisbon, Portugal, as well as at the Master of Futures Studies from the Free University Berlin. He is co-president of swissfuture, the Swiss Society for Futures Studies, member of the executive board of SWIPPA (the Swiss Positive Psychology Association) and of the DACH-PP (German speaking Association of Positive Psychology). Since many years, he leads the International Research Network of the Hope-Barometer and has published several scientific articles and books on hope.