Sheryl Connelly – “Why Companies need Futurists”

By November 19, 2012Events

Sheryl Connelly, Global Head of Trends and Futuring at Ford Motor Company, will be at the Ross School of Business to speak to students about her career as a futurist, why companies need futurists, and the use of scenario planning in developing and stress testing a company’s strategy.

In a world where the pace of change is accelerating, a company’s ability to be “future ready” will be a defining factor in managing risk and recognizing approaching opportunities. Sheryl Connelly, gets a front row seat to weaving important corporate strategies that take such futures and uncertainties into account. On November 29th, Sheryl Connelly, Global Head of Trends and Futuring at Ford Motor Company, will be at the Ross School of Business to speak to students about her career as a futurist, why companies need futurists, and the use of scenario planning in developing and stress testing a company’s strategy.

Sheryl Connelly has worked for Ford Motor Company for the last 17 years, the last nine of which has been as the Global Consumer Trends and Futuring Manager. As the corporate futurist for Ford, she identifies and tracks trends in social, technological, economic, environmental, and political arenas in an attempt to understand and anticipate shifts in consumer values, attitudes, or behaviors. Her work supports and informs design, product development, strategy, business, and marketing functions. Sheryl has also held a variety of field assignments interfacing with Ford’s dealer network.

In addition to her work at Ford, Sheryl teaches Design Research at the Center for Creative Studies in Detroit, MI; has been a guest lecturer at Massachusetts Institute for Technology, University of Michigan, and Wharton School of Business; and been a featured speaker at TEDxGrand Rapids, TEDxTraverse City and TEDX Detroit. Her viewpoints and opinions have been published in the Wall Street Journal, Reuters, Financial Times and the BBC; and Automotive News, Forbes, and Edmunds have profiled her in their publications. Her proudest professional accomplishment occurred when Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak told her that her ability to understand societal trends and the consumer perspective was like that of the late Steve Jobs. Before working for Ford, Sheryl practiced law for a small civil litigation. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Finance, a master’s in Business Administration, and a Juris Doctorate.

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