Sheryl Connelly stands as an emblem of foresight in the realm of futurism. As the world evolves at an unprecedented rate, businesses and industries must constantly adapt, predicting changes before they even occur. When global leaders search for the pulse of the future, they turn to Sheryl. For nearly three decades, Sheryl served the Ford Motor Company, ascending the ranks to become its Chief Futurist. Between 1996 and 2023, she was an indispensable asset to Ford’s global trends and futurism team, showcasing an uncanny ability to anticipate consumer behaviour patterns and their subsequent impacts on business strategy. Her insights were not just theoretical; they were transformative. Leading a diverse team of experts, from engineers to anthropologists, Sheryl’s data-driven methodologies significantly influenced Ford’s corporate direction, product design, and overall operational strategy.
But Connelly’s journey wasn’t just about understanding automobiles. Prior to her time in Ford’s trend analysis, she held various roles in marketing, sales, and service fields within the company. Interestingly, her career’s starting point was not in automotive or futurism, but in the legal field, practising as an Associate Attorney for Offermann, Cassano and Piggot & Greco. This multifaceted background has enriched her perspectives, allowing her to see the future from various angles. Sheryl doesn’t just predict the future – she helps shape it. Guiding audiences through the complex maze of STEEP factors — social, technological, economic, environmental, and political trends — she presents a panoramic view of the evolving landscape. Her teachings inspire anyone, irrespective of their organisational role, to embrace a futurist mindset, emphasising the importance of innovation in an era of constant disruption.
The global business community does more than just listen when Sheryl speaks; they take notes. Recognitions such as Fast Company’s “100 Most Creative People in Business” and TechWeek’s “Top 100 Innovators” are testaments to her profound influence. Her insights have graced the pages of major publications like The Wall Street Journal, Reuters, and Forbes. Moreover, she’s shared her expertise on platforms like CBS’s “This Morning” and NPR’s “All Things Considered,” and enlightened minds as a Guest Lecturer at institutions like MIT and the Wharton School of Business. Beyond her professional accolades, Sheryl’s commitment to societal progression is evident. She’s actively involved as a board member of organisations like the American Society of Interior Designers and the Policy Center for Maternal Mental Health, further amplifying her multifaceted impact. In summation, Sheryl Connelly is more than just a futurist; she’s a visionary, leading the world into the uncharted waters of tomorrow with clarity, conviction and compassion.