Meet Our Speakers

Sheryl Connelly is manager of global trends and futuring for Ford Motor Company, tracking shifts and trends in topics as far reaching as the environment, politics and millennials and analyzing those shifts to predict consumer preferences. Her insights inform the company’s automotive design, product development and corporate strategy and help anticipate the needs and desires of car buyers.

A natural artist and licensed attorney with an M.B.A. and a bachelor’s degree in finance, her path to Ford began after a short stint as a civil litigator convinced her that law wasn’t her chosen field. She searched instead for work in the “sweet spot” where business, law, and finance intersect and landed a job in Ford’s marketing and sales division. She advanced to the corporate futurist role nine years ago. Sheryl also teaches design research at the Center for Creative Studies in Detroit, MI. She has guest lectured at Massachusetts Institute for Technology, University of Michigan, and Wharton School of Business. She has also been featured in Forbes, the Wall Street Journal, Reuters, Financial Times and on the BBC.

See Sheryl’s TEDxRVA 2013 talk here!