Ford Motor Co. ‘futurist’ to deliver UA Rockefeller Lecture in Fayetteville

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 181 views 

Sheryl Connelly, manager of global consumer trends and “futuring” at Ford Motor Co. in Detroit, will speak March 3 at the University of Arkansas for the Winthrop Rockefeller Distinguished Lecture of the year. The event will be at 7 p.m. in the Faulkner Performing Arts Center and is free and open to the public.

Connelly has served as “futurist” for Ford for more than a decade, according to the automakers website. Within that role, she researches global trends, predicts the impact of social, economic and technological factors on consumer demand and uses them to inform strategy for various facets of the company.

The topic of the lecture will be on how “developing a futurist mindset and ‘big picture’ perspective can help business innovate and remain relevant in a constantly evolving world,” according to a UA press release.

Connelly was named as one of Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People in Business in 2013 and has also made the list of Techweek’s Top 100 Innovators.

The Winthrop Rockefeller Distinguished Lectures program, which hosts annual lectures within the UA System, was established in 1972.

Past speakers in the series at the Fayetteville campus include Rigoberta Menchu, Nobel Peace Laureate, in 2015; Prof. Lee Lynd, expert on bioenergy at Dartmouth, in 2013; award-winning author and children’s advocate Jonathan Kozol in 2010; former U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins and Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and essayist W.S. Merwin in 2006; author Isabel Allende in 2004; former astronaut Buzz Aldrin in 2002; author and playwright Howard Zinn in 2000; and conservationist Daniel Janzen in 1999.

This event is co-sponsored by the University of Arkansas Distinguished Lectures Committee, Office of Student Activities and the Division of Student Affairs.

Notable lectures on other UA System campuses are Jon Meacham, bestselling author and historian, at University of Arkansas at Little Rock in 2016; Dr. Donald Berwick, former administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, at University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in 2015; Dr. Cornel West, professor of philosophy and Christian practice at Union Theological Seminary, at University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff in 2014; Julian Castro, former San Antonio mayor and current U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, at UA Little Rock in 2013; and Rebecca Skloot, author of “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks,” at UAMS in 2012.