Melissa Sterry Biography
Melissa Sterry - Design Scientist, Futurologist, Sustainability Innovation Strategist - breaks new initiatives in design, media and the visual arts. A multi award-winning social entrepreneur, she founded groundbreaking sustainability think tank and collaborative laboratory Societás. Her success sets the backdrop for her profound skills as a motivational and keynote speaker.
Background and career
Melissa is a Design Scientist and Transformational Change Strategist, specializing in emergent and future sustainable innovation in the construction, utilities, manufacturing, design, materials, publishing, media and communications industries.
A Director and Head of Technology at 360 media start-up Earth 2 Hub Ltd, Melissa is a Curator, Writer and Presenter for its platform Earth 2.0®, which aims to re-establish a harmonious relationship between humanity and nature using art, science and digital creativity. A multi-award winning Social Entrepreneur, she has over a decade of executive board level experience in fast-growth first-to-market start-ups in the digital and creative industries and in 2008 was listed in the ‘Future 100’: the top 100 young entrepreneurs changing the face of everyday business and improving commerce’s impact on the wider world.
A Visiting Fellow at the School of Art & Design, Visiting Lecturer at the 6* RAE-rated School of the Built Environment and Assembly member at the University of Salford, Melissa is a Guest Critic at the AA School of Architecture and a PhD Researcher at the Advanced Virtual and Technological Architecture Research group at the School of Design, Architecture and Construction at the University of Greenwich. Her qualifications include a BA (Hons) in Design Practice and a Postgraduate Certificate in Innovation and Enterprise.
Melissa is a Keynote Speaker, Panel Chair and Workshop Host at leading sustainability conferences and seminars worldwide, including EcoBuild, European Future Energy Forum, Forum for the Built Environment, Sustainable Business in Practice, Tomorrow’s Natural Business Conference, International Bionic Engineering Conference and the World Congress on Sustainable Technologies. Published in over 50 international titles, including sustain’ magazine of which she is an Editorial Board member.
Melissa and her work have featured in over 100 international publications, including Planet Green, TreeHugger, Good Magazine, Design Week, Marketing Week, PR Week, Financial Times, The Guardian and The Hungton Post. On the Scientific Committee of the International Bionic Engineering Society, Melissa has sat on sustainability and social enterprise steering groups, non-executive boards, panels and committees for many organisations including WWF, International Design Awards, and the International Green Awards.
The founding director of catalyst for rapid innovation in sustainable design NEW FRONTIERS - 1st Prize Winner of the Great Exhibition 2012 competition and of sustainability think tank Societás, Melissa is an inductee of the Global Women Inventors and Innovators Network Hall of Fame and was the recipient of the Mensa Education and Research Foundation International Award for Benefit to Society 2010 for exceptional commitment to enhancing intelligence that benefits society.
Melissa’s skillset is varied yet focused and allows her speak effectively on all the following subjects: Futurist, Science & Technology, CSR, Art, Futurist, architecture, Environmental, Sustainability.
- Future Sustainable Cities - her PhD research is focused on knowledge transfer from natural technologies found in complex ecosystems in rainforests, savannahs, peat bogs and coral reefs to man-made design -to enable the creation of models for urban habitats that can anticipate and prepare for environmental changes, including firestorms, earthquakes, heat waves and flooding -creating greater resilience to natural disasters and improving overall efficiency (inc energy, water, food, waste).
- Sustainable innovation in design, media and communications -including product design, fashion design, spatial design, graphic design, digital and the visual arts. I've headed many projects in this space, given several talks on these areas, hosted a number of workshops, lectured to both undergraduate and postgraduate university students and written a number of cover stories for both consumer and trade magazines.
- Trend forecasting and futurology -spanning design/technology innovation, societal trends -life/work models, the arts and culture -this is the primary area that my work essentially focuses on.
- Environment and social justice issues -including climate change, biodiversity loss, natural resource depletion, food scarcity, water scarcity, pollution, sweatshop labour. She’s worked with large network of scientists, activists and strategists and examples of her professional activities in this space include sitting on a WWF think tank, sitting on a handful of campaign/charity steering groups and committees and providing comms support and strategy advice to a few dozen environment / social justice campaigns, for example drawing up the global comms strategy for a gender equality project.
For further information or to book Melissa Sterry, call us at Speakers Corner on +44 (0) 20 8365 3200 or email email@example.com
Melissa Sterry Video
Melissa Sterry Speaker Showreel - Click play to watch a short sample video clip of Melissa Sterry. For more information on Melissa Sterry please contact one of the Speakers Corner booking agents on +44 (0)20 7607 7070 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Melissa Sterry News
A selection of relevant news related to Melissa Sterry, Keynote Speakers and Motivational Speakers, Business Speakers, Entrepreneurs, Futurists, Innovation Speakers, Marketing & Branding, Sustainability Speakers, Teamwork Speakers, Technology Speakers and Women Speakers stories. For more information on Melissa Sterry or details as to how to book Melissa Sterry for your corporate event, please contact one of the Speakers Corner booking agents on +44 (0)20 7607 7070 or email email@example.com
20th November 2012
Design scientist and futurist Melissa Sterry will expound her wisdom at Ignition: Future Of Digital - a two-day conference in New York City exploring the successful and emerging business models of digital media.
20th January 2012
URBN FUTR, a website providing a narrative and peephole into the cities and society of tomorrow, is running a series on leading futurists from around the world. Some of the break-through generation of futurists participating include Melissa Sterry and Rachel Armstrong.
11th June 2013
This yearâs Ted Global conference is taking place in Edinburgh at the Edinburgh International Conference Center. Some of the worldâs most accomplished speakers will take to the stage to talk about the political, economic and environmental issues that we face in todayâs society.
30th May 2013
TED Curator and keynote speaker, Chris Anderson, has given his advice and knowledge on how to give a killer presentation.
28th June 2012
California is once again the sunny location for TED, the most innovative and exciting conference on the planet, where speakers with âideas worth spreadingâ gather to share their thoughts on technology, design, science, media, politics, the arts, and other insights on how to shape a better word.
2nd June 2011
Entrepreneur Tony Fernandes; media mogul Arianna Huffington; facebook genius Chris Cox and happiness expert Tony Hsieh, are some of the top names on a list of the 100 Most Creative People In Business, compiled by industry magazine Fast Company.
18th October 2011
Corporate speakers and lauded innovation thinkers Christian Majgaard, Lucy P. Marcus and Rachel Armstrong grace The Big Ideas Factory in York for an evening of thought provoking debate and networking in Ron Cooke Hub's purpose built innovation space.
29th July 2011
As the 2011 Thinkers50 Summit approaches, Speakers Corner proudly presents a varied catalogue of the highest caliber corporate speakers shortlisted for the prestigious accolade. Amongst the crĂ¨me de la crĂ¨me of management personalities are conductor Benjamin Zander, economics expert Kjell Nordstrom and entrepreneur Lucy Marcus.
3rd May 2011
Speakers Cornerâs top talent is elevated to the technology elite as Wired Magazine publishes its second annual survey of the UKâs digital power brokers. Featured as leaders in the field are Ian Livingstone , Ajaz Ahmed, Brent Hoberman, Bruno Giussani, Jamie Murray Wells and Stephen Fry.
3rd March 2011
Bill Gates, technology pioneer, businessman and philanthropist, is amongst the acclaimed hosts at this yearâs TED Conference in California.
Melissa Sterry Reviews
Melissa Sterry has spoken and appeared at a number of recent corporate events. Please find some client speaker testimonials and reviews for Melissa Sterry for a number of these events and conferences. If you would like some additional information as to how to book Melissa Sterry for your corporate event, then please contact one of the Speakers Corner booking agents on +44 (0)20 7607 7070 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Melissa participated, alongside other experts including Trevor Baylis OBE, in a panel debate about Eco-design during the first pioneering UK AWARE event in May 2008. Her knowledge and expertise in this field were only surpassed by her ability to communicate her ideas to the audience in a fun, straightforward and engaging way. I would thoroughly recommend Melissa for any speaking engagement of any kind.
Melissa gave a talk to scientists and engineers from the flat glass industry at the NSG European Technical Centre, Lathom in April 2011 as part of a series of lectures on sustainability in the building industry. Melissa spoke with great passion about her ideas for using nature as inspiration for designing buildings and cities with a view to being able to withstand and possibly adapt to environmental changes and even natural disasters. Some of her ideas are controversial and there was a lively debate during the Q&A session which would have lasted all afternoon but for time constraints. I would recommend Melissa for any lecture series related to sustainability as her ideas would have interest and appeal to a wide-variety of audiences.
Melissa gave a head to head interview themed ‘Start-up Meets Sustainability’ at the b.Tween Interactive Media Forum 2009, held at FACT in Liverpool and broadcast live to remote audiences in Manchester, Sheffield and Bristol. Smart, creative and possessing an encyclopedic knowledge of sustainability, she guided a young digital entrepreneur and the audience, comprising interactive media executives from leading PLCs, NGOs and government organizations, through the key environmental and social issues shaping tomorrow’s digital industries. Insightful without being evangelical, she is able to both illustrate the opportunities, as well as the challenges sustainability presents. A month later Melissa chaired the ‘Policy Futures: Towards a Framework for Sustainable Economies’ panel, featuring panelists Professor Takeda Shuzaburo – Executive Director of The Business University Forum of Japan, Nicky Gavron – Londonwide Assembly Member and David Shaw - Director of Industry and Public Sector at Alcatel-Lucent, at the Smart City Futures conference held at The Lowry Centre, Manchester. Simultaneously engaging both a live and remote audience, using digital technologies including Twitter to source real-time questions and audience feedback, Melissa chaired the session with aplomb. Not afraid to field challenging questions and encourage panelists to dig deep into the issues, her style was perfectly suited to the progressive style and ambitious aims of the conference.
Melissa's brief was to present a 'provocation' around participation and media. She provided an intelligent and focussed speech which got the whole group thinking in new and innovative ways. She is well informed, well connected and open to new approaches
Melissa participated in a panel discussion about sustainable design alongside other well-known design commentators and experts at Ecobuild 2011, during which she spoke with passion and clarity as she described her ideas about how ‘design’ and designers can adapt in a world where sustainability is imperative. Her engaging style and creative content played an important role in delivering a lively and informed debate which was very well received by the designer / architect audience.
Q & A with Melissa Sterry
Melissa Sterry answered some probing questions for Speakers Corner. For speaking secrets revealed - read on! To book Melissa Sterry for your event, please contact one of the Speakers Corner booking agents on +44 (0)20 7607 7070 or email@example.com
Speakers Corner: How did the corporate speaking start?
Melissa Sterry: Accidently. My first speaking engagements were in academia, having been a visiting lecturer at a handful of universities since my late twenties. Around my early thirtities invitations to speak at expos and assorted industry events started to tumble in, which led to a number of corporate speaking invitations.
Speakers Corner: Can you remember your first speaking engagement?
Melissa Sterry: In all honesty no, but I do remember that when I started out I had two flaws... firstly speaking too fast, to the extent I probably gave Mini Mouse a run for her money at one or two events. The second was bamboozingly my audience with too much information, including Powerpoint slides jammed full of statistics and other data. These days I take things steadier and tend towards a minimalist approach to visual information, as I'd rather people were concentrating on what I'm saying than on the backdrop behind me!
Speakers Corner: And your last event?
Melissa Sterry: I can remember my last event, in fact my last three, as they ran back to back this past few days. The first was presenting to postgraduate research students while giving my Annual Visiting Fellow lecture at University of Salford, my second was presenting to scientists at a well-known glass manufacturer and the third was presenting to a diverse mix of eco warriors, sci fi fans and film gurus at a film festival.
Speakers Corner: Which event has been your favourite and why?
Melissa Sterry: This may sound as if I'm trying to be PC, but in all honesty I have enjoyed every event, most likely because I've been fortunate enough to present to plenty of pioneering people, sharing the stage with distinguished peers from the world over, discussing some of the most exciting subject matter of our time. An agent provocateur in spirit I always endeavour to liven up the debate and provoke new thinking, for as the great Arthur C.Clarke once said 'the only way to discover the limits of the possible is to go beyond them into the impossible'.
Speakers Corner: What can a typical corporate audience learn from your experiences?
Melissa Sterry: I will always look at the big picture. There are plenty of speakers who can tell you about pixels, but though I will bring details to the fore when absolutely imperative to the discussion, my attention is always on the wider scheme of things - the historical, social, political, economic and ecological context; where we are coming from, where we are now and where we may be headed. I'm the person that points out why the impossible today could be possible tomorrow and encourages new ways of looking at things, because to quote Einstein 'No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it'.
For further information or to book Melissa Sterry, call us on +44 (0)20 7607 7070 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Other speakers you might like
David Blunkett in his political life has been in charge of many of the major governmental portfolios. Equally adept at keynote speaking & anecdotal story telling
Joe is Communities Manager for Innocent - with the stated mission of maintaining innocent's open, honest and interesting contact with their customers.
Ed Stafford walked the amazon - a feat perceived as insurmountable. Ed uses his experiences to inspire and motivate audiences to achieve their own personal goals.
Emma Forbes is one of the nationâs best loved broadcasters and personalities. Aside from presenting, she channels her skills into her own lifestyle blog site. She is an accomplished and experienced awards host.