Siv Helen Hesjedal – the “5 Premium Speakers questions”

28. June 2022 – Mandy Weinand

Siv Helen Hesjedal is a professional futurist, sociologist, and development planner with close to 20 years’ international experience in foresight, public policy and regional development. She has worked as a C-suite executive, researcher, social planner and facilitator in South Africa. Siv now resides in Norway and works for the German based Themis Foresight.

Siv Helen Hesjedal in interview:

1. What are the core subjects of your keynote speeches?

Siv Helen Hesjedal:

I am a futurist, sociologist and public policy specialist. My keynote speeches cover a wide range of topics, however, at the centre of my speeches are questions about how humans will live in the future, how we want humans to live, and how we the choices we all make today to create that future.

I look at the intersection of technology, climate, social change and politics and how that will impact organisations, industries or regions. Topics that I am passionate about are the future of work, future skills and youth. I also like to speak about foresight, and why leaders and decision-makers need to both look into the future and question how they look at the future.

2. Which audiance or which branch do you reach with your speech?

Siv Helen Hesjedal:

My audiences are leaders and decision-makers in the public sector and any industry who needs to think about the future of their industry and the future that their industry is part of creating for humanity. Audiences that would like to explore possible futures rather than being given an answer about what the future will be would enjoy my input!

3. Are you a PREMIUM SPEAKER? Where do you get your insights from?

Siv Helen Hesjedal:

I work as a senior futures researcher for Themis Foresight, a futures think-tank. We carry out bespoke futures projects for a wide range of clients that requires us to carry out research and stay on top of rapid changes in every aspect of society. I get my insights from research, ongoing scanning for signals of change and engagements with our diverse clients. Through our work we continuously test our insights in practice with leaders and decision-makers.

I spent 20 years in South Africa and have recently returned to Europe. This gives me a global outlook and perspective that underpins my insights.

4. What will be in the future? Does «time» play an important role in your work?

Siv Helen Hesjedal:

The first thing we learn as futurists is that we cannot foresee the future! But we can look at patterns of change, at how changes in different parts of society might intersect and use that to anticipate what might be. I think that in the future, as in the present, there will be a diversity of lifestyles and life experiences. Unfortunately, I think there will be more inequality if we carry on the current economic trajectory, but this is something that can be changed. I choose to be optimistic about the future, about human ingenuity and solidarity. This optimism is what drives and motivates me.

Time plays an important role, in many ways. While I like to read about and think about very long-term perspectives, most of our work is in the 10-50 year time perspective. In my personal life, time is obviously very important in a different way, as I try to manage a good work and leisure balance.

5. Tell us your life motto? What do you want to give your listeners to take with them?

Siv Helen Hesjedal:

I don’t have a motto as such, but I always ask the question ‘what lies beneath’. I want my listeners to be more aware of how they think of the future, what shapes possible futures how they can make choices to help us build a better world for everyone.

Siv Helen Hesjedal