Professor Sirkka Heinonen has long experience and expertise in futures research. Her projects focus on technology foresight, the future of cities and rural areas, information society, sustainable development, ambient intelligence, social media, future work, construction and housing, future of transport and mobility, lifestyles, and philosophy of technology. She reported on the state-of-art and scope of futures research in other countries to help organise Finnish futures studies in the 1980s. In the late 1990s and again in 2008 she was involved in preparing the Finnish Government’s Futures Report to the Parliament (climate and energy scenarios), and in renewing the Finnish National Strategy for Information Society.
Prof. Heinonen has expertise in studying the perceptions of time, futures thinking, technology and nature within the framework of history of ideas, and anticipating the impacts and risks of technology on society. After working for over 20 years as a futures researcher at VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, she is now Professor of Futures Research developing methodologies and conducting research at Finland Futures Research Centre (FFRC), University of Turku since 2007. She is Director of the Helsinki Office of FFRC and heads the Research Group of Media and Communications (FMC).
She promotes futures learning and futures consciousness in Sustainable Knowledge Society, catalysing innovative solutions to global challenges amidst social and technological change. She has introduced the concepts of “Creative Foresight Space” and “Futures Cliniques”, and develops foresight methodologies such as scanning of weak signals and black swans/wild cards. She teaches in the International Master’s Programme in Futures Studies (120 ects) at University of Turku. She is Vice-President of the Finnish Society for Futures Studies, Member of the Club of Rome, and Chair of the Helsinki Node of the Millennium Project. In October 2013 she was appointed as Guest Professor for University of Science and Technology (USTC) in Hefei, China (for 2013-2016).
Prof. Heinonen has written many books, reports, and articles. She is member of the editorial board of Futures, FUTURA, European Journal of Futures Research, World Future Review, as well as Futures and Foresight Science. Major projects: MEDEIA Future of Media 2013-2015, ENCORE 20142016, NEO-CARBON ENERGY 2014-2017, Livable and Eco-Smart Cities Through Deliberative Futures Design and Innovation (funding pending), SÄVÄYS Great Electrification in Peer-to-Peer Society 2018 (science communication).