MiniTrends 2013 Speaker – Tarja Meristö

MiniTrends 2013 Conference Speaker, Tarja_Meristo, Corporate Futurist, Laurea University

Dr. Tarja Meristö 

Corporate Futurist, Principal Lecturer at Laurea University of Applied Sciences, Finland


Tarja has extensive experience in combining futures studies with innovation, citizens’ well-being, and sustainability and has executed over 300 scenario and foresight projects.  She is founder and leader of Laurea CoFi, part of Laurea University of Applied Sciences Lohja unit. Tarja organizes the Annual International Foresight Forum for SMEs, held in Helsinki, Finland. At her invitation, Dr. John Vanston, Chair, MiniTrends 2013 and Chairman of Technology Futures, Inc. was honored to Keynote at the 2012 program.

Current work

Dr.Sc. (BA), Corporate Futurist Tarja Meristö works as a principal lecturer at Laurea University of Applied Sciences, where her responsibilities are in the field of wellbeing, future business models and foresight, and she leads the FuturesLab CoFi research group.

Meristö founded the business-oriented CoFi (previously known as Corporate Foresight Group  CoFi) in 1999 when she joinedÅboAkademiUniversity. Since 2010 CoFi has been a part of Laurea University of Applied Sciences.

Futures Lab CoFi is an expert in futurology, especially on   combining   it to strategy work.   CoFi works in cooperation both with private and public organizations from different sectors.

CoFi focuses on

–        Citizens’ wellbeing

–        Living in a sustainable community

–        Metal and machine industry in global competition

–        Sustainable business practices & business models

–        Future skills and competences

Research area

Meristö’s research area is future studies and scenario planning as a part of the corporate strategy process, as well as foresight studies in different fields. She has specialized in corporate futurology, especially in scenario planning and visionary leadership.

Tarja Meristö started her career at Partek in construction industry in 1979 where she worked as a Strategic Planner. After that she worked at theAcademy ofFinland in 1984-1987 when preparing her doctoral thesis on Scenarios in Strategic Management, which was examined at the end of the year 1991. She worked at Rautaruukki Group in steel industry in 1988-1991 as corporate futurist and in Mika Kamensky Consulting 1992-1997 also as corporate futurist.

In 1998, Meristö started as a Director of the Finland Futures Research Centre at the Turku School of Economics and Business Administration and in 1999 she joinedÅboAkademiUniversity.

Tarja Meristö is an active member in Future Societies inFinlandand internationally. She received the Future Award of Finnish Society of Future Studies (FSFS) in 1993 together with the editorial group of the methodology book. She acted as the chairman of FSFS for one period in 1994-95. She is also a member in Strategic Management Society inFinlandand internationally.

Tools and approaches
Work experience from different fields has produced a number of tools and approaches as well as unique results for futures studies generally:

  • in Construction Industy (Partek Ltd)

?     PESTE analysis, Action Scenario Approach

  • in Steel Industry (Rautaruukki Group).

?     Taboos as part of Basic Beliefs, Wild  Cards; Scenarios for formerSoviet Union

  • in Strategic Management Consulting in different industries (eg. steel industry: Outokumpu, Metso Automation, Finnish Federation of Technology Industries; pulp and paper industry: M-real, UPM, Finnish Federation of Forest Industry, Finnish Forest Cluster Ltd, chemical industry: Kemira, AGA, Finnish Federation of Chemical Industry; financial services: Nordea, Bank of Finland, OP-Pohjola)

?     Concept for Core Competence Tree, Navigation Marks for Scenario follow-up.

  • in Strategic Management Consulting in different public services (eg. Cities in Finland (eg.Helsinki,Turku,Oulu,Tampere, Lohja); Ministries inFinland(eg. M. of Education , M. of Traffic and Communication, M. of Environment, M.of Work and Business Affairs); different Regions inFinlandand surroundings ( eg. Tallinn/Helsinki + Harju/Uusimaa, Kainuu, Pirkanmaa, Suupohja, Länsi-Uusimaa)

?     Concept of Regional Visionary Leadership and Shared Vision, Technology Driven Banking Scenarios

  • Constructive academic research in joint projects financed mainly by Tekes and European Union Funds (Turku School of Economics/Finland Futures Research Center; Corporate Foresight Group CoFi;HelsinkiUniversity of Technology, Laurea University of Applied Sciences/ HAMK University of Applied Sciences etc.)

?     Scenario Filter Model, Visionary Product Concept Model (Tutti), Future Oriented Innovation Model (Funnovation), Navigator for Personal Health Record (Coper), Sustainable Communities for the Future etc. ongoing projects.

Doctor in Business Administration atTurkuSchool of Economics and Business Administration in 1992 (Doctoral Thesis “Scenarios in Strategic Management” Defence in December 1991)


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