Elina having a speech about future of skills, in Riga, 2023


Elina Hiltunen is a futurist, D.Sc. (Business administration) from Aalto University, School of Business and M.Sc. (chemical engineering) from Helsinki University of Technology (currently Aalto University, School of Chemical Engineering). Forbes has listed her as one of the 50 leading female futurists in the world. She is an experienced key-note speaker that has delivered hundreds of lectures about various topics of the future in Finland and abroad. Currently she is also studing at National Defence University, Finland and making her second PhD thesis on the topic of how to use science fiction in foresight process of defence organization. 

Elina has experience in working as a futurist at Nokia, Finland Futures Research Centre and Finpro (Finnish trade promotion association). She has also worked as Executive in Residence at Aalto University, ARTS. She has had a company of her own, What's Next Consulting Oy since 2007. As an entrepreneur she has been working for multiple organizations as a consultant, who aims to make organization more prepared for the futures. Elina also owns a publishing company Saageli that was founded March, 2021. Saageli is focusing on publising Elina Hiltunen's books.

Elina has written / co-written 14 books altogether. Four of them are about the future. One is a science fiction book with seven stories about the future. Two of the future books have been translated into English as well. Also her PhD thesis about weak signals was written in English. 

Elina is also an active columnist in various business and technology magazines, and she has been participating in Finnish Broadcasting company YLE's science themed tv series. 

You can find Elina's longer CV here

Elina's ORCID ID here

Check here a video of Elina Hiltunen's lecture.

Contact: elina.futurist@gmail.com


  • Key note speeches about future (for example foresight methods, megatrends, trends, consumer trends, weak signals)
  • Strategy and futures consulting
  • Scenario work
  • Weak signal spotting and analyzing
  • Trend reports
  • Futures stories, scifi
  • etc.


Elina has made various "futuregraphics" that you can download here.

Example of a futuregraphic

Writings, articles and podcasts in English

Everything is fine now- a scifi short story in COMPASS magazine, 2023 (starts from page 149)

Metaverse podcast, interview of Elina Hiltunen, autumn, 2021

Futurists Tell Us The Most Amazing And Scary Things To Expect In The Future, Buzzfeed, Dec 2020, news article

The World's Top Female Futurists, BlakeMorgan, 2020, news article

Futures Intelligence Leadership: Innovative Wisdom for Future-Ready Organizations, podcast, 2020

Future visions for a 5G world: Elina Hiltunen, Nokia, 2020, interview

Seeing the oak tree in acorn:reading todays signals of massive future change, Nokia Talk, 2020, video

Meet a trend expert: Elina Hiltunen, Trend Sociology, 2019, interview

Is your organization prepared for the future?, Aalto ee, column

The time for climate action is now, Fingrid, 2020, news article

Trends - Tools for Sustainable Business, interview, 2018

What will Finland be like in 100 years?, interview, 2018

Trust at Risk, EU publication, 2017, report

An urban railway route revived, and forecasts of what the future holds for technology in this month's new books., E&T, 2016, book review

Technolife of Romeo and Juliet in 2035: Rather Than Attempting to Predict Future Technologies-Which Will Emerge (or Not) amid Myriad Unforeseeable Social, Environmental, and Other Forces-Futurists Can Offer Stories That Dramatize the Possibilities Ahead, Futurist, 2014, column

Finpro and crowdsourcing foresight, podcast, 2012

Forecasting the future through 'weak signals', E&T, 2010, column

Where do Future-Oriented People Find Weak Signals?, Future Takes, 2007, column


Elina Hiltunen has written 13 books and two of them has been translated to English. Elina Hiltunen's doctoral thesis is also published in English.

TECHNOLIFE 2035- How is technology changing our future

Technology constantly evolves, usually slowly and insidiously but always just as surely. Things that are currently being developed in laboratories will be in the public domain as different products and applications perhaps as soon as in a few years time, and as more refined versions in around ten years time.

This book deals with the future of technology, and explores the influence new technologies may have on life within the next twenty years. It is divided into three parts, the first of which discusses technological development and the forces and counter-forces related to it. This section also reviews how advances in technology are forecasted, and what kinds of parties make these predictions, and provides examples of forecasts for the next couple of decades.

The second part of the book investigates the various areas of technology and their related trends. This section discusses current technological studies which may have concrete impacts in everyday life in a few decades, such as those in the fields of energy, transportation, biotechnology, materials, ICT, robotics, medical technology and space technology.

The third part of the book introduces the authors visions of how technology may develop by 2035, and presents three different scenarios, or future worlds. These will demonstrate the possible directions in which technological development can take us. The scenarios are introduced through two main characters, Romeo and Juliet (adapted from Shakespeares play) in the year 2035. Even though technology is constantly changing, the writers believe that, even years into the future, the significance of human relations will remain the greatest influence on human life.

(Written with Kari Hiltunen)

Buy the book:


FORESIGHT AND INNOVATION-How are companies coping with the future


Foresight and Innovation is a guide for readers that are interested about the future. The book introduces a concept of futurist thinking, which includes anticipating, innovating and communicating about the futures. These concepts show how various organizations, all over the world are thinking, communicating and creating a better future.

Buy the book:  https://www.amazon.com/Foresight-Innovation-Companies-Coping-Future-ebook/dp/B00HP4KJFK


This thesis addresses the issue of anticipating future changes through weak signals and the role of weak signals in organizational futures learning (OFL). The focus of the thesis is to examine weak signals and their related concepts and to test a tool, created by the author, for using weak signals to enhance organizational futures learning. This thesis consists of five articles that approach the dilemma of weak signals and organizational futures learning from different angles. 

In the existing literature there appears to be difference on opinion of the definition of weak signals. The meaning of the concept, weak signals, varies from researcher to researcher, and thus the understanding of weak signals and utilizing them in organization can be challenging. Sometimes weak signals are considered emerging issues or wild cards- some of the researchers consider them as first indication of change. This thesis introduces a new concept the future sign. This represents the holistic picture of future change. The future sign clarifies the discussion by presenting various dimensions of the change; signals, issue and their interpretation. 

This thesis also assesses the change process (signification process of the future sign), different kinds of signals in it and the role of actors in the change process. One of the outcomes of this assessment is that signals do not always reflect the true state of the emerging issue, which calls for digging into the primary sources of information. 

This thesis examines also organizational futures learning from different viewpoints, like the sources that are used for finding weak signals and the method for disseminating weak signals within organizations. A study asking "what are futurists' top sources for finding weak signals" revealed that one's personal contact network is appreciated the most. A Futures Window, a tool for disseminating weak signals in organization was also tested in this thesis. The study revealed that using visual weak signals in sharing futures information was received well.

Download the thesis here