Melissa Sterry

Founder of Biotorium, Bio-futurist & Member of the Global Women Investors and Innovators Hall of Fame

  • Founding director of London-based biofuturism consultancy Bioratorium® and its innovation lab Labioratorium®.
  • Founding director of open-access transdisciplinary biodesign for resilienceresearch and publishing project Panarchic Codex®.
  • Founding director of award-winning Bionic City®, which asking “how would nature design a city?”, explores the potential of nature-inspired solutions in the built environment.
  • Founded first design business on graduation from Bachelors degree and former head of business development for a design group.
  • Former executive and non-executive director and board-level advisor to several first-in-market start-ups in sectors including digital, design, publishing, events, comms, and travel.
  • Founded multi-award-winning sustainability think tank and collaborative laboratory Societás.
  • Cofounded award-winning catalyst for rapid innovation in sustainable design for the built environment, New Frontiers.
  • Cofounded the world’s first online visual arts awards – the Creative Graduate Prize – for photography, painting, illustration, and installation art.
  • Cofounded the world’s first online fashion photography, illustration, styling, and art direction awards – Iconique Societás Awards.
  • Chartered Scientist and Fellow of the Design Research Society.
  • PhD in building city-scale urban and peri-urban resilience to major wildfires.
  • Postgraduate degree in Enterprise and Innovation and Bachelors honours degree in design practice.

When Melissa Sterry is booked for events, they are known to discuss the following speaking topics:

Sustainable Innovation
Sustainable Work Futures
Business Ethics
Sustainable Leadership
Biotech, Bio Design & Bioengineering

Her career focused on building a better future for people and planet, Melissa Sterry is a leading figure in design science, sustainability innovation and biofuturism.

Currently founding director of ventures including biofuturism consultancy Bioratorium, she has become one of the world’s most recognised futurists due to her work with businesses, universities, NGOs, and civic organisations that thrive to make the corporate industry more sustainable.

Internationally recognised, she has both led and collaborated with pioneering, typically first-in-kind projects that have created a substantial difference not only in the UK, but worldwide. Her career having long followed multiple commercial, creative, and academic paths, Melissa has also become a popular keynote speaker and when booked, specialises in topics such as sustainable innovation in architecture, construction, planning, utilities, manufacturing, materials, information communications technologies, transport, and the wider built world and the networks that connect it. Further areas of her expertise include sustainable and socially equitable work futures and business ethics, sustainable leadership across multiple scales, scenarios, and cultures, and all things bio/eco. She is know for delivering insights at the edge, for challenging preconceptions, and for expanding understanding of both the scale and complexity of sustainability issues, and the expanse of possible means of remedy of those issues. Each of her keynotes is bespoke, delivered with autonomy, and designed to meet the needs of the particular brief in hand.

Melissa started her inspirational journey by completing a bachelor’s degree at the University of Salford in 1996 and continued to work her way up to a PhD to become a Doctor of Philosophy by 2018. Having launched her first business in 1997 – her own design label, shortly after graduating from her first degree, Melissa progressively worked her way up to director roles. By her early thirties she had already held a handful of executive board roles and was advising to board-level on issues including sustainability, innovation, business development, marketing and communications.

Her leadership qualities have been greatly recognised and are reflected in her several awards and other honours, significant international press and media coverage, invited opinion pieces and articles in many trade, academic, and other publications, and testimonials and other endorsements from her peers, clients, collaborators, and others with whom she has worked.

In recognition of being one of the world’s most well-known futurists, Melissa has received multiple different awards throughout her career. These awards include the Mensa Education and Research Foundation International Award’40 over 40 Women to Watch’ honouree, being listed in the ‘Libertine 100’ and inclusion in the Global Women Investors and Innovators Hall of Fame. Not only does Melissa focus on her own businesses, but she also works with organisations such as The Guardian and BBC Radio 4 to take part in sustainability and science communications media campaigns and other activities to spread her knowledge, and that of her global peer group to a wider audience.

A visiting academic and guest professor at several notable architecture, design and other institutes across Europe, Melissa Sterry has long played a significant role in educating and enabling individuals on sustainability, building a distinguished career along the way.  She has become highly sought after as an events speaker, which has allowed her to share her knowledge and experience to diverse communities near and far, including executive gatherings, expos, public festivals, product launches, award ceremonies, and more. Her career has included a blend of industry and academic work, helping her to develop a unique perspective on multiple different topic areas and relate to individuals at every stage of their sustainability journey. When looking for a speaker who specialises in sustainability and bio-futures, Melissa Sterry is the perfect option to inspire, inform, and motivate an audience.

To enquire about Melissa Sterry for your event or corporate function, simply contact us via or call a booking agent on 0207 1010 553.