A one-day educational symposium preceding the Annual Gathering and open to the public, the 2018 Mensa Foundation Colloquium will explore the evolution and revolution of manufacturing in the 21st century.
For decades now, manufacturing has been evolving, driven by macro- and micro-economic forces as well as advances in technology. Today, it is at a crossroads, which makes Indianapolis a fitting location to examine the economic, technological, educational, and geopolitical ramifications of how things are made and distributed.
Past Colloquiums have explored such topics as the health care of catastrophes, crime scene forensics, and the ever-shrinking gap between science and science fiction. Speakers have ranged from Pulitzer Prize winners, bestselling authors, world renowned scientists, and leading academics.
The U.S. lost more than 6 million manufacturing jobs from 1998 to 2010, according to the Alliance for American Manufacturing. And more than 63,000 U.S. factories closed since 2001. Those stats and similar ones are part of an oft-repeated narrative about the demise of American manufacturing. But it’s a story whose ending has not yet been written.
Last year, for example, the country saw nearly 200,000 new factory jobs created, and manufacturing jobs grew at a faster rate than jobs in the overall economy. Those developments not only showcase the importance of the sector but also the value of public policies that support manufacturing.
Enter the Alliance for American Manufacturing, a nonprofit, non-partisan partnership founded in 2007 by some of the country’s leading manufacturers and the United Steelworkers. Since then the organization has worked to make American manufacturing and “Made in America” top-of-mind concerns for voters and national leaders through advocacy and research.
Scott Paul leads the Alliance for American Manufacturing. He has hosted more than 80 “Keep It Made in America” events, including a presidential candidates’ forum on manufacturing, and has testified before seven committees of the House and Senate. He frequently appears on television news shows and regularly blogs for HuffPost. Paul is also a co-author of the 2013 book ReMaking America.
Paul served as a staff member on Capitol Hill at various times from 1989 to 2001. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the National Skills Coalition and the Board of Visitors of the Political Science Department at Pennsylvania State University.