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 microeconomic 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.
The Manufacturing Institute studies critical manufacturing issues and applies that research toward solutions for companies, schools, and governments. Project-based activities include attracting the next generation of manufacturing workers, implementing industry skill credentials, and helping to develop a qualified, diversified talent pipeline.
As Vice President of Strategic Initiatives at the institute, Gardner Carrick is leading the development of a national education data system that integrates education, certification, and labor market data. He also is directing the effort for a new industry-recognized apprenticeship system to change how manufacturers and schools partner to prepare the workforce.
Carrick previously led the institute’s partnership with the U.S. military to assist veterans and transitioning military personnel in preparing for and finding manufacturing jobs. Prior to joining the Manufacturing Institute, Carrick served as a project director at the Dept. of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration, focusing on talent development in regions across the country.
Universal Robots was co-founded in 2005 by the company’s CTO, Esben Østergaard, who wanted to make robot technology accessible to all by developing small, user-friendly, reasonably priced, flexible industrial robots that are safe to work with.
Since the first collaborative robot (cobot) was launched in 2008, the company has experienced considerable growth with the user-friendly cobot now sold worldwide. The company, which is a part of Teradyne Inc., is headquartered in Odense, Denmark, and has subsidiaries and regional offices worldwide. In 2017, Universal Robots had revenue of $170 million.
Universal Robots robot arms can automate and streamline repetitive or potentially unsafe processes, and the company claims they have an average payback period of only six months.
Michael Davis manages Universal Robots’ sales channels in the Midwest and Great Lakes region. He joined the cobot market leader in early 2018, bringing 10 years of sales experience from industrial equipment manufacturer Keyence and from working with a plethora of robotic system integrator/original equipment manufacturer channels. Michael joined Universal Robots to be part of what he considers “a company that is leading and transforming the next industrial revolution.”