Henrik Christensen, Steve Forbes and Edie Weiner
Technology academic Henrik Christensen, publishing scion Steve Forbes and futurist Edie Weiner head key ProMat-Automate sessions on 21-23 January in Chicago.
Christensen and Forbes present keynote addresses, and Weiner leads a panel.
ProMat 2013 sponsor MHI and Automate 2013 sponsor A3 will co-present the three sessions, which are open to all attendees.
Discussing "the impact of robotics on economic growth" on 21 January, Christensen is affiliated with the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, Georgia. He is Kuka chair of robotics in Georgia Tech's college of computing and director of the centre for robotics and intelligent machines.
Forbes takes the podium on 22 January, talking about "navigating the new political climate for business growth and success". Forbes is chairman of New York-based Forbes Inc and editor-in-chief of the Forbes Media LLC subsidiary. He was a Republican candidate in the 1996 and 2000 US presidential primaries.
On 23 January, Weiner moderates a discussion about "the future of material handling, logistics and supply chain". Weiner is president of futurist consulting firm Weiner Edrich Brown Inc of New York. Four trade group executives serve as panel members: George Prest, chief executive officer of MHI of Charlotte, North Carolina; Rick Blasgen, CEO and president of the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals of Lombard, Illinois; Michael Mikitka, CEO of the Warehousing Education and Research Council of Oak Brook, Illinois; and Liz Richards, executive vice president of the Material Handling Equipment Distributors Association of Vernon Hills, Illinois
Separately, in a first-ever recognition, a ProMat panel of judges will name winners in two categories: best new innovation and best innovation of an existing product. The purpose of the competition is to educate ProMat attendees and provide insights about the latest manufacturing and supply chain products. The program was introduced in September and is available only to ProMat exhibiting companies. On 21 January, the judges will select from among the finalists and announce the winners during a press conference in The Hub on the floor of the exhibition hall.