Summit Agenda

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October 2

1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. Loonshots: Innovating in Turbulent Times

Safi Bahcall is author of Loonshots: How to Nurture the Crazy Ideas That Win Wars, Cure Diseases, and Transform Industries. He is also a second-generation physicist, a biotech entrepreneur, and former public-company CEO.

When markets and technologies shift rapidly, the temptation to reduce uncertainties and focus on the core can be strong. Yet these are the times when the ability to innovate and lead change are most needed – a challenge that is difficult for many organizations, where the core dominates the new, projects linger too long or scale too quickly, and innovation theater proliferates. 
The key to avoiding these traps is building a sustainable, integrated system for running business experiments at pace and scale. That requires a new mindset from leaders: a focus on structure, not just culture. The good news is that turbulent times are the best times for experiments in changing structure and mindset. 
In this session, you will learn three principles of structure and mindset that leaders can use during turbulent times to turn their organizations into apex innovators. Surprising and entertaining examples from Apple, Amazon, Best Buy, Harley-Davidson, Lego, and the US military are used to illustrate these principles.
Room:  Heritage Ballroom 

2:00 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. Panel: The Future of AI and Innovation

Sarah Eckersley, VP R&D, Industrial Intermediates & Infrastructure, at Dow, Professor Tom Kurfess of the Georgia Tech Manufacturing Research Institute, and IP legal expert Alex Goranin of Duane Morris LLP will share their perspectives on the future of AI technologies and how they will impact your work, innovation processes, and intellectual property.
Room:  Heritage Ballroom

2:45 p.m. – 3:15 p.m. Networking break and small group meetings with Safi Bahcall (Limited spaces available! Sign up when you collect your badge.)
Room:  Marietta

3:15 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Fishbowls on Key Topic Areas

This interactive session format focuses on the peer-to-peer learning for which IRI is famous! Let us know your top challenges and we will organize these interactive roundtables based on the top issues identified with peer experts on hand to share their experiences.
Rooms:  Buckhead A and B (You will be directed to your assigned room.)

4:10 p.m. – 4:55 p.m. Breakout Session 1 – R&D Product Development Innovation Management: Application of collaborative tools and dashboards

Innovation management and team empowerment benefit greatly from the use of dashboards and collaborative tools like Google platforms, which allow for consolidated, open information accessible to all team members, linked to projects, budgets, and potential intellectual property. These tools empower category leaders to adapt plans quickly as needed and facilitate full ownership of projects that align with the corporate strategic innovation pillars. Learn about the successful development and adoption of this system at Colgate-Palmolive, driven by a collaboration between a senior leader with extensive R&D experience and an early-career scientist, both keen to embrace emerging technologies for focused R&D innovation leadership.

Speaker:  Felix Patricio, Global R&D Cleaners Scientist, Colgate-Palmolive and Yumiko Garcia, Global Home Care PD Director, Colgate-Palmolive 
Room:  Suwannee 

4:10 p.m. – 4:55 p.m. Breakout Session 2 – Exploring Sustainable Solutions: Navigating Challenges and Opportunities in Innovation

Learn about the major challenges in sustainability, with an opportunity to delve into potential solutions through cross-sector collaboration and innovation. The focus will be on understanding the circular economy, decarbonization, chemicals of concern, and social issues, providing you with comprehensive insights and tools to tackle these key issues.

Speaker:  Jamie Pero Parker, Innovation Advisor, RTI International
Room:  Augusta 

4:10 p.m. – 4:55 p.m. Breakout Session 3 – Demystifying Knowledge Management

What exactly is Knowledge Management (KM) anyway? Depending on who you ask, it can seem like it is software, training, IP portfolio management, or just fancier information management. This session will demystify KM and how it works to help propel organizations toward their goals. Seasoned information and knowledge professionals will give you a glimpse of how they approach and leverage KM in their organizations for business benefit.

Speakers:  James Blank, Caterpillar; Michelle Drabik, Jet Propulsion Lab; Karen Martin, Thermo Fisher Scientific; Moderator: David Pelot, USG
Room:  Savannah

5:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. How will regulations around PFAS and other ESG issues impact you?

Get the full download with practical next steps from Brandon Farris, Vice President of Energy and Resources Policy, at the National Association of Manufacturers in conversation with Laura Buen Abad, Senior Director of Technology and Marketing – Flexible Packaging, Sonoco. 
Room:  Heritage Ballroom 

5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. Networking Reception

6:30 p.m. Dine Arounds

Join a small group of your fellow attendees at a local restaurant. We’ll make the reservation and organize transportation, you just have fun and enjoy the time with like-minded innovators! (Sign up when you register.)
Meet in the hotel lobby at 6:30 p.m.
October 3

7:00 a.m. – 7:30 a.m. Breakfast
Room:  Heritage Ballroom 

7:30 a.m. – 8:15 a.m. Key Economic Trends and Investment Priorities for Innovators
Speaker:  Chad Moutray, Chief Economist, National Association of Manufacturers
Room:  Heritage Ballroom 

8:15 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. Navigating the Circular Economy: Design, Sustainability, and Beyond

Nabil Nasr is the associate provost for academic affairs and founding director of Rochester Institute of Technology’s (RIT) Golisano Institute for Sustainability (GIS). Nasr is also the founding CEO of the REMADE Institute.

In this keynote, we explore the circular economy, focusing on its implementation via sustainable design, recycling, and remanufacturing. We discuss how it redefines traditional product life cycles (linear systems), promotes sustainable material flows, and provides efficient end-of-life options. The talk emphasizes our shared responsibilities under new directives such as extended producer responsibility laws and the impact of geopolitical issues on material availability.

Our presentation also highlights the role of life cycle considerations in navigating the challenges of the circular economy, including material substitution and improved recycling strategies. We provide practical examples resulting from the REMADE Institute technology innovations directed at managing emissions and staying ahead of environmental regulations, emphasizing the importance of forward-thinking to successfully leverage the opportunities offered by the circular economy.
Room:  Heritage Ballroom

9:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. Networking break and small group meetings with Nabil Nasr (Limited spaces available! Sign up when you pick up your badge.)
Room:  Marietta

9:30 a.m. – 10:15 a.m. Innovation Foresight with Campbell’s

Learn how Campbells’ approach to innovation foresight is enabling this 150 year old company to stay on the cutting edge of food, cooking, and wellness trends.

Speaker:  Kyle Kent, R&D Director, Technical Solutions, Campbell’s
Room:  Heritage Ballroom

10:15 a.m. – 11:15 a.m. Innovators’ Perspective: What are the top challenges innovators face?

Have your say on the top challenges innovators are facing today in this facilitated discussion. The session will end with a vote to determine IRI’s focus areas for serving members in 2024.
Room:  Heritage Ballroom

11:15 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Transition Break

11:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. Breakout Session 1 – Working across the Generations

Speaker:  Chad Moutray, Chief Economist, National Association of Manufacturers
Room:  Suwannee

11:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. Breakout Session 2 – Agile Approach in Leading Sustainability-driven Innovation Management

Speaker:  Gracy Wingkono, Principal Scientist, beverage giant
Room:  Augusta

11:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. Breakout Session 3 – Risk mitigation and climate change

Speaker: Estelle Chaussard, Senior Research Scientist, FM Global
Room:  Savannah

12:15 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. Networking Lunch featuring Topic Tables
Room:  Buckhead AB

1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Deep Dive Workshop 1 – AI and Business Model Innovation

Explore the shift from traditional industrial to digital business models and the growing importance of AI as a source of competitive advantage. You will delve into emerging business model archetypes that leverage AI, examining their effectiveness, current users, and underlying assumptions. The workshop examines these models through the lens of economic flywheels and competitive control, featuring practical examples from the instructor’s real-world experiences. Gain the knowledge and confidence to harness AI’s potential for creating new business models, positioning your company for success in the evolving digital landscape.

Facilitator:  Jim Euchner, Editor in Chief, Research Technology Management
Room:  Suwannee

1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Deep Dive Workshop 2 – Using AI to Achieve Deeper Learning & Accelerated Productivity

This workshop is intended to give both new and experienced AI users the tools to become more productive as professionals and to achieve deeper learning on the topics in which they are most interested. We will set the stage for where AI is today and where it is headed, how you can decipher the best products from a burgeoning array of new AI offerings, how to perform real practical examples of things you can accomplish in minutes as opposed to days, how to ensure that the results of your AI journey benefit both you and your organization rapidly, and how you can easily keep up with the advances in this technology and stay at the cutting edge of learning.

Facilitator:  Joe Mazzeo, VP Business Development, Crossfire
Room:  Augusta

1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Deep Dive Workshop 3 – The Innovation Team’s Role in Shaping Organizational Generative AI Strategy and Implementation

Discover the role of innovation teams in adopting generative AI across your organization. In this interactive session, we will explore strategic guidance and decision-making processes that innovation teams can use to contribute to their organization. Participants will gain insights and explore ethical aspects, best practices, and potential obstacles when incorporating generative AI into an organization’s framework. By prioritizing responsible implementation, our aim is to equip you with the knowledge and tools that can help you to effectively utilize generative AI.

Facilitator:  Jaap de Vries, Staff Vice President, Principal Innovation Specialist, FM Global
Room:  Savannah

3:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Networking Break

4:00 p.m. – 4:45 p.m. Panel:  Finding the Right R&D and Innovation Structure to Meet Strategic Needs

Learn from experienced innovation leaders how they have organized their R&D and innovation functions to adapt to changing priorities and environments while also capitalizing on internal expertise and resources.

Panelist:  Darin Latimer, Vice President, Strategic Innovation, Danaher Corporation; Srinivas Veeramasuneni, Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, USG Corporation; Moderator:  Carlton Gibbs, Senior Manager, Packaging Development, Global R&D, Mars-Wrigley Snacking
Room:  Heritage Ballroom

4:45 p.m. – 5:15 p.m. Fireside chat: Sara Irvani, CEO of Okabashi Brands and Daryl Muller, Managing Vice President, Members, National Association of Manufacturers

Hear how one of the few remaining domestic shoe manufacturers is working to prove that sustainable American manufacturing and innovation can flourish even during turbulent times.
Room:  Heritage Ballroom

5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Heavy Reception
October 4

8:00 a.m. – 8:30 a.m. Networking Breakfast
Room:  Heritage Ballroom

8:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Field Trip Option 1: Kimberly-Clark’s Lagrange Mill

Travel to Kimberly-Clark’s Lagrange Mill where the personal care giant manufactures key components for its Huggies™ and Depends™ brands. See how the stretchy sides for which Huggies™ and Depends™ are known are made and learn about the sensors that monitor the air in the shaft that holds the core firm while forming the rolls of the stretchy material. View the control room to see how the K-C team monitors flow, basis weight, and other metrics to maintain quality and machine health.

8:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Field Trip Option 2: AI in Manufacturing at Georgia Tech

Explore cutting-edge tools for the circular economy, 3D printing, hybrid machines, and the integration of hardware and software. GA Tech’s machines are equipped with numerous sensors, providing extensive data for AI applications. Meet faculty working toward the goal of enhancing workers’ capabilities and adapting to evolving technologies.