Green header 2024

WMF 2024 Panels

14/10 - 15/10 | Big Theatre, MIND Milano Innovation District (Milan), Italy

World Manufacturing Forum 2024 – Panels

14-15 October 2024

Please join us as we present two days of the most important global industry conversations and networking opportunities, with multiple expert-led panels examining the (geo)political, economic, social, technological, legal, and environmental trends shaping global manufacturing with an outlook towards 2030.

Panel discussions will offer critical insights into the importance of understanding and navigating a foreseen volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous business environment in the forthcoming years.

Panel discussions will add to the presentation of the 2024 World Manufacturing Report “New Perspective for the Future of Manufacturing” and the “Tipping Points for the Manufacturing Sectorkeynote.

The 2024 World Manufacturing Forum (WMF) report on “New Perspectives for the Future of Manufacturing” will examine the (geo)political, economic, social, technological, legal, and environmental trends shaping global manufacturing with an Outlook towards 2030.

By embracing technological advancements, fostering innovation, and strong multi-stakeholder partnerships, the 2024 World Manufacturing Forum will encourage the creation of a shared vision for how the manufacturing sector could evolve towards competitive industrial development models that align with the new sustainable manufacturing blueprints for an economic, social, and environmental prosperous future.

This Year's Panels

WMF Panel I: “Living on the Edge: Climate Change & Sustainability Tipping Points for Manufacturing”

As climate change accelerates and sustainability imperatives become increasingly urgent, the manufacturing sector finds itself confronting environmental tipping points that demand decisive action. The “Living on the Edge” panel will explore these present and near-coming pivotal moments where the choices made today will shape the future of manufacturing and its role in the broader planet ecosystem. From supply chain disruptions driven by extreme weather events to the imperative of decarbonisation in production processes, manufacturers are facing multifaceted challenges. This panel will delve into the complex interplay between economic viability and environmental stewardship, highlighting the innovative strategies and technologies that hold the potential to tip the scales towards sustainability.

WMF Panel II: “Influx of Technology: Technological Tipping Points for Competitive Manufacturing”

The rapid advancement of technology and today’s fast-paced market are reshaping the manufacturing landscape, ushering in a new era of competitiveness and innovation. As emerging technologies reach tipping points of adoption and integration, manufacturers face a critical juncture where strategic technological decisions will determine their future success. The “Influx of Technology” panel will investigate the transformative potential of modern technologies such as artificial intelligence, collaborative and mobile robotics, additive manufacturing, and the Internet of Things to gain competitive advantages. From optimising production processes to enabling mass customisation, the power of these edge technologies represents both opportunities and challenges for manufacturers. This panel will explore the most important technological tipping points shaping competitive manufacturing today, and chart a course towards a future where innovation drives success in manufacturing.

WMF Panel III: “Demographic Cliff: Societal Tipping Points for Manufacturing Workforce”

The manufacturing sector is on the brink of a significant demographic shift that poses challenges and opportunities for workforce sustainability. As the ageing workforce retires and younger generations enter the job market with different skill sets and expectations, manufacturers must navigate this demographic cliff to ensure a robust and resilient workforce for the future. The “Demographic Cliff” panel will confront the societal tipping points affecting the manufacturing workforce and explore strategies for adaptation and transformation. From upskilling and reskilling initiatives to fostering diversity and inclusion, manufacturers must examine the multifaceted dimensions of workforce development. This panel will address the demographic challenges facing manufacturing by embracing diversity, investing in education and training, and leveraging technology such as artificial intelligence and intelligent automation to bridge the skills gap and cultivate a dynamic and inclusive workforce capable of driving innovation and sustained growth.

WMF Panel IV: “Skills Crisis: Talent Tipping Points for Manufacturing”

The manufacturing sector is undergoing a profound skills crisis, marked by a growing gap between the skills demanded by modern manufacturing processes and those possessed by the workforce. As technological advancements reshape the sector, manufacturers face critical tipping points in talent acquisition, development, and retention. The “Skills Crisis” panel will face the talent challenges confronting manufacturing head-on, exploring innovative strategies for navigating these tipping points and ensuring a skilled workforce for the future. From identifying emerging skill requirements to implementing effective training and development programs, manufacturers must cultivate a diverse and resilient talent pipeline capable of driving innovation and sustaining competitiveness. This panel will focus on forging a path towards a future where skilled workers are empowered to thrive in an ever-evolving industry landscape.

WMF Panel V: “Geopolitical Shifts: Global Trade Tipping Points for Manufacturing & Supply Chains”

The dynamics of global trade are undergoing profound shifts, driven by geopolitical developments, trade policies, and economic uncertainties. These changes present both challenges and opportunities for manufacturers and supply chains, necessitating a strategic approach to navigate the tipping points that define the future of global trade. The “Geopolitical Shifts” panel will discuss the pivotal moments shaping global trade and their implications for manufacturing and supply chains worldwide. From trade disputes and tariff escalations to geopolitical tensions and supply chain disruptions, manufacturers must find ways to successfully navigate the complexities of the global trade landscape. This panel will highlight best practices and innovative approaches for mitigating risks and seizing opportunities in an increasingly uncertain global trade environment that calls for resilient manufacturing and supply chain ecosystems.

WMF Panel VI: “Innovate or Else: Economic Tipping Points for Manufacturing Business & Operating Models”

In the face of rapid technological advancements, changing consumer demands, and evolving market dynamics, the manufacturing sector finds itself at a pivotal time. Traditional business and operating models are being challenged, necessitating a long-overdue modernisation to drive sustainable growth and competitiveness. The “Innovate or Else” panel will seek to catalyse a dialogue on the need for innovation in manufacturing business and operating models. From embracing digital transformation to reimagining supply chain management and customer engagement, manufacturers must explore the transformative potential of innovation across all aspects of production operations to remain competitive or even survive in the global arena. This panel will shed light on the latest trends and strategies for driving meaningful change and unlocking new business opportunities in the manufacturing landscape.