A Competitiveness Conversation:

Tennessee – Redefining Place & Building the Future Innovation Ecosystem for Mobility, Energy & Manufacturing

The Tennessee Competitiveness Conversation has concluded. Thank you to everyone who made it an engaging and successful event.

Conversation Overview

To remain competitive in the next economy, the United States must expand its innovation footprint. There is a growing urgency to capitalize on untapped talent, technology, and infrastructure across America.

Under the auspices of the National Commission on Innovation and Competitiveness Frontiers, the Council launched in 2024 a new leadership platform, “Competitiveness Conversations Across America”: a set of regional summits and fora in all corners of the United States to uncover local best practices in amplifying innovation capacity and capability, and to elevate and deploy these practices to national attention.

The Competitiveness Conversation in Tennessee focused on redefining place and building the future innovation ecosystem — as the state becomes a major regional, national, and global magnet for investments in the future of advanced mobility, energy, and manufacturing.

The program occurred over two days, with events on April 25th and April 26th, all taking place at the Student Life Center Ballroom at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee.

April 25

  • 12:00-1:10 pm CT: Registration
  • 1:10-4:40 pm CT: Competitiveness Conversation, Day 1
  • 4:40-6:15 pm CT: Chancellor Reception
  • 6:15-8:00 pm CT: Competitiveness Conversation Dinner

April 26

  • 7:30-8:30 am CT: Registration & Breakfast
  • 8:30 am-12:00 pm CT: Competitiveness Conversation, Day 2

Our Hosts

Daniel Diermeier
Vanderbilt University
National Commissioner
Donde Plowman
University of Tennessee, Knoxville
National Commissioner
Deborah L. Wince-Smith
President and CEO
Council on Competitiveness
National Commission Co-chair

Steering Committee

Senator Bob Corker
Former United States Senator

Deb Crawford
Vice Chancellor for Research, Innovation, & Economic Development
University of Tennessee

Paolo Ferrari
BSAM Executive Chairman
Bridgestone West CEO
Bridgestone Corporation Joint Global COO

Chad Evans
Executive Vice President
Council of Competitiveness

Senator Bill Frist M.D.
Former United States Senator

Nathan Green
Vice Chancellor for Government & Community Relations (ex officio)
Vanderbilt University

Bill Hardgrave
University of Memphis

Chad Holliday
Mission Possible Partnership

Jeffrey (Jeff) J. Lyash
President & Chief Executive Officer Tennessee Valley Authority

Sidney McPhee
Middle Tennessee State University

Stuart McWhorter
TN Department of Economic and Community Development

Freddie O’Connell
Metropolitan Nashville & Davidson County

Jérémie Papin
Chairperson, Nissan Americas
Member of the Global Executive Committee & Sr. Vice President
Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.

Padma Raghavan
Vice Provost for Research and Innovation
Vanderbilt University

Stephen Streiffer
Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Ann Thompson
Workforce Development Manager
Ford Motor Company

Conversation Partners

Additional Information

For additional information about this event, contact Council on Competitiveness EVP Chad Evans at [email protected].

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