Competitiveness Conversations Across America:
Tennessee — Redefining Place and Building the Future Innovation Ecosystem for Mobility, Energy & Manufacturing

April 25-26, 2024
Student Life Center Ballroom
Vanderbilt University
Nashville, Tennessee

Thursday, April 25, 2024
Noon - 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

Friday, April 26, 2024
7:30 - 8:30 am CT: Registration & Breakfast
8:30 am - 12:15 pm CT: Competitiveness Conversation, Day 2

Thursday, April 25, 2024

12:00 P.M. Registration

1:10 P.M. Putting Competitiveness in Context – Challenges and Opportunities for 2024

Leadership will share the policy vision for the “Competitiveness Conversations Across America” — under the auspices of the Council on Competitiveness “National Commission on Innovation and Competitiveness Frontiers” — in context of the economic, global, and political realities facing the State and the United States in 2024.

Daniel Diermeier
Chancellor, Vanderbilt University
Donde Plowman
Chancellor, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Deborah L. Wince-Smith
President and CEO, Council on Competitiveness

1:30 P.M. The Pillars of Innovation: Deploying Tech-based Innovation at Speed and Scale, Accelerating the Future of Sustainability, and Defining the Future of Work and the Workforce

Leaders explore the key pillars of innovation as articulated in the Council’s “National Commission on Innovation & Competitiveness Frontiers” — highlighting both key challenges and opportunities in the State, as well as suggesting best practices to scale nationally, with a goal of dramatically increasing the nation’s innovation capacity and capabilities.

Robert Carter
Executive Vice President, FedEx Information Services;
Chief Information Officer of FedEx Corporation
Pablo Di Si
President & CEO, Volkswagen Group of America;
CEO of Volkswagen Brand North American Region
Paolo Ferrari
BSAM Executive Chairman, Bridgestone West CEO; Bridgestone Corporation J GCOO
Jérémie Papin
Chairperson, Nissan Americas;
Member of the Global Executive Committee & Sr. Vice President, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.
Dan Helfrich
Chair and CEO, Deloitte Consulting LLP

2:15 P.M. Redefining “Place” in the 21st Century: Broadening and Deepening Tennessee’s Innovation Ecosystem

As competition in the global innovation landscape intensifies, there is a growing urgency to capitalize on untapped talent, technology, investment, and infrastructure. To boost competitiveness, the United States — and Tennessee — must focus on expanding and deepening both the demography and the geography of innovation, meaningfully engaging different communities and diverse populations as workers, innovators, entrepreneurs, and beneficiaries.

Jamari Brown
Director of Economic and Community Development,
Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County
Tim Kelly
Mayor, City of Chattanooga
Indya Kincannon
Mayor, City of Knoxville
Ted Townsend
President & CEO, Greater Memphis Chamber
Chad Evans
Executive Vice President, Council on Competitiveness

3:00 P.M. Competitiveness Conversation Coffee Break

3:15 P.M. Innovation Talk: I-24 MOTION Project

How Tennessee built the smartest roadway in the world along a six-mile stretch of I-24.

Johnathan Sprinkle
Professor of Computer Science, Vanderbilt University
Josh Westerhold
Senior Manager, Mobility, Nissan Americas
Dan Work
Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering,
Vanderbilt University

3:30 P.M. Innovation Talk: Quantum Information Science

Katherine (Kate) Evans
Director, Computational Sciences and Engineering, Oak Ridge National Laboratory

3:45 P.M. Developing Tennessee's Innovation Economy

The future of innovation will rely increasingly on integrated, multidisciplinary, and multidomain partnerships that span and connect research, development, and deployment of new technologies at scale. This panel is a case study on Tennessee’s bid to connect, compute, power, fuel, and lead.

Lindsey Cox
Chief Executive Officer, Launch Tennessee
Deb Crawford
Vice Chancellor for Research, Innovation, & Economic Development, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Susan Hubbard
Deputy Laboratory Director for Science and Technology, Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Jason Maynard
Executive Vice President, Oracle
Joe Hoagland
Vice President of Enterprise Relations and Innovation, Tennessee Valley Authority

4:30 P.M. Day 1 Wrap-up and Day 2 Preview

Daniel Diermeier
Chancellor, Vanderbilt University

4:40 P.M. Chancellor Reception

6:15-8:00 P.M. Competitiveness Conversation Dinner & Keynote

United States Senator Bill Hagerty

Friday, April 26, 2024

7:30 A.M. Registration and Breakfast

8:30 A.M. Day 2 Kick-Off

Donde Plowman
Chancellor, University of Tennessee, Knoxville

8:40 A.M. Powering Tennessee’s Future — Leveraging the State’s Energy Portfolio to Build and Advance Industries

This leadership panel will explore the energy productivity-driven renaissance in research, services, and manufacturing across the State — and explore how leaders are creating and using an energy matrix to support growth across many industry sectors.

Brent Baker
Vice President – Chief Customer and Innovation Officer, Nashville Electric Service
Jeff Lyash
President & CEO, Tennessee Valley Authority
Katie Ottenweller
Southeast Lead for Energy Policy & Markets, Google
Padma Raghavan
Vice Provost for Research and Innovation, Vanderbilt University
Stephen Streiffer
Director, Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Chad Holliday
Chair Emeritus, Royal Dutch Shell; Chair Emeritus, Council on Competitiveness;
Co-Chair, Mission Possible Partnership

9:30 A.M. Innovation Talks: Future of Energy

Brian Wirth
Governor’s Chair Professor for Computational Nuclear Engineering, University of Tennessee, Knoxville

9:45 A.M. Innovation Talk: Tech Continuum Across the State — Urban to Rural

Michael Aikens
Founding Director, Center for Rural Innovation;
Chair, Rural Reimagined Grand Challenge, Office of Research and Economic Development at Tennessee Technological University

10:00 A.M. Taking Tennessee’s Talent to the Next Level — Mobilizing the State’s Workforce for a More Innovative Future 

This leadership panel will explore the talent conundrum. Hailed as the State’s greatest asset and in many ways its greatest challenge, ensuring Tennessee has the skilled workforce to prosper in an increasingly turbulent local, state, national, and global economy is the critical competitiveness challenge. Lessons learned here can also inform national strategies for building the most agile and resilient workforce of the 21st century.

Joe Bales
Vice President for University Advancement, Middle Tennessee State University
Bill Hardgrave
President, University of Memphis
Jothany Reed
Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Tennessee Board of Regents
Deniece Thomas
Commissioner, Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development
Liliana Ramirez
Director of Workforce Development, Ford Motor Company

10:45 A.M. Competitiveness Conversation Coffee Break

11:00 A.M. Tennessee Governor's Address

Tennessee Governor Bill Lee

11:30 A.M. Mapping the Enabling Conditions for Tennessee’s Competitiveness Strategy for the Next 25 Years

This leadership panel will examine the enabling conditions essential for Tennessee's competitiveness strategy over the next 25 years. As the state plans for its future economic growth and prosperity, it is important to identify and understand the key factors that will drive competitiveness in various sectors. The panel will explore the intersection of policy, infrastructure, education, innovation, and workforce development, aiming to provide insights into creating an environment conducive to sustainable economic advancement.

Randy Boyd
President, University of Tennessee System
Daniel Diermeier
Chancellor, Vanderbilt University  
Stuart McWhorter
Commissioner, Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development
Donde Plowman
Chancellor, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Deborah Wince-Smith
President and CEO, Council on Competitiveness

12:15 P.M. Tennessee Competitiveness Conversation Concludes

linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram