2022 Digital Futures Conference

Digital Futures

How can organizations use technology to redesign their workforce configurations?

How does Goodyear help non-analytics employees develop digital competencies? 

How is Porsche building internal capabilities for digital transformation?

Attendees at the fourth annual Digital Futures Conference explored these topics and more during the annual event held in partnership between Case Western Reserve University and IRI. This year was the first year since 2019 the conference was in person at the university (the 2020 and 2021 conferences were virtual due to the pandemic). The theme was Level Up Your Talent and featured sessions about all things to do with talent––upskilling, culture change, working cross-functionally, building design capabilities, bringing diversity to tech roles, and anticipating future workforce skills.

Youngjin Yoo, xLab founder and faculty director and the Elizabeth M. and William C. Treuhaft Professorship in Entrepreneurship at the Weatherhead School of Management, kicked off the conference with his keynote “The Future of the Workforce is Already Here - They are Unevenly Distributed.” Yoo discussed how organizations can use technology to re-design their workforce configurations––both the current and future, how to re-think the work that people do, and how leaders should re-imagine their roles to more effectively guide the organization.

“When we started planning this year’s conference, our corporate partners were loud and clear that one of their biggest challenges two years into the pandemic is recruiting and retaining high-quality people in technology,” says Yoo. “It was exciting to engage with everyone in person this year and create conversation and build connections in the digital arena.”

This year’s speakers included:

  • Kathryn Brohman, director of Master of Digital Product Management, associate professor and distinguished faculty fellow in digital technology, Smith School of Business, Queen’s University, Canada
    • Spoke about bridging the digital skills gap––especially when the definition of "digital skills" is unclear
  • Rochelle Williams, chief programs officer, National Society of Black Engineers
    • Part of a panel with other industry leaders about diversity in technology
  • Farid Bichareh, connected plants solutions director, TCS
    • Led a case study about well-being in the workplace using digital tools
  • John Wright and DeAnna Hanzel, Goodyear
    • Hosted an interactive workshop with Jagdip Singh and Vipin Chaudhary of Case Western Reserve about the partnership they created between Case Western Reserve and Goodyear to build the data capabilities of non-analytics staff members
  • Jan Burchhardt, Porsche 
    • Spoke during his second day keynote about how Porsche is building up software capabilities in cars, while also increasing digital literacy among its employees
  • Fiona Jamison, Spring International
    • Closed the conference and demonstrated how leveraging data and people analytics can make better leaders