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The Future of Making Things

16th June


As new technologies and creativity emerges, heralding the beginning of the fourth industrial revolution, what does this new era mean for the future of making things and our lives in a world of finite resources, and will progress be interpreted as a good or bad thing?


The new industrial revolution – industrial evolution?

Previous revolutions have had the most profound effect on ‘blue collar’ workers. Now computers herald industrial revolution 4.0. What will be the impact on the ‘white collar’ workers of today? 

This session explains what this new era means for the future of making things and our lives in a world of finite resources.


Dr Ruth McKernan, Chief Executive, Innovate UK

Professor Steve Evans, author of the Manufacturing Commission report, Industrial Evolution

Lord Bilimoria, founder of Cobra Beer


Clive Drinkwater, North West Regional Director, UKTI

To attend this session register here. 


Manufacturing Rant: Why we need a manufacturing policy

Lord Bilimoria, the founder of Cobra Beer, tells us why Britain needs a proper manufacturing policy.

 To attend this session register here. 


The Future of Making Things

In 2011 Chancellor George Osborne closed his budget speech announcing a return to manufacturing in Britain. He said he wanted the words: ‘Made In Britain, Created in Britain, Designed in Britain, Invented in Britain, to drive our nation forward. A Britain carried aloft by the march of the makers. That is how we will create jobs and support families’

Five years on, has there been a march of the makers?

This TED-style session led by Asif Moghal of Academy Award winning, 3D software designers, Autodesk, explores what’s been shaping manufacturing, how Britain’s makers have become creative – disruptive -  in their responses to changes in technology, and which technologies are best placed to accelerate Britain’s journey into the future of making things.

To attend this session register here. 


Nothing New Under the Sun: The Circular Economy

Remember when your TV broke and the man from Radio Rentals came round, fiddled about behind the set, and hey presto, your TV was fixed again? When did that culture of fixing stuff disappear? How can we get it back? And why do we need to?

This session will look at how manufacturers can embrace the concept of re-using materials in a world with finite resources.


Facilitator: Philippa Oldham, Head of Transport and Manufacturing, IMechE

Cyndi Rhoades, Founder/CEO, Worn Again

Dr Fiona Charnley, Lecturer in Sustainable Product and Service Design, Cranfield School of Management

Roger Mason, Senior Commercial Manager, Autocraft

To attend this session register here.


Man and woman vs machine: How AI is going to take your job

As Artificial Intelligence develops and we create robots that can do cognitive work, what’s the future for white collar work? Who needs a lawyer to trawl through past cases, when a computer can do it for you? Why bother with translation services when your smartphone can translate simultaneously anyway? How on earth are we going to earn a living?


Dave Lester, Associate Professor, The Human Brain Project, Manchester University

Gareth Stokes, DLA Piper

Sarah Black, Production Manager, Siemens, Congleton

Phil Jennings, UNIGlobal


Stefan Stern, Director, High Pay Centre

To attend this session register here. 

In order to attend a Blue Skies Session register on Eventbrite for the session you wish to attend. 

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