This era of exponential change will continue to disrupt business models and shape how we work, forcing leaders to accelerate success or be outperformed. Peter Sheahan, Dr. Jimmy Williams Jr., Heather McGowan and Vusi Thembekwayo will share their thought-provoking insights to redefine how you lead today to be relevant in the future.

Program: Sunday, January 6, 9:00am – 4:00pm | Westin Pittsburgh, Westmoreland Ballroom

If you are interested in receiving an invitation, please contact Erin Shamus at eshamus@pcma.org



Location: Il Tetto, 942 Penn Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15222


Peter Sheahan, Founder & Group CEO, Karrikins Group
We live in a VUCA world – it’s volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous. Business expert and summit facilitator Peter Sheahan will examine the paradigm shift facing today’s leaders to better prepare for this demanding and fluid business environment.

Dr. Jimmy Williams Jr., Executive Director, Distinguished Service Professor of the Engineering and Technology Innovation Management (ETIM) Program, Carnegie Mellon University
The most disruptive industrial revolution is upon us requiring massive changes to existing systems and institutions that sustained us in an age where technology, connectivity and information were less accessible. You’ll hear what’s to come in the future and how it will redefine your company and leadership role.

Location: Pennsylvania Ballroom

Heather McGowan, Future of Work Strategist
Gartner predicts one in three jobs will be converted to software, robots and smart machines by 2025*. All leaders will soon be in a quandary – how do you shed outmoded roles in your organization and replace with the right talent and skills if training isn’t available for what the future demands? Work Future of Work Strategist Heather McGowan will shed light on the new skills and training needed for what the Fourth Industrial Revolution will bring to our doorsteps.

Vusi Thembekwayo, CEO of MyGrowthFund and IC Knowledge Bureau
Leaders must exert the right amount of pressure on their teams to disrupt their business models and drive change that leads to sustainable profitability. This form of organized, intentional innovation is crucial for gaining and sustaining competitive advantage. In this session we’ll explore a framework that intersects leadership, innovation strategy and brings new value to your customers.

Facilitator Peter Sheahan will distill the day’s concepts into a leadership framework that will empower you to bring a new growth mindset back to your team and organization.

Location: David L. Lawrence Convention Center, 3rd Floor – PCMA Hall of Fame

Location: David L. Lawrence Convention Center Hall A
Learn about Pittsburgh’s innovations and technological advances in a stunning, multi-faceted and interactive celebration (spoiler alert: first internet emoticon) while tasting how the city put a local spin on some classic cuisine, a move that has the city’s culinary scene garnering international attention. Musical entertainment will keep you moving through the night while enjoying games, refreshing beverages and all the networking you can handle!


Leadership Summit brought to you by


Business Events are uniquely positioned to drive economic and social prosperity in communities improving the lives of citizens around the world. The digital revolution and changing role of cities will impact socio-economic conditions requiring new approaches to increasingly complex challenges. Participants will gain insight into macro trends and hear case studies demonstrating how progress is possible when destinations, organizations and key community leaders join forces.

Program: Monday, January 7, 9:00am – 4:30pm | DLCC, Level 4, 413 – 415 (Opening Main Stage will be in Level 2 Hall B)


Location: DLCC Level 2 Hall B
Seth Godin, Founder & CEO, Seth Godin Productions

All business event strategists are marketers with the responsibility of creating connections, empathy, providing experiences and making a difference. Yet many organizations are stuck in outmoded approaches expecting different results. Marketing sage Seth Godin will reveal how to cut through the noise in our attention economy and initiate change that puts your brand back into the center of the conversation.

Dr. Kjell Nordström, Founder, Owner & CEO at Ebony Tower AB
Aloysius Arlando, CEO, Singex Venues Pte Ltd.
Over the next 30 years international business as we know it will radically change from being multi-national to multi-urban. This paradigm shift, brought on by mass urbanization, digitization and globalization, will put added pressure on urban areas to address growing social and economic inequality. We’ll examine the mind shift needed to drive progress in this new age of exponential transformation.

Felix Rundel, Head of Programmes and International Development, Falling Walls Foundation
Andrew J. Ginther, Mayor of Columbus, Ohio
Shannon Hardin, President of Columbus City Council
Brian Ross, President and CEO, Experience Columbus

Delivering social, economic and scientific breakthroughs requires the right community and engagement strategy to tackle big challenges and unearth opportunities. We’ll explore the latest insights on what it takes to form, engage and grow community hubs to ignite real, sustainable change.

Karen Bolinger, Chief Executive Officer, Melbourne Convention Bureau
Mike Waterman, President & CEO, Visit Houston
John Kajander, Strategic Consultant

Business Events are a means to introduce innovation, inspire creative solutions, develop brands, and make an economic impact within the community. When business event strategists mobilize a network of local leaders it creates a path towards business growth, social progress and skill development. We’ll hear from business event leaders and their stakeholders on what it took to bring real progress to their community.

Peter Sheahan, Founder & Group CEO, Karrikins Group
What role do you play in driving positive social and economic change? Who should be at the table to make a larger impact? By the end of the program you’ll begin building a roadmap that will define how you collaborate with community leaders to leverage business events as a platform for positive change.


Forum on Economic and Social Progress brought to you by

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