Opening Plenary Keynote - David Zach - sponsored by IPNI

David Zach
David Zach is one of the few professionally trained futurists on this planet, having earned a masters degree in Studies of the Future from the University of Houston-Clear Lake. Of course, this was way back in the 1980s, so it's pretty much history by now. Since then, Dave has worked with over 1400 associations, corporations and colleges offering insights on the personal and professional impact of strategic trends. In other words, he gives funny and thought-provoking keynote speeches on the future of technology, economics, business, education, demographics and society.
He reads a lot – and he reads a lot more about the past than he does about the future. He knows that change is vital but it's also overrated and in this time of tumultuous change, it's far more important that we find the things that don't change and shouldn't change. Tradition and change are really choices, and we are only prepared to choose wisely when we look far and wide for causes, implications and lasting value.
Dave has only had two real jobs; one with Northwestern Mutual and the other with Johnson Controls in the roles of environmental scanning and strategic planning. Along the way, he taught Future Studies in the School of Education at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Since 1987, he mostly sits and read everything he can and then designs fascinating presentations that leave people either engaged in vivid conversations or quietly reflecting on what it all means. He gives talks about 50 times a year and really wishes he would write more. He is the author of two books, so far.
Dave is on the board of the American Institute of Architects and on the board of the American Chesterton Society. Past activities include: Wisconsin Small Business Development Center Advisory Council, AIA-WI Board, Future Milwaukee Advisory Board, Community Advisory Board for NPR station WUWM, board member of eInnovate, member of the downtown Rotary Club of Milwaukee, and chairman of the Goals for Greater Milwaukee 2000 Education Committee.

PrecisionAg Plenary Keynote - Kevin Folta - sponsored by SST and Raven

Kevin Folta Kevin M. Folta is a Professor and the Chairman of the Horticultural Sciences Department at the University of Florida.  His research uses state-of-the-art genomics approaches to identify novel genes that control important traits in small fruits, and led the strawberry genome sequencing project- producing the 12th plant genome sequenced. His laboratory also examines how plants interact with the light environment, how specific wavelengths of light may be applied to control development of high-value crop traits. He has been recognized with several prestigious awards such as the NSF CAREER Award, the University of Florida Research Professorship, and the HHMI Distinguished Mentor Award. A key part of his program is communicating science to non-scientific audiences, and training scientists how to effectively communicate scientific or controversial topics. BS/MS Northern Illinois University 1989/1992, Ph.D. University of Illinois at Chicago, 1998. 

Closing Plenary - Robbie Schingler - sponsored by IPNI

Will Marshall
Robbie Schingler is the Co-Founder and President of Planet Labs. Prior to Planet Labs, Robbie spent 9 years at NASA. He helped to formulate the Small Spacecraft Office at NASA Ames Research Center and was Capture Manager for the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS). Robbie had two tours at NASA Headquarters. He served as NASAs Open Government Representative to the White House; and the White House recognized NASA as a model for openness in government. Robbie also served on the founding team as Chief of Staff for the Office of the Chief Technologist at NASA – where he incubated $650M Space Technology Program that focused on advanced technology. Robbie received a MBA from Georgetown University, a Masters of Science Space Studies from the International Space University, and a BS in Engineering Physics from Santa Clara University and was a 2005 Presidential Management Fellow. Learn more about Robbie and Planet Labs at and follow him and our Twitter for updates at @schingler and @PlanetLabs.

2015 Keynote Talks

International Plant Nutrition Institute

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