One of the more challenging and satisfying projects ENR editors engage in is to help imagine and guide the development of the conferences our company produces.

The process starts with discussions of evolving topics about which the industry needs information. It quickly it takes the form of many months of nearly weekly meetings as planners develop the agenda and turn those ideas into connections to experts. We then invite those experts to help brainstorm and plan their respective panels.

We have just wrapped up one such conference in San Francisco.  It was the latest in a series of ENR FutureTech events whose planning I participate in as technology editor.  This one provoked discussion on the construction implications of the emerging “creator economy” (in the words of our keynoter), as well as high performance and precision construction, smart civil infrastructure, the internet of things, hot research in the labs and the construction worker of the future. See the
agenda.

I want express our appreciation to keynoter Paul Saffo, who is a wonderfully thought-provoking technology forecaster, as well as to the many panelists who made the event so interesting for so many people. And I also want to thank the attendees whose enthusiasm and collected brainpower helped make it such a good ride.

The particular goal of the FutureTech conference series is to start discussions about emerging technological shifts, trends, insights and inventions that are likely to have big implications for design and construction. We are planning the next edition, which will convene at Georgia Tech in Atlanta in December, and even the one to follow it in the spring of 2015.

We are always interested in hearing from ENR’s readers, but we would particularly like to hear your thoughts about this:

What technological gem do you see glimmering just over the horizon that is likely to mean big changes for the design and construction world? What do you see coming for which we should prepare? And whom do you know who has already caught on to it and is getting ready for the opportunities and consequences?

We aim to develop the next FutureTech —and the ones to follow—around such important, but often mostly unrecognized game changers, and we would like to deliver it for you.

I hope to see you there. Tell us what you want to hear.