Overview | Speakers | Registration


Day one - Industry Day Speakers

The first day has an industrial focus with talks and presentations from leading senior directors:


Jacob Dirks, GVP, Advanced Manufacturing Engineering, Grundfos

Topic: Advanced Manufacturing Engineering as a competitive differentiator – past, present and future.


Jacob Dirks started his career at Grundfos in production technology research in 1993 and had leadership roles covering quality, lean, services and maintenance before taking up his latest position heading up Advanced Manufacturing Engineering (AME) for the Group. The role covers the shaping of Grundfos’s investment strategy in AME across its extensive global network of manufacturing facilities. 

John Fleming, Former Executive Vice President, Global Manufacturing and Labour Affairs, Ford

Topic: Ford’s Journey into Industry 4.0 - using the 2015 F Series as a case study.


John joined Ford Motor Company as an apprentice in 1967 and worked through all manufacturing positions until moving to the USA in 1995 to be responsible for 7 Factories in the US and Mexico. He moved onto the Manufacturing Engineering Global position and had the opportunity to lead the development of a Stamping Business Unit.


Following a period in Europe, John moved back to the USA in 2009 to become Exec VP for Manufacturing and Labour Affairs Globally as part of Alan Mulally‘s vision to establish a global matrixed organisation and expand the global footprint rapidly. As the Companies Chief negotiator, he also led the last two UAW Contracts.

In 2015 John retired from Ford after 48 years and has worked in consultancy and board positions. Currently he is the Senior Advisor to Changan Automobile Company in China, A Board Member for Republic Airlines and an advisor to two start-up Companies.

Pietro d'Arpa, Europe Supply Chain Director, Logistics and End to End Strategic Planning, P&G

Topic: Sharing What Works Across Worldwide Operations Through Standardizing Global Operating Systems.


Pietro is currently responsible for Logistics Operations and Strategic Planning in Europe and across all the P&G Categories of Products. He has worked for P&G for 30 years in numerous global businesses including laundry detergents, paper, pet care, and beauty products in a variety of manufacturing and supply chain roles.


He possesses significant expertise in strategic sourcing, production planning, logistics, manufacturing and Supply Chain M&A. He has broad international experience including living and working in Italy, Belgium, the UK, Ireland, Switzerland and the United States. He is known for transforming the entire supply chain, leveraging disruptive and innovative solutions while accelerating business value creation. He has recently led the renewal of P&G’s Integrated Work Systems (IWS) approach to build and sustain world class manufacturing results; integrating TPM, Lean and High Performance methodologies in an End to End supply chain environment.

Helena Leurent, Head of Government Engagement, Member of the Executive Committee, World Economic Forum

Topic: The Future of Production - impacts of new production technologies and changing socio-political landscapes.


Helena Leurent is Head of Government Engagement at the World Economic Forum. As Head of Government Engagement, Helena is responsible for ensuring that leaders in government around the world are actively engaged into, and optimally benefit from, the collaborative efforts of the Forum. She leads the Forum's initiative on the future of production which provides a platform for leaders around the world from public and private sectors to innovate and work together towards growth, employment and sustainability. Her team is also responsible for management of relationships with international organisations and efforts on humanitarian response.


Helena is a Member of the Executive Committee at the World Economic Forum. She previously led the Business Engagement team of the Forum, engaging top businesses as Members and Partners of the Forum.



Jon Blamey, VP Global Solutions Design, LSHC, DHL Supply Chain

Jon Initially trained as a biomedical engineer, spent 8 years at Zimmer orthopaedics in a range of technical and commercial roles, then looked after project and data management functions at Quintiles laboratories, following by running one of the operations for Bupa Homecare (formerly Clinovia). Jon joined DHL in 2014 and has held a number of P & L and functional roles, mainly focussed on life sciences.

His current responsibilities include management of resourcing, training and quality control of solutions to support new and existing business opportunities. This covers full product portfolio from pharmaceutical and medical devices to clinical trials and hospital logistics. In addition Jon coordinates sharing across the practices, including automotive and technology sectors.


Jon has spent over 30 years in LSHC and holds a BSc (Hons) in Mechanical Engineering, MSc in Materials Science and PhD in Biomedical Engineering as well as an MBA gained in 2000


Day two - Academic Day Speakers

The focus turns to academia, exploring the latest research in the set themes. There will be ample opportunity for questions and informal discussion to enable delegates to assess the relevance of issues to their own sectors. An open forum at the end of the day will debate these issues and identify common themes and needs. Speakers include: 



Nitin Joglekar, Dean’s Research Fellow / Professor Operations and Technology Management, Boston University Questro School of Business

Topic: Globalisation in the changing technological and political landscape


Nitin interests involve Digital Product Management Thinking (DPMT), deployment of analytics and machine learning techniques in innovation processes, and digitization of supply chains.


In addition to his academic career, he has overseen product management and supply chain implementations at established firms, and founded a software startup. Professor Joglekar is the department editor for Technology, Innovation Management, and Entrepreneurship at IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management. He is also a department editor for industry studies and public policy at Production and Operations Management Journal.


James Zhan, Senior Director of Investment and Enterprise at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)

Topic: Global Perspective on Investment in the Digital Economy


Dr. Zhan has rich experience at national and international level in the areas of trade, investment, technology, entrepreneurship, corporate governance, business facilitation and national development strategies. He has directed extensive research on investment trends and policies, global consensus-building on key emerging issues, and technical assistance to governments (including at cabinet level), parliaments and institutions in over 160 countries. He led the formulation of global guidelines for a new generation of investment policies, including the Investment Policy Framework for Sustainable Development, and the Roadmap for Reforming International Investment Governance. He facilitated the formulation of G20 Summit outcomes on investment in 2010, 2011, 2013, 2016 and 2017. He initiated the establishment of the UNCTAD World Investment Forum.


Wolfgang Lehmacher, Head of Supply Chain and Transport Industries, World Economic Forum

Topic: The impact of advanced technologies on supply chains


Wolfgang Lehmacher is Head of Supply Chain and Transport Industries at the World Economic Forum. He is a global executive, management consultant and entrepreneur – expert in the field of supply chain, transport and logistics. He has been involved in major change initiatives in the industry. During his career Wolfgang has been heading country, regional and global innovation, expansion and investment projects of Fortune 500 and other leading companies, including forwarders, integrators and parcel and postal operators, and is supporting various start-ups, social enterprises and not-for-profit organisations. 


Ann Vereecke, Faculty Dean / Professor, Operations and Supply Chain Management, Vlerick Business School

Topic: Global production networks - where next?


Ann teaches Operations and Supply Chain Management in the MBA and Master programmes at Vlerick Business School. She is actively involved in executive teaching and in research projects for a broad range of companies (such as Aliaxis, AB Inbev, Bekaert, Bostik, Carrefour, Corus, Etex, Goodman, Imperial Tobacco, Johnson & Johnson, Möbius Consulting, PWC, SAS, Tessenderlo Group, Umicore, YKK, Steinhoff and PostNl). She has been visiting Professor in Operations Management at Rotterdam School of Management.


She has served on the board of POMS (the US-based Production and Operations management society) and has been president of EurOMA (European Operations Management Association) and Vice President of VIL (Flanders Institute for Logistics). She also serves on the board of the food company Ter Beke.

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