The local technology and innovation conference sees yet another change.

Flying Car's 2014 logo.

Flying Car’s 2014 logo.

Though 2015 was supposed to be the year we’d all be zipping around in our flying cars, the local technology and innovation conference named after the airborne automobile won’t be returning to Milwaukee this year. Apparently, where we’re going we do need roads.

Obligatory Back to the Future Part II references aside, the Greater Milwaukee Committee (GMC), Creative Alliance Milwaukee (CAM) and Innovation in Milwaukee (MiKE, a GMC initiative) have announced a new “annual event” combining Flying Car and CAM’s “creativeMilwaukee@work Summit.”

2014’s Flying Car conference brought in Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak and featured a partnership with Summerfest. The three-day conference in 2014 was a departure from the 10-day conference in 2013 (which was preceded by the pretty bizarre “Flying Car TV“), which was a change from 2012’s “Innovation Week.”

But now, Flying Car is done, at least “for the time being,” says Danya Strait, event & communications director at the GMC. “After much thought and discussion with our leadership and stakeholders, we decided this is the best route. There is always a possibility that Flying Car may spring back up in coming years – we don’t want to rule anything out permanently! – but we look forward to the opportunities this new partnership will bring.”

As recently as January, 2014, Flying Car had some lofty goals.

“Our 10-year vision for Flying Car is it’s the pinnacle innovation event of the Midwest,” then-MiKE director Laurel Osman told the conference’s media partner, the Milwaukee Business Journal.

Nevertheless, the path forward again changes. This new annual conference will be held Wednesday, Oct. 7, and it intends to “create a more robust and comprehensive program,” according to the press release.

Here’s the rest of the information from that release.

“The link between creativity and innovation is inseparable, and both MiKE’s and CAM’s leadership determined that a combined annual event could greatly benefit our Milwaukee community and form lasting connections,” said GMC president Julia Taylor. “An event of this scale helps us to attract and retain key talent in our city, and to develop that talent right here at home.”

Research conducted by CAM, made possible in part by a grant from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), demonstrates the value the creative skill set brings to a company’s ability to innovate. Creative and analytic skills are in demand across all industries and occupations, particularly in STEM jobs.

“It is especially important at this time of tremendous potential for the Milwaukee 7 region in manufacturing, STEM and beyond to understand the intersection of the creative and innovative realms,” said CAM president and CEO Maggie Kuhn Jacobus. “Taking advantage of this can provide a competitive edge to our region to foster Milwaukee as a powerhouse for generations to come.”

Targeted attendees for the new conference include creatives in all industries and occupations, individuals in human resources and talent acquisition, corporate leaders, small business owners, STEM professionals and more. Programming will include the option of different tracks for portions of the conference specific to industry, occupation and/or experience level.

CAM and MiKE are designing the conference, scheduled for Wednesday, October 6, 2015, with local experience design firm Translator. As a part of the design process, Translator will host three community input sessions on May 8, May 15 and May 20. Following these sessions, speakers, further program content detail and the conference name will be announced in July. Advanced ticket sales will begin in August.

 

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