Group Resources

Futures Council Roster
Future of Food Production Roster
Future of Building Roster

Group Leadership

Ben Smith
Kubota Tractor Corporation

Vice Chair
Bob Wold
Trimble Inc.

AEM Staff Contact

Al Cervero
Sr. Vice President, Technology & Revenue Creation | 414-298-4125


The Futures Council is AEM’s leading source of information on disruption. Using the expertise of members, futurists and professionals in applied technology, it seeks to develop the most pertinent and engaging information to inform members about changes that could impact what they manufacture and how AEM could adapt to thrive in that change. The goals of the Futures Council are to:

  • Serve as an early alert system to AEM and its members through reviewing and discussing disruptions on the horizon (out three to seven years or presently experiencing exponential growth) that have potential to impact off-highway equipment manufacturers and/or AEM from the Association’s perspective.
  • Consider if the disruptions will impact AEM’s service offerings and/or if AEM should begin dialoguing with its members on the topics through its Boards, committees and content.


  • Identify a prioritized list of disruption topics that AEM should bring to its membership through content, committees or Sector Boards: disruptions within its trades of construction, agriculture, utility, forestry and mining, or disruptions in its operations of channel to market, manufacturing or supply channel.
  • Deliver to the AEM Education and Content team, membership or Boards, ideas or changes in suggested approaches to support the membership. In addition, add to a “watch list” of items likely to disrupt the Association’s service and financial model.
  • Establish a regular cadence of disruption outlook content delivered to members.
  • Oversee Future Vision Teams, think tanks that include members, non-members and/or subject matter experts, as needed:
    • Future of Food.
    • Future of Building.
  • Oversee peer groups that are pay-to-participate and include members in focused work areas to build a network of influential peers.

2022 Priorities

  • Verify Vision Team objectives for Future of Food and Future of Building. Monitor the timeline with interim goals for the Vision Teams with milestone in 2022 to achieve a rough draft presentation by October 2022.
  • Continue to raise awareness of topics which need education enhancement within the membership.


  • The Council will gather in person a minimum of one time per year and up to two more times virtually to discuss such topics in order to provide an early alert system to AEM and its members. A common in-person gathering might be at a Board meeting, or in conjunction with the AEM Annual Conference.
  • Via the Future Vision Teams deliver Future of Food and Future of Building white papers with actionable recommendations.
  • The Council will also serve as a content contributor to AEM Communications on topics deemed of value to the membership by the Council.


  • Select leaders from 15 to 20 AEM members with a possible addition of outside subject matter experts from time to time. Terms are two years with the ability to be reelected.
  • Preferably from a leadership, product marketing, innovation, digitization or research and development position.
  • Identified by the member company as a potential future leader in their organization.
  • The Council may be comprised of up to three non-members with a background in futures studies, app/technology, digital expertise, new process development or similar.


  • The Futures Council meets about six times annually, bimonthly, as needed.
  • The Future Vision Teams meet six to eight times annually.
  • At least 75% attendance is required to participate any of these groups.