Futures Council

Without disruption and reinvention, progress is not possible.

The global impact that agriculture and infrastructure have on communities and economies is well known. Taking that knowledge and the strong commitment of our members to have a positive impact, AEM’s Futures Council determined it must take an active role in building the future of both industries.  

With that framework in mind, the council set out to reimagine and ultimately restructure itself in order to meet the ever-evolving needs of AEM, its members and the markets they serve. The new Futures Council assembles key thought leaders from our industries to build a collective view on both the future of food and the future of building. 

Thought leadership needs to be more than generating a list of possible disruptors that the full membership should become aware of and understand. It requires association members to actively engage in critical conversations that lead to how the future of food and future of building evolves. Additionally, we must outline the role of the equipment manufacturing industry in these futures.

This will be accomplished by the formation of Future Vision Teams and Peer Groups that the Futures Council oversees. The Council is still responsible for setting and prioritizing topics and trends impacting industries today. They provide the pulse check and gathering place for trends, signals and regulations that should be monitored. Additionally, they recommend trend research and education to membership, and they assist as subject matter experts on topical matters.


Ben Smith

 “Tomorrow will be different from yesterday. As a group of thought leaders, it is responsibility to find early signals the point to how future will evolve. There are a number of ways to accomplish this task. The revamped AEM Futures Council is an exciting group that welcomes the task of guiding the experience of team on the journey of discovering the early signals in point to the future.” -- Ben Smith, Principal Advisor - Business Lead, Kubota Tractor Corporation


The two new Future Vision Teams, made up of AEM members and subject matter experts, will work to understand the trends across many industries. They will then evaluate these trends for possible impact on agriculture and construction as we know it today, as well as create scenarios for the future of food and the future of building. From these scenarios, the teams will identify what support mechanisms AEM can and should provide to help the members realize predicted scenarios. This commissioned work would outline how the trends, processes and regulations that are occurring will change the industry. The product result is a complete scenario plan (Year 1) that illustrates what the industry will look like in the future. Specifically, the plans identify what support mechanisms AEM can and should provide to help the members realize predicted scenarios (Year 2).

The planned addition of Peer Groups delivers a structured gathering place of executive peers around stimulating agenda items. They provide a unique opportunity to build professional networks and seek outside perspectives on key issues. Each group would be chaired by a Futures Council member to allow for cross-pollination of relevant content to Future Vision Teams or other Council work. Members from each group would pay for the access to each other and the focused, relevant and timely agenda item.

Thought leaders with a desire to shape the world of tomorrow are vitally important to the ability of our members to build our cities and feed our world. After all, the future of food impacts everyone, and the future of building must be choreographed. And it’s your input that will help make that happen, as only you know those industries and what it will take to ensure they will continue to grow and succeed.

The Futures Council is seeking recommendations on members for both Future Vision Teams and Peer Groups that will launch in 2021. If you or someone on your team wants to actively engage in the future of food or the future of building, please reach out to AEM Director of Education Programs Brooke Konopacki at bkonopacki@aem.org

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