Aspen Ideas Festival Panel: Manufacturing in America

Last month I flew to Aspen, Colorado for a panel at the Aspen Ideas Festival. I really enjoyed the panel. The theme of the discussion was “Do we think we can bring back American manufacturing to point and state it was 50 yrs ago?”

The point is, like all industries, the manufacturing industry has evolved, and is evolving.

After co-founding / working on Maker’s Row for 5 years, and meeting with hundreds of entrepreneurs and manufacturers based in the U.S., I know there are real benefits to keeping manufacturing stateside. A few benefits I’ve seen are:

  1. Access to manufacturing expertise and the ability to collaborate with engineers and manufacturers.
  2. Quick turn around times
  3. Short production runs
  4. Ability to protect designs
  5. Having a relationship with factories

It was a short panel, so I wasn’t able to fully get all my thoughts out, but my co-panelists brought some great expertise and are proving it’s possible. One of the panelists was a Maker’s Row user I hadn’t met before, which was nice, the other had been featured on our blog before too.

The other part that’s addressed here is the automation and re-training of the workforce as manufacturing is evolving. That’s something I’ve been thinking about quite a bit, and I know many others are too. In any case, it was a great panel, and I’m missing that Aspen altitude already. Thanks Aspen Institute for putting it together!