University Economic Development Association



October 21 - 23

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

2018 UEDA Summit Theme

Disruptive Economic Development: High Education Ecosystems as Engines of Change


Economic change is happening rapidly. Regional ecosystems need to be able to adapt to changing forces, both internal and external, to discover success. By disrupting the normal trends of economic development, regions become more agile to these forces and can realize greater long-term, sustainable growth.

Higher education is poised to serve as a leader in disruptive economic development-fostering cultures of innovation, creativity, design thinking, and entrepreneurship. While higher education institutions play a critical role in any economic ecosystem, in a disruptive environment their importance only expands.
The 2018 UEDA Annual Summit will elaborate on the concept of disruptive economic development and provide a dialogue around the following topics:


  • New workforce adaptation and artificial intelligence
  • Life within the internet of things
  • Regional diversification: industry, population, and place-making
  • Shifting regional priorities and actions
  • Regional systems to drive change
  • Non-traditional assets to impact economic development
  • Where is the workforce going to come from?

Today, nearly every conversation about the future of work and the modern economy is dominated by the specter of robotics and intelligent machines. Several studies forecast that up to half of the jobs we know today will disappear over the next 20 years—and countless new jobs will be created. In his new book, “Robot-Proof: Higher Education in the Age of Artificial Intelligence,” Joseph E. Aoun confronts head on the need for colleges and universities to meet the challenge—and indeed the opportunity—presented by smart machines. The president of Northeastern University, Aoun will discuss his blueprint for higher education featuring three primary components: a new curriculum for the A.I. age; the case for experiential learning, the ideal delivery system for this new curriculum; and a clarion call for higher education to place lifelong learning at the heart of the educational enterprise.

UEDA Summit Links

Welcome to Milwaukee

Milwaukee has a diverse cultural arts scene. It also has something other places don’t have: the people. What distinguishes Milwaukee from other cities is the warm hospitality and friendly attitude of the people who live and work here. This personal touch and heartfelt welcome make it an extraordinary place to visit, and one that will leave a positive impression on every visitor. No other major Midwestern city can claim a location where three rivers flow into a 22,000-square mile Great Lake. Milwaukee also has a rich architectural history, from the Gilded Age splendor of the Pabst Mansion to the stunning modern look of the Milwaukee Art Museum. Six of the known thirteen Frank Lloyd Wright American System-Built Homes are found here in his native state.

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