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2023 Future World of Work Summit 

The second annual Future World of Work Summit will take place Thursday, Oct. 5 at the UnityPoint Health Des Moines Conference & Learning Center at Iowa Methodist Medical Center. 

The Summit will inform, educate and inspire the business and education community in DSM. The event will highlight ways employers and educators can adapt and thrive in the work and learning ecosystems of tomorrow. 

The Summit programming will include hyper-local perspectives on innovation in the workplace, learning and technology. Breakout sessions will highlight each of these topics with nationally recognized thought leaders and futurists.

Register to Attend the Summit 

Future World Of Work Innovation Award

The Future World of Work Innovation Awards seek to honor and celebrate the success of organizations that have championed innovative efforts in talent attraction and retention to grow and develop the DSM region. To qualify for a Future World of Work Innovation Award, organizations must be an Investor or Regional Member of The Partnership.  

Winners will be recognized in two categories: 

  • Innovation in Talent Pipeline Award: Celebrates unique strategies a company or organization has used to create and/or strengthen the talent pipeline, including work with K-12 schools and institutions of higher education, or innovative efforts to attract employees from inside and outside the Greater Des Moines (DSM) region.
  • Innovation in Talent Retention Award: Celebrates unique strategies a company or organization has used to support current employees, including engagement efforts, flexibility/wellness, training opportunities and more.

 2023 Future World of Work Innovation Award Winners 

  • Innovation in Talent Pipeline Award: Des Moines Public Schools – Central Campus 
  • Innovation in Talent Pipeline Award: Principal Financial Group 
  • Innovation in Talent Pipeline Honorable Mention: Iowa Society of CPAs 
  • Innovation in Talent Retention Award: Hy-Vee, Inc. 
  • Innovation in Talent Retention Honorable Mention: CDS Global 


8:30 – 9 a.m.: Registration and Networking

9 – 9:45 a.m.: Welcome

  •  David Stark, CEO at UnityPoint Health – Des Moines 
  • Tiffany Tauscheck, President & CEO of The Greater Des Moines Partnership 

9:45 – 10:30 a.m.: Keynote #1: Who's Going to Do the Work? Regional Talent Development in the Age of Fewer Workers 

Josh Wright, Executive VP of the Community Division, Lightcast 

In the coming years, a region’s economic vitality will largely be determined by its ability to engage and attract the necessary workforce. While demographic shifts are producing a headwind of fewer workers, major place-based and sector-focused federal investments present communities with huge opportunities. This session will look at how national demographic trends are playing out in DSM and examine the existing workforce of the region and the talent attraction/retention needed to meet regional goals. 

About Josh Wright
Josh Write

Wright serves as Executive Vice President of the Community Division at Lightcast (formerly Emsi Burning Glass), the global leader in labor market analytics. His team works with more than 800 economic development, workforce development, site selection, and commercial real estate organizations in the US and Canada. These organizations use Lightcast’s real-time insights on local job markets to drive economic prosperity in their communities and unlock new possibilities in the labor market. Wright regularly presents and writes on data best practices and emerging trends in economic development, workforce development, and corporate talent and location decisions.


10:30 – 10:40 a.m.: Break 

10:40 – 11:25 a.m.: Keynote #2: Finding the Fulcrum: Leveraging AI to Balance Efficiency and Responsibility

Christopher Porter and Chris Snider, Drake University 

New developments in generative artificial intelligence, with tools like ChatGPT and DALL-E 2, which only recently became widely accessible, have raised many questions about their impact on sectors of the workforce previously thought to be immune to automation. How can companies effectively use such tools to improve their processes? What sorts of risks come from the use of generative AI? How do we ensure that generative AI yields the appropriate outputs for a given business operation?  

After laying out some of the basics of generative AI, this session will outline a framework for balancing the use of AI with the enduring need for human expertise and oversight, emphasizing the proverbial "human-in-the-loop." Presenters will also discuss strategies for ensuring that we keep members of the workforce "robot-proof," ensuring that they have the broader skills and outlook to navigate the rapid changes brought on by what will likely be a steady stream of new developments in generative AI. 

About Christopher Porter
Christopher Porter

Porter is the Director of the Artificial Intelligence Program at Drake University and an Associate Professor of Computer Science. Prior to coming to Drake in 2016, Porter held postdoctoral positions at the University of Paris Diderot and the University of Florida. He received a joint PhD in mathematics and philosophy in 2012 and an undergraduate degree in mathematics from Gonzaga University in 2003.

About Chris Snider
Timothy Shrimp

Snider is an Associate Professor at Drake University. He teaches social media and digital media courses to both undergrad and graduate students. Prior to joining Drake, Chris was a journalist in Baltimore, St. Louis and DSM. He moved to DSM in 2005 to start Juice magazine. Chris teaches workshops and gives presentations on topics ranging from social media strategy to personal branding to generative AI. He writes a weekly email newsletter on what’s new in social media.

11:25 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.: Lunch and Future World of Work Innovation Awards Ceremony

Hosted by Anne Cooper, Senior VP, CHRO at Sammons Financial Group and the Greater DSM Partnership Talent Development Board Chair

12:15 – 1 p.m.: Panel: The Future of Higher Education

Moderated by Jenae Sikkink, Senior Vice President of Talent Development and Inclusive Strategies at the Greater Des Moines Partnership


  • Jay Byers JD, President of Simpson College
  • Rob Denson JD, President of DMACC
  • Dr. Adreain Maurice Henry, OD, EdD, MBA, MA, President of Mercy College of Health Sciences
  • Dr. Rachelle Karstens Keck, PhD, JD, President of Grand View University

1 – 1:10 p.m.: Break

1:10 – 1:55 p.m.: Breakout Block #1 

  • Session #1: “Attracting DSM’s Future Workforce” presented by Josh Wright, Executive Vice President of the Community Division at Lightcast
  • Session #2: “Flexible Workforce Done Right” presented by Kevin Schlueter, Partner at Reworc and Wade Britt, Managing Director at Baton Global 
  • Session #3: “Future of Property & Casualty Insurance and Insurtech” presented by Pavan Goteti, Vice President of Innovation & BPM at EMC Insurance Companies

1:55 – 2:05 p.m.: Break 

2:05 – 2:50 p.m.: Breakout Block #2 

  • Session #1: “Future of Technology and Workforce in Manufacturing” presented by Mike O’Donnell, Director at the Center for Industrial Research and Service at Iowa State University
  • Session #2: “Recruiting, Hiring, and Retaining Talent from the Inside-Out” presented by Brian Berry, HR Director at Palmer Group
  • Session #3: “Reaching Early Talent through Work-Based Learning” presented by Lexi Shafer, Director of Workforce at the Greater Des Moines Partnership and Kristy Volesky, ACTE Work-Based Learning National Policy Team
Mike Kritzman

Mike is the Founder and CEO at SkillNet and a thought leader on skill measurement, resolving skill gaps, and upskilling programs. Earlier in his career, Mike used spreadsheets to manage his teams at Oracle and Ernst and Young to develop people. Mike founded SkillNet to offer a cloud service unserved by HR or LMS systems. With SkillNet, managers can retire their spreadsheets and leverage tech to develop staff. SkillNet provides personalized upskilling, manages goals and credentials. Prior to SkillNet, Mike founded and venture funded Compliance 11 which was sold to Charles Schwab. Before that, he held management positions at Oracle, Ernst and Young, and several other high growth software firms. Mike graduated from Indiana University with BS in Marketing and Mechanical Engineering from Purdue.

2:50 – 3 p.m.: Break 

3 – 4 p.m.: Panel: Business and Education Partnerships — Best Practices in Work-Based Learning 

Moderated by Beth Townsend, Executive Director at the Iowa Workforce Development 


  • Justin Gross, Superintendent at Winterset CSD
  • Mindi Heitland, Career Services Coordinator at Waukee CSD
  • Carolyn Miner, Talent Acquisition Supervisor at ChildServe
  • Kelsie Mouchka, Associate Principal at Central Campus, Des Moines Public Schools
  • Ryan Sawyer, Vice President, Human Resources at MidAmerican Energy Company


2023 Gold Sponsors

 Sammons Financial Group Logo Unity Point Des Moines Logo 


2023 Silver Sponsor

 IWD Logo


2023 Bronze Sponsors 

DMACC Logo  The Palmer Group Logo