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Disruption = Opportunity - Renowned ‘Chief Disruptor’ Wujec Headlines 2018 Material, Technology & Design Symposium

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When your title is “chief disruptor,” you aren’t intimidated by technologies that are permanently changing the way we conceive, design, manufacture and sell products. Instead, you embrace those technologies and see opportunities where others see threats.

Tom Wujec is chief disruptor at Autodesk—the Oscar-winning industry leader in 3D computer animation technology and one of the world’s largest software companies—and he revels in sharing today’s exciting opportunities during his celebrated talks on innovation.

Wujec will share his illuminating insights as keynote speaker at the 2018 Material, Technology & Design Symposium at the CPA Fall Meeting on Sept. 23-25 in Nashville. For the second year, the symposium is being co-sponsored by Surface & Panel magazine and the Composite Panel Association in conjunction with CPA’s Fall Meeting.

The symposium is a high-powered, must-attend event that brings together leaders of the composite panel and decorative surfaces industries, along with users and specifiers of those products. Among attendees are CEOS, architects, cabinet makers, component suppliers, distributors, furniture manufacturers, industry suppliers, interior designers, store fixture manufacturers and students.



“The event provides a unique opportunity for companies that use composite wood to network and learn from each other and from our CPA members, who represent the very best panel producers and surfacing companies in North America.” said Jackson Morrill, president of CPA.




Besides top speakers such as Wujec and trailblazers in the industry, the symposium features an exhibit hall with dozens of companies displaying innovative products ranging from the latest in textured composite panels to creative new surface materials and components.

“We at Surface & Panel are passionate about panel processing and providing a platform for this remarkably dynamic industry to highlight the latest and greatest in all facets of the business–from technology to design to application,” Publisher John Aufderhaar said.

“We see the symposium as a natural extension of this mission as we work with CPA to create a forum for companies that use composite panels to come together with the North American panel processing industry to share ideas, learn about trends and see the latest offerings in composite panels and surface décor,” Aufderhaar said. “The networking opportunities are endless.”

Wujec has worked with a diverse range of clients, from the largest automotive and consumer product manufacturers to visual effects and gaming companies. In his talks, he explores why innovation matters, why it is a vital engine of economic growth and how to foster it within any organization—from plucky startups to billion-dollar legacy companies.

Working closely with Fortune 100 companies, he is counted on to create innovation practices at all stages, from strategic planning to design and implementation. Now—and with his latest book, The Future of Making—he brings his vision of disruptive innovation to global audiences, demonstrating how the entire process of imagining, iterating, constructing, manufacturing, distributing and selling products has changed in unprecedented ways.



He’s also been a leading advocate of making work visible within a company, of transforming ideas into images that enhance clarity and engagement, leading to intelligent and successful new products, services and processes. Thanks to Wujec, revolutionary companies unafraid of the disruptive landscape are creating profound new ways of understanding their employees, customers, markets, channels and products. He has brought several award-winning products to market and has published a number of influential books, including Return on ImaginationFive Star Mind, and Pumping Ions—works that have been translated into more than a dozen languages. His book, Imagine Design Create, was released at TED 2011 to rave reviews.



The 2018 symposium will be at the brand-new JW Marriott in downtown Nashville, adjacent to the Music City Center and just steps from the bars and restaurants of Lower Broadway.

For more information on the Material, Technology & Design Symposium – including registration and room reservations – go to



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