nologies is important for the future competitiveness of their business, but few have
really figured out what it means to them and
what they need to do. So, there is a great opportunity today for those companies to prepare themselves to compete in the next era of
global manufacturing. If we look at companies like Johnson & Johnson, who’ve been
around for over a hundred years, they’re
making real investments in a suite of Industry 4.0 technologies right now. But it requires leadership from senior levels, backed
by investment and resources and time and
talent, and the ability to take some risks, to
explore how some of these new technologies
can help design, and make, and fulfil products differently.
There are examples of companies that
are making this shift happen and embracing
new technologies today. But it’s a challenge
because it requires them to think and act differently for the future.
Q: What ne w skills will leaders need to
succeed in this fast-changing, digitally-
A: A couple of the common success factors
that the World Economic Forum has highlighted, and also that we’ve seen just in our
own experience, is a willingness to look outside of your own walls for what’s happening, to learn and realize that the best ideas
may be outside of the boundaries of your
legacy business or your legacy supply chain.
The second key factor is the willingness to
take some risks and experiment and to make
investments behind the new technologies to
bring them into the flow of the business.
Q: What other key factors do you feel will
determine the future of manufacturing?
A: One thing we’ve not talked about is talent.
There is an opportunity for manufacturing
to really capture the imagination of young
professionals today in a way that it did gen-
erations ago. When young engineers see
what is now possible and what the next era of
design and manufacturing can look like, it is
inspiring by any measure. We need to contin-
ue to put emphasis on helping young profes-
sionals and students to understand both the
importance and the value of the next area of
For example, we recently hosted an organization called MakerGirl at Fast Radius. This is an organization that tries to
introduce science and technology, engineering, and math to young girls. 20 young
girls came to the factory and had a digital
design experience and worked to design
and produce a product that they had imagined, which we printed for them over the
course of a few hours. They had an introduction to the world of digital design and
manufacturing that allowed them to bring
their ideas to life in the same day. It is just
an incredibly powerful and inspiring thing
I think this is another reason to be really excited as more talent and more passion comes back into the manufacturing
space again, as we’ve seen in other eras. This
should give us all cause for great excitement
about what is to come.
Q: Finally, if you had to focus on one thing
as a watchword for the future of manufac-
turing, what would that be?
A: Possibility. It’s the core of Fast Radius.
We are driven to make new things possible
to advance the human condition. We believe
that these new tools, and digital design, and
Manufacturing Industry 4.0, allow us to
make fundamentally new things possible to
advance the human condition. That’s inspiring. That’s noble. That’s worthy of all of our
efforts and pursuit. M
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nies are now
embracing ne w
important for the
tiveness of their
fe w have really
figured out what
it means to them
and what they
need to do.”