MRMW NA 2024: Interview with the opening speaker- Jennifer Brace from Ford Motor Company

MRMW NA 2024: Interview with the opening speaker- Jennifer Brace from Ford Motor Company
MRMW: It is wonderful to have you on board as our opening speaker at MRMW NA 2024. Can you give us a sneak peek into your topic and presentation and what attendees can expect at the event?

Jennifer: I am the Chief Futurist at Ford, and that often comes with questions when people find out what my title is. The talk I’ll give at MRMW NA 2024 is- “Thinking Like a Futurist.” I’m going to share some easy day-to-day tips that people can use to help give themselves a better perspective on what the future might hold and, more importantly, how they can be better prepared for it.

MRMW: You’ve had a long career and a deep connection with Ford. Can you tell us a little about your journey at the organization?

Jennifer: My journey at Ford certainly did not start with an expectation of becoming a futurist or a foresight practitioner. In some ways, I wasn’t a very good futurist when I started because I would have never expected to end up in a spot like this. I started in engineering, with a Bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering and a Master’s in Engineering Management from the University of Michigan. Early in my career, I was working on in-vehicle technology, specifically touch screens, figuring out how to input navigation destinations, radio presets, and other functions.

I then transitioned to the marketing department, leveraging my technical background. After a few years, I led a research team at Ford’s Palo Alto office, focusing on qualitative research and innovation projects, especially in the autonomous vehicle space. After five years in Silicon Valley, I returned to Michigan in 2020 to join the Trends and Futurology team. I learned from my predecessor, Sheryl Connelly, until she retired in 2022, and I’ve been leading the team since then.

MRMW: What are your expectations from MRMW NA? What are your thoughts on the conference?

Jennifer: I’m looking forward to it. Number one, it brings together a community of people who are looking to understand research and how to do it better, and looking for new ways of connecting, whether it be with consumers or getting stronger, better data. I saw some talks that I’m looking forward to with respect to DEI and diversity and using different tools. I am looking forward to learning and connecting with some of the other participants at the conference, people in similar spaces. I expect that we are all dealing with similar questions or challenges, so I always enjoy connecting with others in another space to share how we’re tackling the same problems.

MRMW: Thank you very much Jennifer!

Our next upcoming events are MRMW EU 2024 in Berlin and MRMW MENA in Dubai. The conferences will spotlight the latest tools, technologies, and methodologies shaping the landscape of Market Research.

MRMW Europe features speakers from Nestle, Burger King, Philips, Givaudan, British American Tobacco, Bank Millennium, Foodspring, Ericsson and many more. Registration and the full agenda are available here!

Super Early Bird Tickets for the inaugural MRMW MENA conference are now available for only $795! Based on the strong demand of our international and local partners we are proud to host the only market research conference in the region on December 10&11 in Dubai.


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