From heavy industry to homegrown businesses, manufacturing is part and parcel with modern living. But new innovations and logistical challenges could transform the field — with significant consequences for brands, businesses, institutions, and consumers.

How AI, sustainability and politics are reshaping the future of manufacturing
What the Future: Manufacturing
Download the full What the Future: Manufacturing issue

The “death of manufacturing” in the U.S. is one of those tropes that has made headlines for  decades. But manufacturing in the U.S. could look different in the next decade, where output continues to grow while jobs continue to fall.

What the Future: Manufacturing explores a future that will be shaped by macro forces like increased automation and employee power shifts, and by attitudes and tensions between nationalism and globalism, and between sustainability and affordability.

Read on for an exclusive look at the business questions that manufacturers large and small will face in the coming years, including how small business manufacturing will survive, whether we will get to a more sustainable future, and how the industry will staff and train from a shrinking talent pool and a more automated workforce.

Want more foresight content? Subscribe to the What the Future newsletter for new topics each month. And join us on February 8th as What the Future editor Matt Carmichael shares exclusive U.S. data from our Future of Manufacturing study.

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Letter from the Editor

How AI, geopolitics, and sustainability are changing how we make things

Matt Carmichael, What the Future editor, head of the Ipsos Trends & Foresight Lab

What the Future: Manufacturing | Matt Carmichael


The changes in people, markets and society that will shape the future

Trevor Sudano Principal, Ipsos Strategy3

What the Future: Manufacturing

Interviews & Features

How tech is helping companies future-proof their supply chains

Scott DeGroot, vice president of Global Distribution and Planning, Kimberly-Clark Corporation

What the Future: Manufacturing

How to align ESG with what matters most to Americans

Brand insights from Ipsos’ Trent Ross

How we can keep small manufacturing “Made in the USA”

Rob McMillan, founder, Dearborn Denim

What the Future: Manufacturing

Why Americans’ attitudes on globalization are in flux

Brand insights from Ipsos’ Jennifer Bender

What the Future: Manufacturing

How companies can mine technology for the energy transition

Denise Johnson, group president, Resource Industries, Caterpillar

What the Future: Manufacturing

How human-robot partnerships will remake manufacturing

Anders Billesø Beck, vice president, strategy and Innovation at Universal Robots A/S

What the Future: Manufacturing

Americans have mixed feelings about automation in the workforce

Brand insights with Ipsos’ Jennifer Berg

What the Future: Manufacturing

How organized labor will fit into a reorganized economy

Brand insights from Ipsos’ Annaleise Azevedo Lohr

What the Future: Manufacturing

Future Jobs to Be Done

Brand insights from Ipsos’ Sophie Washington

What the Future: Manufacturing


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How AI, geopolitics, and sustainability are changing how we make things


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