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Thought Leadership

Up, Up, and Away Final Report Header

The U.S. DOT Volpe Center has a long tradition of facilitating knowledge exchange across the transportation community. Our Office of Strategic Initiatives for Research and Innovation brings together Volpe experts, government officials, prominent academics, and forward-thinking industry and non-profit leaders to discuss fresh approaches to emerging transportation challenges.

Up, Up, and Away Final Report
Read the final report highlighting insights from this thought leadership series brought to you in partnership with FAA

About Our Speaker Series

The U.S. DOT Volpe Center’s annual speaker series convene transportation experts around an emerging transportation theme. 

Sign up for email alerts and follow us on Twitter to join the conversation at our upcoming events. Speaker events are typically held at 12:00 p.m. Eastern Time and include a 45-minute talk and a lively question-and-answer period.




Past Speaker Series: Videos, Articles, and More

Review our 2023 speaker series.
Read final report or view highlights from our 2023 thought leadership series.

From November 2023 through February 2024, FAA and the U.S. DOT Volpe Center, in coordination with the Office of the Under Secretary of Transportation for Policy, convened Up, Up, and Away: Innovations in Advanced Air Mobility. This seven-part virtual series featured transportation innovators and leaders, including Under Secretary of Transportation for Policy Carlos Monje, FAA Deputy Administrator Katie Thomson, and Elan Head, Senior Editor, The Air Current

In July-November 2023, the U.S. DOT Volpe Center hosted Delivering the Benefits of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), sponsored by the USDOT Project Delivery Center of Excellence. This eight-part virtual series featured more than 20 thought leaders across the transportation enterprise, including U.S. Transportation Secretary Buttigieg and Professor Bent Flyvbjerg, author of How Big Things Get Done and Megaprojects and Risk.

Our 2021 thought leadership speaker series, Innovation for a Sustainable, Equitable Transportation System, took place June through September 2021. As we innovate toward a clean energy future, this series considered how to transition to a low-/no-carbon transportation system—one that enables disadvantaged communities to gain access to mobility, jobs, and economic opportunity. 

Straight from the Source
This occasional series features distinguished national and international guest lecturers on a variety of transportation topics. See highlights from our most recent Straight from the Source event, "The Imperative and Opportunity to Invest in Resilient Infrastructure," February 9, 2021, featuring Dr. Stephen Flynn, founding director of the Global Resilience Institute at Northeastern University.

Our New Mobility Future convened distinguished experts in transportation entrepreneurialism, design, policy, and data science who are transforming novel transportation modes to explore the promise and pitfalls of our new mobility future—and to discuss how we’re going to get there.

Transportation in the Age of Artificial Intelligence and Predictive Analytics explored the age of artificial intelligence and predictive analytics in the context of the global transportation system

The Ongoing Transformation of the Global Transportation System continued the Volpe Center’s history of convening thought leaders, decision makers, and stakeholders from across the global transportation enterprise to anticipate future transportation issues, generate fresh approaches to emerging issues, anticipate transportation trends, and inform decision making. This series explored challenges and opportunities affecting the advancement of transportation systems.

The Future of Transportation: Safety, Opportunity, and Innovation
From driverless cars to unmanned deliveries to smart cities, innovation and new technologies are key to the future of a safe, reliable transportation system that helps more Americans reach economic opportunity. The Future of Transportation brought together top transportation innovators who are thinking beyond the horizon on these important issues.

Reimagining Transportation
What will transportation look like 10, 20, or 30 years from now? Reimagining Transportation delved into the trends that will transform transportation.

Transportation and the Economy: Leading Globally, Succeeding Locally
Speakers for Transportation and the Economy considered emerging and future issues crucial to the U.S. transportation system’s ability to keep pace with the rising demand to move people and goods and remain competitive in today's global economy.

Transportation System Resilience, Extreme Weather, and Climate Change
Global transportation infrastructure faces significant vulnerabilities. This series brought together distinguished experts to discuss challenges, opportunities, and fresh approaches related to infrastructure resiliency.

International Outreach and Coordination

Volpe is a global leader in transportation innovation. The Office of Strategic Initiatives for Research and Innovation serves as the focal point for international activities and helps to build stakeholder relationships.

Event Video & News

To see video and read stories from our past thought leadership events, please visit our Past Events page. There, you can scroll through our past speakers and click on a talk title to see related video and news content.