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Thought Leadership

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.

Our speaker events are part of an important dialogue that advances transportation innovation for the public good. The transportation community is invited to join the conversation in person or by live-streamed webinar for our events. 

About Our Speaker Series

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

Our Transportation Trajectories series features Volpe experts.

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

Join us for our 2021 speaker series.
Read final report or view highlights from our 2021 thought leadership series.

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 Final Report
Read the 2019 speaker series final report.

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.

Last updated: Thursday, January 13, 2022