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IFMA announces out-of-this-world keynote speakers for World Workplace Conference and Expo in Houston

Sept. 22, 2017

IFMA has upped the stakes for its flagship event, the World Workplace Conference and Expo, by introducing a keynote speaker lineup that is out of this world. For the opening keynote, visionary economist Jeremy Rifkin will look beyond the world as it is today to see the possibilities of tomorrow. The closing keynote speakers, Captains Mark and Scott Kelly, will share their experiences from leaving the planet as NASA astronauts.

IFMA will hold World Workplace in Houston, Texas, USA, on Oct. 18-20 in collaboration with the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). The 2017 keynote speakers align with this year’s theme, “We are FM: A Universe of Possibilities” — a nod to the fact that this is the first time in the event’s 20+-year history that IFMA is hosting it in Space City, home of the organization’s global Service Center of Excellence office.

Jeremy Rifkin is the author of “The Zero Marginal Cost Society” and “The Third Industrial Revolution: How Lateral Power is Transforming Energy, the Economy, and the World.” Rifkin, an advisor to the European Union, the People’s Republic of China and heads of state around the world, will discuss how we can create a smart, economically robust and sustainable society. He will be available for a meet and greet and book signing immediately prior to his opening address.

Captains Mark and Scott Kelly are highly decorated NASA astronauts and retired U.S. Navy captains whose presentation will draw from their experiences leading teams in dynamic environments, in combat and as space mission commanders. They’ll reveal powerful lessons on leadership, teamwork and sacrifice. From NASA’s Twin Study and Scott’s Year in Space, to flying in combat and personal reflections on dealing with tragedy, the Kelly brothers’ perspective and lessons will leave the audience doubly inspired and motivated. They will hold a book signing following their Friday lunch keynote session.

Following Hurricane Harvey, IFMA has declared “all systems go” for World Workplace following careful consultation with city and conference center planners. The area hosting the conference was not significantly impacted by flooding and city officials have underscored the importance of continuing business to stimulate economic recovery following the storm.

Registration is open at

What: World Workplace Conference and Expo
When: Oct. 18-20, 2017
Where: George R. Brown Convention Center, 1001 Avenida de las Americas, Houston, Texas, USA

World Workplace is the original all-encompassing learning and networking event on facilities and how to manage them. There’s program value for FM professionals at every point of their careers and across all types of facilities. Although many have tried to imitate its success, World Workplace remains the gold standard for discovering new ideas and technology impacting the FM industry. Just as Houston has been a key staging point for humanity’s exploration of outer space, World Workplace in Houston will be the launching point for FM professionals into exciting new dimensions of discovery.