Coronavirus, trade wars, market corrections, Brexit, upside-down yield curves and more are all stacking up to ensure our economists will have their hands full as they assess the Houston, U.S., and global economies. They will forecast the condition of jobs, real estate, trade, and markets for the upcoming year. I anticipate some head scratching and lively debate as we attempt to make sense of economic peculiarities currently facing Houston and the World. On April 2, at the Houston Northwest Chamber of Commerce Economic Outlook Forum, Patrick Jankowski of the Greater Houston Partnership, Jesse Thompson of Federal Reserve Bank-Dallas, and Dr. Luis Torres of Texas A&M, Real Estate Center will present their facts, findings and predictions on the state of the economy.

You won’t just be asked to interpret squiggly lines plotted on an X/Y axis, this year’s theme is logistics. Northwest Houston is a hub for the manufacturing, warehousing, and distribution of goods throughout the Houston region, the entire State, and south and central United States. Additionally, George Bush Intercontinental Airport moves over 45 million people and over 500 metric tons of cargo through the airport a year. Moving people and things from one place to another has become an integral part of the Houston Northwest Economy.

Elaborating on this theme, our opening keynote is the executive director of Pumps & Pipes. Stephen Igo, who will explain the unique circumstance on how the local energy, medical, and aerospace industries share a common objective of moving fluids through a system using very similar, albeit physically different mechanics. Their collaboration in Pumps & Pipes shares technological advancements and devises ways to integrate these applications into their respective fields of work.

In the middle of the day, we will have a panel of logistics experts from Daikin/Goodman, Sysco Foods and Houston Airports talk to us about how technology is changing the fundamentals of how products and people are moved from one point to another through large and complex networks with ever increasing volume and efficiency. These massively large operations will explain some of the state-of-the-art systems being developed in their industries. Our intent is to instill some inspiration and understanding which you can implement into your business, because the disruption of the “Amazon Effect” has changed customer expectations. Now more than ever, attention to your company’s logistics and operations are critical.

Closing out our day is a very special guest. Who can think of a greater logistical challenge than going back to the moon for the purpose of putting humans on Mars? Extended human space flight poses an entirely new set of health risks to astronauts in space. Dr. Dorit Donoviel, Director of the Translational Research Institute for Space Health (TRISH) at the Baylor College of Medicine is recruiting some of the brightest minds in the country to devise solutions for mitigating these risks. Empowered by NASA, TRISH connects the dots for game-changing space health countermeasures and technologies, and is exploring health’s new frontiers.

You will also have opportunities to network with your peers and visit with many of our local vendors and sponsors who will have their wares on display. If you are thirsty for information, or are generally curious by nature, this will be the best use of your time and money all year. So, please join us at the Houston CityPlace Marriott at Springwoods Village on April 2.

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