The NET Conference, Touchstone Energy® Cooperatives’ signature business-to-business event, turns 20 this year.

NET 2020, which takes place Feb. 3-5 in Amelia Island, Florida, will offer networking opportunities and the latest insights on innovative technologies for co-op key accounts managers and their business members, as well as community and economic development professionals.

“The NET Conference is our co-op network’s only national forum that connects us with key accounts and businesses,” said Josh McGhee, strategic communications manager for Touchstone Energy. “It has focused on embracing new technologies, powering community and economic development and elevating our national and local key accounts programming.”

Pre-Conference Activities

Two workshops for co-ops will be held Feb. 3—one for those working on community and economic issues and another for key accounts managers.

Speaker Highlights

Opening keynote speaker Kian Gohar, a futurist, entrepreneur, and innovation strategist, will discuss innovation and convergence in the 21st century in “Building the Future Together” on Feb. 3.

Emmitt Smith, a former running back and three-time Super Bowl champion with the Dallas Cowboys and the NFL’s all-time leading rusher, will speak during the Feb. 4 general session about the power of envisioning the future and championing success—skills he learned as he transitioned from professional athlete to businessman.

The keynote speaker for the closing session on Feb. 5 will be Mark Robinson, a comedian-magician. His speech is titled “It’s Magic. It’s Business. It’s Life.”

Breakout Sessions

The nine breakout sessions encompass a variety of topics, including microgrids, smart agriculture and battery storage. Specific sessions include:

Smart Buildings—The World of Sensors and Controls: Hear how smart buildings have put control back into the hands of the building manager by creating efficiency, measurable data and automation.

Electric Vehicles: Explore how your co-op or organization can help drive EV education and adoption of the technology. Several EVs will be on display, including a Tesla model.

Community and Economic Development—Career Centers: Learn about programs between utilities and local career centers that promote talent development and community engagement.

Other Highlights

During the opening general session on Feb. 3, national and local leaders will talk about the developing world of artificial intelligence and the future of the workforce in “The Rise of AI, Robotics and Drones.”

On Feb. 4, co-ops will hear from key accounts on their needs, expectations, sustainability strategies and more in “The World of a National Energy Manager.”

Running throughout the conference will be several networking activities to bring together co-ops and national energy managers from large companies, such as McDonald’s Corp., Tractor Supply Co. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc., and the NET 2020 Expo, a showcase of cutting-edge energy solutions from sponsors.

More information, including registration details, is available on the NET 2020 website.