Thought Leaders

ISPA EXPO keynote speakers explored gratitude and attitude, sustainable materials in unlikely places and our economic world at large

Mark Schulman, drummer for well-known singers such as P!nk, Billy Idol, Stevie Nicks and Cher, woke everyone up on the first day of ISPA EXPO with drum solos and an infectious positive attitude. His core message: You can’t control what happens to you, but you can control how you respond. Take Covid-19, for example. “I was messed up, y’all, for about two days,” he said. “Then I decided to embrace the change.” Calling himself “a gratitude evangelist,” Schulman counseled attendees to find their passion and purpose.

Speaking to a full room, Andrew Dent, executive vice president of research at Material ConneXion, noted a groundswell of innovation in sustainable foams, fabrics, concrete and more. The keynote speaker for the second day of the show, Dent warned that consumers are changing. Young people view the products they purchase as extensions of their personal brands, he said. But to capture those consumers, be honest – say you’re on a journey toward circularity, not that you have achieved it. “It’s going to take time,” Dent said.

Emmy Award-winning financial journalist Ron Insana, senior analyst and commentator at CNBC, shared a variety of economic insights in his ISPA EXPO address. The U.S. economy is in better shape than some people think, he said, noting that inflation is the biggest problem facing the economy these days. An improving supply chain will ease that problem, Insana said. He noted that the pandemic spurred interest in higher-quality goods and more “creature comforts,” but observed that “cocooning is not a permanent state” for U.S. consumers.

Read all ISPA EXPO 2022 Wrap-Up features.

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