Innovation and sustainability have a long history in Morristown.
Alfred Vail developed the telegraph on Speedwell Avenue at “the old factory building,” now a museum. The mansion of his cousin Theodore Vail, the first president of AT&T, is now a set of high-end residences and a gourmet restaurant.
The Garden State’s pioneering technology will be celebrated this month at the Morris County Economic Development Corporation’s Innovation Forum, sponsored by the Morris County Chamber of Commerce’s sustainability committee on Nov. 15, 2018.
“New Jersey is built to lead the innovation economy,” Gov. Murphy stated at a recent forum on economic policy. “We were Silicon Valley before there was Silicon Valley.”
Thomas Edison established his first laboratory in Menlo Park, where he developed the microphone, the electric light bulb and electric power distribution.
Later, the antibioitic streptomycin, television, sound-motion recording and fluid catalytic cracking for petroleum refining were birthed in New Jersey. At Bell Labs the transistor, photovoltaics and programming languages were invented and commercialized, and Nobel Prizes were won.
Vail and Edison ushered in the second industrial revolution, following the steam engine.
Number three was the digital revolution, which empowered individuals with personal computers, the internet and advanced communications technologies.
The fourth industrial revolution (also called Industry 4.0) includes robotics, artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, quantum computing, biotechnology, the Internet of Things (IoT), 3D printing and autonomous vehicles.
Industry 4.0’s defining characteristics are connectivity with society as a whole, not just individuals. Discussions of social responsibility and sustainability are at the core of this movement, and they will be on the menu over lunch at the Hanover Marriot during the forum. To register email LuAnn at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For the first time, the Chamber and EDC are combining talks about innovation and sustainability, starting at 9 am. A morning panel will discuss philanthropy, community engagement and environmental sustainability. Panelists include:
- Lois Manzella Marchitto – Managing Director of Fitness Coaching, LLC
- Ashley Gregory – Benefits & Wellness Coordinator at Wyndham Hotels & Resorts
- Joseph Jones – VP, Innovation Communications Americas, for BASF
- Jay Weisman – Founder and principal of Legacy Philanthropy Group
- Angela Ortiz – Energy & Sustainability Policy Manager at PSE&G
- Susie Schub – Founder of Caring Capital
Moderator Jeana Wirtenberg, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Professional Practice in the Management & Global Business Department at the Rutgers Business School. The Morris County resident formerly worked for Fairleigh Dickinson University’s Institute of Sustainable Enterprise.
The fee is $65 for Chamber members and $85 for nonmembers.