2017 SXSW Featured Speaker – Intelligent Future Track
As Executive Chairman of Ford Motor Company, William Clay Ford Jr. is leading the company that put the world on wheels into the 21st century. He joined the Board of Directors in 1988 and has been its chairman since January 1999. Through the years, his vision for the company has remained unchanged.
“I believe the purpose of a company is to make people’s lives better,” he says. “That is how we became great in the past and it is how we will become even greater in the future.”
Under Bill Ford’s leadership Ford Motor Company was named the Best Global Green Brand among all companies in the world in 2014, and one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies for the seventh year in a row in 2016.
In 2015, he championed the 30 Under Thirty program to develop the next generation of Ford philanthropic leaders and the Bill Ford Better World Challenge, which provides grant funding for projects that engage employees and local nonprofits in addressing needs that will improve community life and make people’s lives better.
Bill Ford is Chairman of the Board of the Detroit Economic Club, a member of the Board of Trustees of The Henry Ford and the Henry Ford Health System, and is Chairman of the New Michigan Initiative of Business Leaders for Michigan. He also served on the Board of Directors of eBay Inc. from 2005 to 2015. He was inducted into the Irish America Hall of Fame in 2011. He also is a founding partner of Fontinalis Partners, LLC, a Michigan-based investment firm that acts as a strategic operating partner to transportation infrastructure technology companies. In recognition of his commitment to education and devotion to the Detroit community, in 2015 he was given the Ambassador for Humanity Award by the USC Shoah Foundation Institute.
In August, Ford Motor Company announced plans to mass produce a line of self-driving vehicles by 2021.
Conversation with Bill Ford on Smart Mobility
Henry Ford sparked a revolution in transportation when he invented the Model T, making car ownership accessible to the masses and transforming society in ways that led to everything from suburbs to Interstate highways. A century later, his great-grandson Bill Ford is leading another seismic shift in personal transportation by advocating for mobility as a human right and calling on industry and governments to rethink how people and goods move on roads that are growing increasingly crowded as the population becomes more urbanized. Smart Mobility solutions are essential for the world’s long-term economic and environmental health and will bring new opportunities and challenges. Ford will be in conversation with C3 Group President and Co-founder Doug Newcomb at SXSW 2017.