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2018 World Conference on Quality and Improvement

April 30 – May 2 , 2018 | Seattle, WA

The Innovation of YOU


Get Educated …

Career Development
There are more than 100 sessions and workshops for you to choose from. Each session will present real-life applications, solutions, and results based on quality principles, while the workshops allow you to dive deeper into quality theories with hands-on learning activities. The “After 5” sessions will even demonstrate how quality can be translated into social activities.

Knowledge Transfer
As a conference attendee, you are able to purchase access to all of the session recordings, including more than 100 flash video recordings available, and each will be accompanied by a copy of the presentation, an MP3 audio file of the session, and an MP4 file to view on your smart phone or tablet. See sessions you missed, review sessions you attended, and share sessions with your colleagues once you return.

More Than Just a Conference
Training budgets are tight. But at the World Conference, opportunities to attend courses, sit in on sessions, get certified, network with leaders in quality, and learn about the newest products and services in quality from suppliers are all available for one week, in one location. Only the World Conference can provide you with this opportunity.

Join the Community
With more than 2,500 attendees from around the world, the World Conference is a premier international event. You have opportunities to share ideas with your domestic and global colleagues. Take this time to connect and make business relationships that will foster success for years to come.

Demonstrate Commitment to Quality
Your organization has experienced the positive effects of quality. Come and share your stories and experiences with others. By attending this conference, your organization will be on par with some of the leading organizations from around the world—and that will reinforce your organization’s commitment to quality in the eyes of your competitors, your colleagues, and your community.

Get Inspired …

See how other companies from all over the world have used quality tools to positively impact their bottom line in the 2017 International Team Excellence Award Process/Quality Impact Sessions. These live case studies will take you through some of the most successful quality implementations from a wide variety of industries.

Expert Advice
World Conference features world-class keynote speakers who are eager to inspire you with stories of how quality has been successful through the years, educate you on the latest in quality methodologies, and connect you with others passionate about quality.

Immediate Impact
As soon as you get back to work, you can start implementing some of the tips, tricks, and ideas you take away from the conference. You’ll hear success stories on continuous improvement initiatives, ways to decrease waste and improve productivity, and how to increase operational efficiency.


With more than 100 sessions focusing on the 2018 theme—The Innovation of You—browse through the program by day, level, focus area, and session type to find exactly what you need. 

Schedule By Day:

Sunday, April 29

Monday, April 30

Tuesday, May 1

Wednesday, May 2

Other ways to browse the program …


Focus Area

Session Type



Mel Robbins

Serial Entrepreneur, Best-selling Author, Social Media Influencer, and Motivational Speaker 

Mel Robbins is a serial entrepreneur, best-selling author, internationally recognized social media influencer, and one of the most sought-after motivational speakers in the world. Her digital platform inspires more than 20 million people a month with transformative videos, articles, positive psychology research, and inspiring content. Her latest book, The 5 Second Rule, has been on Amazon’s “Top Ten Most Read List” and is one of the most successful audio books ever published. Her TEDx talk about change has more than 10 million views.

Robbins’ media company, The Confidence Project, Inc., produces personal development programming and online courses for her global student body and corporate partners. On stage, she is a riveting, fun, and unforgettable speaker, teaching audiences a wide range of science-backed strategies with life-changing impact. She has spoken to executives at some of the world’s leading brands, including AT&T, JP Morgan Chase, Cisco, Microsoft, and Optum. She is also an award-winning opinion columnist and legal analyst for CNN, a Dr. Oz healthline expert, and a contributing editor for Success Magazine. She is a graduate of Dartmouth College and Boston College Law School. 

Luke WIlliams 

Author and globally recognized authority on disruptive innovation

At some time, someone somewhere is going to disrupt your entire industry. Shouldn’t it be you? Luke Williams, author and globally recognized authority on disruptive innovation, reveals a way of thinking that has the power to transform your business and stay ahead of the game.

Williams is one of the world’s leading business thinkers on innovation strategy. He has worked with leading companies across the globe and is a dynamic and sought-after management speaker, having lectured in 21 countries and addressed the United Nations General Assembly and the World Innovation Forum.

Williams is professor of marketing at NYU Stern School of Business; founder and executive director of the W.R. Berkley Innovation Labs; and a Fellow at Frog Design—an influential product strategy and design firm. He is the inventor of 30+ U.S. patents and has designed more than 100 products in industries ranging from transportation to finance, and healthcare to consumer electronics.

His views are regularly featured in media including Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Fast Company, The Wall Street Journal, and The Economist. He is the author of the international best seller, Disrupt: Think the Unthinkable to Spark Transformation in Your Business.

John McElligott

CEO and Founder, York Exponential 

John McElligott has always had a passion for helping and improving the quality of life of others. As a Marine, he was employed as a combat engineer during 9/11. Specializing in demolitions, explosives, construction, and engineering, he also served as a squad automatic weapon gunner and ultimately squad leader. He was honorably discharged with the rank of Sergeant.

As co-founder of Royal Square Development and Construction (RSDC) and CEO of the Squared Collective, McElligott spearheaded technology, marketing, community engagement, and investor relations as well as being a driving force in business and economic development. Helping to grow the company from four employees to nearly 40 in 18 short months, he also worked on the acquisition and development of more than 50 properties in downtown York, PA, including but not limited to the $1.54 million Bond Building project and most recently the $14 million Market Street Revitalization project.

Prior to co-founding RSDC, McElligott served as CEO and founder of two tech startups and was a graduate of the Benjamin Franklin Technology Partners Techcelerator program, with his company being the only graduate from that cohort to receive investment funding.

A sought-after national speaker on exponential technology, robotics, artificial intelligence, economic development, and disruption nationwide, McElligott left Royal Square two years ago and is currently the president of the The Fortress Initiative, CEO of The Fortress Academy (Central Pennsylvania’s first and only licensed coding bootcamp), and CEO of York Exponential, a technology company that develops and leverages robotics, machine learning, and artificial intelligence. McElligott is also the lead in the York Plan 2.0 Innovation District, a proposed, 250,000 square-foot robotics and technology campus in downtown York.

McElligott’s primary passion has focused on the rise of third-tier cities. Known professionally as a vision caster and technical futurist, he believes in the power of community networking through communication and technology. He views the struggles of York, and other third-tier cities, as a reflection of the struggles of our nation as a whole, and feels it is his civic duty to tackle those problems on a community-by-community basis. By addressing these problems on a small scale, McElligott feels confident we can begin to make positive and lasting changes not only to our communities but to our nation.

Adam Steltzner

Team Leader & Chief Engineer EDL, NASA Mars Rover Curiosity & Author 

With a rock star's presence, a storyteller's gift, and a Ph.D. in engineering physics, award-winning rocket scientist Adam Steltzner is simultaneously recognized as one of NASA’s most brilliant engineers and most unique individuals.

At 20, he was an aspiring rock star, on his way home from a gig, when he noticed that the constellation of Orion had shifted from where it was hours before. That was all it took to spark his curiosity and desire to know everything about the laws that govern the universe, leading him to return to school, earn a Ph.D., and by 35, he was an engineer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratories.

For 10 years, Steltzner led a team of engineers inventing, designing, testing, and retesting the revolutionary “sky crane” landing system that successfully placed the Mars rover, Curiosity, on the Martian surface in 2012. Five times heavier than its predecessors, Curiosity required an entirely new landing system for the perilous seven-minute phase when the one-ton rover—entering Martian atmosphere at 13,000 mph—must stop fully on the surface. Since then, he’s been awarded honors ranging from the Smithsonian’s American Ingenuity Award in technology, to GQ magazine’s Spaceman of the Year. With a unique, exciting, and inspiring narrative, Steltzner discusses the power of human curiosity, the importance of fostering a culture of collaborative innovation and proves that with the "right kind of crazy," we can significantly expand boundaries and achieve the impossible. His insight and journey are captured in his book, The Right Kind of Crazy: A True Story of Teamwork, Leadership and High Stakes Innovation, released in 2016.

Peter Sheahan 

Founder and group CEO of Karrikins Group 

Founder and group CEO of Karrikins Group, Peter Sheahan is internationally known for his innovative business thinking and thought leadership. With over 120 staff, in 24 cities, across nine countries, Sheahan knows firsthand the challenges of growing a business in the rapidly changing marketplace.

Sheahan and his firm have worked with some of the world’s leading brands, including Apple, Cardinal Health, Goldman Sachs, Hyundai, IBM, Microsoft, Pfizer, and Wells Fargo. He is the author of seven books including business best-sellers Flip, Generation Y, Making it Happen, and Matter.

Sheahan has delivered more than 2,500 presentations to over 500,000 people in 20 different countries. He has been named one of the 25 Most Influential Speakers in the World by the National Speakers Association and is the youngest person ever to be inducted into their industry Hall of Fame.



The Innovation of YOU

The act of innovating is defined as “the introduction of new things or methods.” Innovation itself is neither a new concept nor a new practice, but the demand for innovation in the workplace has shifted dramatically. Out-of-the-box thinking, paradigm shifts, and challenging the status quo are all efforts that organizations have embraced for decades to gain advantage. However, today’s exponential pace of change has shifted innovation from a practice that brings advantage to a practice that is required just to keep up. This mandate exists both for organizations as a whole and for the individuals that work within them. At a professional level, the innovation of one’s self can only be fully realized through the embracing of change, the acceptance of its inevitability, and the acknowledgement that a faster future is already here. The future IS now, and both organizations and individuals have a choice to either lead the change it is bringing or be led by the change that occurs. It is within these disruptive conditions that ASQ invites you to Seattle for the 72nd hosting of the World Conference on Quality and Improvement and the next step in becoming a more innovative YOU! 


Each year thousands gather at this premier Quality event to share best practices, expand their network, and further develop their professional growth. The body of tools, techniques, and methods that Quality encompasses is ever growing, and the digital transformation of today is filled with opportunity to expand the development of new approaches that will affect how quality principles are applied tomorrow.

Focus Areas

Quality 4.0: The Future of Quality Starts Here

Digital Transformation, The Fourth Industrial Revolution and Industry 4.0 are all terms used to describe the changes that disruptive technologies are bringing to the workplace, the workforce, and the markets organizations serve. It is a topic that is central to a growing conversation, but it is a conversation that seldom (if ever) looks at the topic through the lens of quality. The sessions in this area of focus examine the effects disruptive technologies are having on the quality function and on the quality profession as a whole. They offer a quality perspective on topics related (but not limited) to areas such as:
  • Big Data
  • Data Analytics
  • Data Management
  • Cyber Security
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • The Internet of Things
  • The Future of Quality
Risk and Change
The challenges of today bring with them uncertainty and increased sensitivity to risk. Navigating this risk within an ever-changing landscape of disruption and transformation also requires organizations to change and constantly challenge past practices. Sessions in this area of focus may cover topics such as:
  • Identifying and assessing risk
  • Managing risk; innovative approaches to mitigate risk
  • Resistance to change; approaches to shorten the change curve to move from resistance to improvement
  • Moving data to action and action to results
Building and Sustaining a Culture of Quality
The use of Quality has long since expanded beyond the efforts of traditional “Quality Professionals.” This evolution has extended beyond the “quality department,” been driven throughout entire businesses, and spread much beyond its manufacturing roots. However, many remain faced with the challenge of developing work environments in which “quality is everybody’s job.” The sessions in this area of focus address the struggle of how to build a culture in which the application of Quality tools, techniques, and methods expands beyond special projects or departments and evolves into the standard way by which work gets done. They will focus on topics such as:
  • Sustaining Results
  • Foundational Quality – the basics needed to build a strong foundation
  • Organizational Process Improvement – knocking down silos
  • The Human Side of Quality
  • Leadership
  • Communication
  • Building Consensus/Getting Buy-in
Quality Fundamentals in the Digital Age
The fundamentals of Quality have not changed, but the environment and conditions in which they are applied have. The technological advances of today and tomorrow have (and will) provide great opportunity for the application of quality to be expanded. However these advances also provide the chance to reexamine how the fundamental elements of quality tools, techniques, and approaches can be applied to changing environments, a changing workforce, and emerging challenges.
  • New Application of Basic Quality Tools
  • Continuous Improvement in the Digital Age
  • Total Quality Management – TQM in the age of disruption; managing rapidly-changing processes
Master’s Series
Sessions within this area of focus explore Quality methodologies, tools, and techniques from the perspective of the seasoned professional and offer advanced content covering the more complex and intricate technical areas of the quality discipline. Areas of focus may include topics such as:
  • Current and Future Trends
  • Emerging Practices
  • Advanced Technical/Applied/Statistical Tools

2018 Conference


Past Conference Materials


International Team Excellence Award (ITEA)


Conference Location

Washington State Convention Center

705 Pike Street
Seattle, WA 98101