Martin Ford, author of the bestselling “Rise of the Robots” and former Triangle tech entrepreneur-turned academic and author Vivek Wadhwa are among the headliners for the upcoming Emerging Issues Forum.

It’s focus this year is “Future Work.”

Gov. Pat McCrory also will be speaking.

The program is set for Feb. 8-9 in Raleigh. The first day’s events will take place at the Raleigh Convention Center. Some tickets remain.

The second day, which includes several “hackathons,” is already sold out. Events will take place a the NCSU campus.

Put on by the Institute for Emerging Issues, this year’s aim is to help North Carolina companies and communities “prepare for increasing job automation, and for a more diverse and technologically-advanced workforce.”

Wadhwa, who is a frequent contributor to WRAL TechWire and leads research work in entrepreneurship at Duke Unviersity, has written extensively about robotics and artificial intelligence. He also is a published author. Wadhwa is a former tech entrepreneur in the Triangle.

Martin Ford, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur, also will deliver a keynote as will Jaylen Bledsoe, an internationally known young entrepreneur. Bledsoe is a motivational and professional speaker on the topics of Young Entrepreneur, Digital Strategy, Brand Development, and Youth Rights. Fortune 500 Companies, such as Facebook, Google, and Walt Disney World are his clients.

“North Carolina State University remains dedicated to real and meaningful engagement with its public and private partners across the state,” said NCSU Chancellor Randy Woodson. “The annual Emerging Issues Forum is an excellent opportunity for leaders to make those critical connections necessary for results-driven collaboration.”

The first day of the conference will be televised live on the North Carolina Channel, a new service of UNC-TV.

“We’re particularly excited that for the first time in history, the Forum will be live televised,” said IEI Director Anita Brown-Graham. “For the past few years, we have engaged many more people through livestream than the 1,200 in the Convention Center. This year, we will expand the remote audience by many more thousands.”

Visit for more information and to register