#86: Maria Villablanca Co-Founder and CEO of Future Insights Network

#86: Maria Villablanca Co-Founder and CEO of Future Insights Network Featured Image

Maria Villablanca is the Co-Founder and CEO of Future Insights Network, a fast-growing membership network of over 50,000 Manufacturing, Supply Chain, and Digital Transformation executives.

Future Insights Network is one of the largest networks of its kind, which provides relevant content, connections, and collaboration for leaders in Supply Chain, Manufacturing, and Digital Transformation.

Key areas of focus are  IoT, Artificial Intelligence, Industry 4.0, Digital Transformation, Supply Chain, and Manufacturing Strategy. Before starting the network Maria worked for many years in the events and professional services business, with a strong passion for connecting people and ideas.

Listen to the full discussion here:

  • Stream by clicking here.
  • Download as MP3 here.



Connect with the Guest:

Maria Villablanca: LinkedIn

Some of the highlights from the podcast:

  • Why Future Insights Network exists
  • How supply chain companies are dealing with the COVID-19 crisis
  • Adopting and implementing new technologies to stay ahead of the curve
  • Moonshot approach vs prototype approach
  • Collaboration between MNCs and startups
  • Attracting talent to supply chain

Show Notes:

  • [01:35] How did you make a career, ultimately in building professional communities? And why did you decide to create Future Insights Network? 
  • [03:50] From talking and knowing so many of these executives, what would you say keeps them up at night in this current situation?
  • [04:45] I think in terms of what keeps them up at night is whether or not they’re able to implement digital transformation in their businesses whilst managing the crisis.
  • [05:25] Can you share some case studies of what did companies do right or some lessons you have seen that could be useful also to supply chain executives listening?
  • [06:28] I would say the companies that are really doing this very well are companies that, A –  those who understand what the customer wants and B –  those organizations that implemented digital transformation to solve problems within their business.
  • [08:13] In terms of adopting new software and new technologies, are you seeing a much faster willingness to adopt? What’s your perspective on this?
  • [10:00] I think the companies that really want to stay competitive are going to implement things in a faster way.
  • [12:54] How do you see the partnerships between big multinationals companies and startups?
  • [16:07] There is a lot to be learned from a startup, from having that kind of agile and quick thinking to solving the crisis and at the same time, failing quickly. 
  • [17:17]  I think right now the phase that we’re in is quite an interesting one where companies are trying to look at what was the lessons that were learned, but equally, what are the opportunities that lie ahead.
  • [18:41] Do you see any other trends that will occur in the workplace after COVID?
  • [19:39] What COVID has done is it elevated, even more so the strategic importance of the supply chain leader. 
  • [21:31] What are the things that you can see that supply chain executives should focus more or develop more to have a better chance of getting to the CEO position?
  • [23:12] If I go back 10 years ago, that’s what supply chain was, a call center. Whereas now supply chain has a really good opportunity to become an influencer in the bottom line of a business.
  • [24:50] What kind of talent and skills do you see supply chain need the most?
  • [25:42] The biggest issue with attracting talent is not with the supply chain function per se, it’s with the image issue that the supply chain function has. 
  • [29:09] What would be the key piece of advice or sharing that you would give to a younger professional starting out that wants to have a long-standing career in supply chain?
  • [29:27] I think right now it would be, talk to as many people from different areas as possible. One of the things that make our network very successful is the fact that people are able and willing to collaborate with each other.

About the Host:

The host, Radu Palamariu is the co-author of “From Source to Sold – Stories of Leadership in Supply Chain”. He has been named one of the top 3 Global Supply Chain Influencers on LinkedIn and was featured in ForbesBloombergWEFBangkok Post, and MIT Supply Chain Talent magazine. Radu invites executives to share stories and perspectives around technology, logistics, e-commerce, supply chain, and manufacturing, and their views on how the future will look.

Alcott Global connects and upgrades the supply chain ecosystem by finding the right talent through executive search, developing talent through learning solutions, and meeting supply chain technology needs through a comprehensive crunch base marketplace.

The supply chain executive search has been our focus since the very beginning, offering recruitment services for top-tier supply chain roles at every level of the end-to-end supply chain: plan, source / procure, make, and deliver. Our consultants have years of experience in placing top talent, in North America, LATAM, Europe, the Middle East & Africa, and APAC, and besides speed, one of our biggest strengths is our network within the supply chain industry, and we capitalize on it to find the best solutions.

Through the years, we have grown as an organization and our offerings with it. One of our initiatives, the learning solutions- training and supply chain academy, is focused on transforming leadership- self-leadership, executive presence, influence capital, and business acumen. Through Supplify, we aim to match corporations with the top technology companies to solve their supply chain and logistics challenges with a focus on innovation and digital transformation.

We are in constant touch with the leaders in supply chain, inviting them to inspire the supply chain professionals in thought-provoking podcast episodes and events, and showcasing what is possible at the yearly Leaders in Supply Chain Awards.

Related Episodes:

#78: David Collins CEO of China Manufacturing Consultants

#80: Ilkka Tales Vice Chairman of Greensill

#85: Hannah Kain CEO and Founder of ALOM




Get the most appealing jobs in value chains.

"(Required)" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.


Get the most appealing jobs in technology, supply chain & logistics space.

Scroll to Top


Get the most appealing jobs in technology, supply chain & logistics space.

"(Required)" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.