Unmanned Leadership Forum: FLIR’s Randall Warnas Brings the Drone Community Together

unmanned leadership forumThe Unmanned Leadership Forum will be a 2-hour live, online event hosted by FLIR‘s global sUAS Segment Leader Randall Warnas.  The event will bring drone business experts together to talk about the critical issues facing the industry today. As industry gatherings have been postponed, this is a discussion that you won’t want to miss.

DRONELIFE spoke with Randall Warnas about how the event came to be and what viewers can expect.

Warnas says that the event is designed to  offer the same opportunities for communication that come about when industry figures meet in person.

“We wanted to create a place where industry leaders could speak freely with the community, semi-detached from the brands they represent,” says Warnas. “When we start interacting as people rather than businesses, we can get more out of cooperation and collaboration… Obviously COVID-19 is shaping a new normal, and as an industry we need to work together to make the most of it.”

Drone businesses across the board are experiencing major changes due to the current crisis: and industry support is more critical than ever.  “During the Unmanned Leadership Forum we will have some preset topics that largely focus on the stability of unmanned businesses during and on the other side of the pandemic,” Warnas explains.  “We will also be taking in questions from the community in order to drive the most value out of this time together. Much of the conversation around unmanned technology revolves around specs and features, but business leadership may be what we need most right now.”

Some major industry events have been postponed until later in the summer.  But with the Unmanned Leadership Forum, Warnas hopes that the industry will come together now, albeit in a different format.

“Obviously social distancing has stifled our ability to come together as a community,” says Warnas. “That doesn’t mean the conversation has to stop, or we need to wait before we hatch our plans for the future. This is part of the reason we brought in Mike Pehel from Interdrone and Jeremiah Karpowicz from Commercial UAV Expo. Their business revolves around bringing the community together, generally in a physical way. I thought it would be interesting for the community to see how that might change as they’re on the front lines thinking about that every day.”

The pandemic has affected businesses of every type – including the drone industry.  The effect may be lasting, says Warnas, but it’s not devastating.  “For the past two years we have seen industry consolidation while the number of pilots and airframes continues to grow. We will likely find out who has the ‘secret sauce’ of staying power once we get on the other side. This was happening regardless of COVID, but it has definitely accelerated things.”

“The important thing is there are homes for all of the bright minds throughout the industry, and we need to create more platforms for these people to share their talents, join in the conversation, and be discovered,” says Warnas.


Miriam McNabb is the Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a professional drone services marketplace, and a fascinated observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
For drone industry consulting or writing, Email Miriam or (for paid consulting engagements only) request a meeting through AdvisoryCloud:

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