ROHNERT PARK -- A top executive with the innovative Redwood City-based freelance staffing firm oDesk will join other panelists discussing the future of the world's workforce at the annual SSU Economic Outlook Conference on Feb. 19.

A frequent speaker on "talent management," Matt Cooper, vice president of enterprise and international, has played a role in a number of technology conferences around the world over the past two years and is responsible for oDesk's growth in new and international markets.

The company's web-based platform allows freelancers with a variety of creative, professional or technology skills to easily market their services, and for employers to easily hire those workers while maintaining oversight of their work. oDesk launched in 2002, and today has over 5 million freelancers registered, according to the company.

Joining Mr. Cooper on the "Workforce 2020" panel are Ingrid Estrada, vice president and general manager at Agilent Technologies, Craig Nelson, board member and corporate secretary at Nelson Family of Companies and Sarah Dove, director of the career center at the Sonoma State University School of Business and Economics.

California State University Chancellor Dr. Timothy White will serve as keynote, describing education's role in helping to shape the present and future workforce in partnership with business. Dr. Robert Eyler, professor in economics and director of the Center for Regional Economic Analysis at Sonoma State, will also present his annual North Bay economic forecast.

The SSU Economic Outlook Conference is being presented by the North Bay Business Journal and co-hosted by Sonoma State University and Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

Seating is limited, so those planning to attend should register as soon as possible by calling 707-521-5264. Registration online closes Monday, Feb. 17. The cost is $65 per person, and the price includes a subscription to the North Bay Business Journal for new subscribers only. For sponsoring and advertising information, call 707-521-5270.