Animation courtesy of Hyperloop One

Paving the Path to a More Productive Society

The US needs to invest $3.3 trillion on new infrastructure to support expected economic growth out to 2030. It's time to get started.
Jan Mischke | McKinsey Global Institute

Bruce Upbin | Hyperloop One

Sixty years ago, the U.S. embarked on one of the greatest public works projects since the Roman Empire: the Interstate Highway System. It was a bonanza of productivity for an American economy emerging with brawn from World War II, at one period yielding an annual return of 54 cents for every dollar spent. But in […]

Farmer or agronomist examine soybean plant in field using tablet

How Education Builds Customer Loyalty

A Maine-based seed producer bet big on customer service as a consultancy. The result? A crop of lifelong customers. Here’s what you can learn from their strategy.
David Mehlhorn | Johnny’s Selected Seeds

Before organic food was cool, there was Johnny’s Selected Seeds.  Founded in 1973 when 22-year-old Rob Johnston, Jr. left home to live on a farm with some friends, Johnny’s has grown into one of the nation’s most successful commercial seed producers. Such growth is a testament to the power of education. At Johnny’s, we don’t […]

vintage suitcase stack

Sending Cancer Packing

How logistics can help make or break product launches.
Kevin Conroy | Exact Sciences

Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States. It doesn’t have to be that way. A colonoscopy can detect the disease at an early, treatable stage. But because that traditional test is an invasive procedure, a third of all U.S. adults who should get tested don’t get screened. Exact […]

Intelligent home automation system: remote controlling house temperature with a touch screen display, mounted on an apartment wall and wireless connected to a main computer unit. Intelligent system for energy saving, climate control and environmental conservation. Temperature is expressed in Celsius degrees (see more images from my portfolio for other units). Shows thermometer, warm and cold air conditioning icons, relative humidity and current temperature.

Running on Data

Not all data is equal when it comes to the Internet of Things.

We are quickly moving from a physical world to a digital world, and thanks to the Internet of Things (IoT), data has become the key to business success and new levels of consumer satisfaction. [Also on Longitudes: 8 Ways to Ensure Innovation Benefits All of Us] In the Cognitive Era, the IoT, applied at scale, […]

young business woman with  colleague walking  in the business district

The Pokémonification of Work

Pokémon Go shows us how “augmented reality” can power industry.

We all love to play. Just look at the reports on the latest Pokémon Go craze and you will see crowds of people roaming around Central Park in New York, or pacing the streets of San Francisco, hunting for silly-looking creatures. The game’s meteoric rise seems to confirm the idea that digital innovations are all […]

Grunge vintage wooden plank Africa map background.

Africa’s Post-Brexit Opportunity

How Africa can emerge from Brexit as a leader on the global economic stage.
Calestous Juma | Harvard University

The entire world felt the shock waves from the decision by voters in the United Kingdom to leave the European Union, and Africa was no exception, especially given its close historical ties with many EU member states.  African pundits and public officials were quick to lament the new cloud of economic uncertainty and the potential […]

people admire the famous original amc chrome car

Back to the Future with DeLorean

The gull-wing doors and unusual construction of this iconic car made it a perfect Hollywood time machine. Can it make a comeback?
Brian Sweat | Alterity, Inc.

The DeLorean story is fascinating — it’s a story of innovation and hope. For some, DeLorean is an aspirational brand. Many fans and enthusiasts don’t own a DeLorean, but they participate in online forums, buy collectibles and attend fan events. Of course, the influence of the “Back to the Future” trilogy cannot be discounted in the role […]

A smartphone lies broken between the shoes of its owner just after being dropped.

#FirstWorldProblems

First World Problems are Third World Problems and Second World Problems too.
Tessa Finlev | Institute for the Future

It’s time to accept something: #FirstWorldProblems are dead.  Used to describe a complaint that is thought to be trivial in nature, First World Problems makes one thing clear: Those of us living here in the “first world” are wealthy and challenged with small issues, while those other people living over there in the “third world” are in […]

Courtesy 3Digital Cooks (image 1) and 3dChef (images 2-3)

3D-Printed Food: Curious Cuisine or Fleeting Fad?

Technology's latest target: the human palate.
Michael Petch | Line//Shape//Space

Food and technology have a long and sometimes strained relationship. On one hand, harnessing fire led to human evolution. But other technologies, from frivolous “unitasker” gadgets to overprocessed and nutritionally bereft convenience foods, have offered much less in the way of benefits. Now, a new technology is targeting the palate: 3D-printed food. If the plethora […]

3,5" and 2,5" hard disk drives opened on a blue background

Smarter, Better, Faster

IT is fueling the digital revolution. How to access its power.
Ludger Schuh | INFORM GmbH

Statements regarding digitalization and the accompanying changes to workplaces are often contradictory: Some people imagine outlandish deserted factories and warehouses and proclaim the digital transformation as a job killer. Others recognize that humans are the key players in digitalization as they hold the strings of the revolution and can pull them in ways that protect […]

Young woman using mobile phone, Jodhpur, India

Big Data Tackles Poverty

The Big Data revolution is making access to capital more equitable and accountable than ever. How can it help the poor?
Atlantic Re:think | The Atlantic

Even if you have the best idea in the world, starting a small business is hard. But if you’re one of the two billion people around the world who lack access to basic financial resources, such as a bank account or credit, it’s just about impossible. Karen Little, director of development at Kiva, a microfinancing […]

Close up of old rusty chain - Stock Photo

Unbreakable Blockchains

Emerging blockchain technology could vaporize roadblocks in our networks. Here's how.
Veena Pureswaran | IBM Institute for Business Value

My family is currently experiencing the joy of purchasing a new home. One of the painful parts of acquiring a new home, however, is the trail of paper and documents that need to be exchanged, signed and validated. Between mortgage lenders, insurance companies, inspections and government checks, it can be a lengthy process to legally […]

Adult Man Shouting Via Old Fashioned Megaphone In Outdoor

Shining a Light on Trade

Defenders of free trade need a better pitch amid growing skepticism of the global movement of goods.
Laura Dawson | Canada Institute

As an idealistic graduate student, I was convinced that trade agreements were bad for everybody except large corporations. I went to school in British Columbia, Canada, determined to show how trade exploited farmers, fostered inequality and stifled progress. Then a funny thing happened: I proved myself wrong. Confronted with the evidence – much to my […]

dialup2

3D Printing: Lessons from the Internet Pioneers

Can the Internet’s early days be a roadmap for 3D printing?
Adam Thierer | George Mason University

Even in its relative infancy, 3D printing has created an enormous list of possibilities: dental aligners to straighten your teeth, unique toys for your children, inexpensive custom prosthetics for people with limb deficiencies and restoring lost or destroyed cultural artifacts. It can also be used to create untraceable firearms and an endless supply of copyright […]

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5 Coolest Things of the Week

Things to blow your hair back from the frontiers of science and innovation.
Tomas Kellner | GE Reports

This week’s haul of news from the frontiers of science and innovation includes a piece about a nimble AI that shot down a seasoned Air Force pilot during a dog fight simulation, an article about a federal approval for the first human trial involving the DNA-editing tool CRISPR-Cas9 and a story about Israeli researchers who hacked a […]

Medicine pill bottles nearly empty, needing refills soon.

Six Ways to Healthcare Supply Chain Success

A set of core traits can align your supply chain with the demands of the healthcare industry.
Shoshanah Cohen | Stanford University

Minimizing inventory and improving efficiency — that’s how companies in most industries control supply chain costs. Missing a few sales is less important than keeping inventory under control. But the concept of “too much inventory” loses its relevance when people’s lives depend on product availability That’s a key reason why healthcare supply companies have historically […]

Shop open sign

The Latin Term Every Exporter Should Know: De Minimis

Fulfilling your retail dreams around the world is mission possible.

Nearly three years ago, Will Green set out on a mission to fulfill his dream of providing fashionable, ethically produced vegan shoes to everyday people around the world. His vision was to provide customers with the latest fashions at fair prices, all without hurting animals or people in the process. Will soon set up shop […]

Jonas-Salk

Clinical Trials: A Key Step in Medical Breakthroughs

Throughout history, research has powered medical breakthroughs. Here's how to push what’s possible.

Let’s take a step back in time. First stop is 1955, when Dr. Jonas Salk announced a major medical breakthrough — he had won the fight against polio. Now, let’s take a step further back. Physician James Lind in the mid-1700s conducted the first controlled clinical trial of the modern era. Essentially, his work found […]

New York City Panoramic Aerial View

Building a Digital City

Technical innovation alone will not give rise to intelligent cities. Industrial expertise is also vital.
John Gordon | Current

Industrial companies are different from technology companies. And I don’t just mean that they have ladders. When you provide the foundation for the way the world’s systems work every day, you think differently. Water systems, energy systems, transportation systems and lighting systems all work for a very long time and require thoughtful planning about maintenance, […]

That tickles!

Podcast: How to Measure NGO Impact

With funding continuing to decline for nonprofits, it’s time to rethink how to measure results.
Patrick Fine | FHI 360

How do we measure nonprofit organizational effectiveness? I was delighted to have a conversation with Jeri Eckhart Queenan, Partner & Global Development Practice Head at the Bridgespan Group, about the challenges in financing development. This was a great opportunity to discuss emerging trends in how organizations manage their programs to deliver the most effective results […]

Handsome Man shopping online

Your Business Without Boundaries

Cross-border e-commerce is a trillion dollar opportunity. Are you making the most of it?

Plunging into global e-commerce can feel overwhelming. If you’ve ever wondered how you could easily manage the intricacies of duties and taxes, currency conversion, customs processes and the constantly changing regulations – in addition to your current responsibilities – take notice. On the surface, cross-border e-commerce can appear intimidating to even the savviest of retailers. But embracing […]

Global business and communications

At the Heart of Free Trade

Here’s what the exchange of goods between the U.S. and Canada can teach us about the state of trade today – and its future prospects.

With free trade under relentless attack in certain political circles, it’s time for a reality check. We shouldn’t shut down borders. The U.S.-Canada trade lane, for example, is proof of the transformative power of the global movement of goods. The U.S.-Canada story is a story of opportunity, one of neighbors innovating together to tackle challenges […]

Bee, Honeycomb

The Rise of the RoboBees

Engineers have created RoboBees that could pollinate crops and ultimately save disaster victims.
Jenny Soffel | World Economic Forum

Einstein famously said that man would only have four years left to live if the bees disappeared. Populations of bees, butterflies and other agricultural pollinators have been declining at alarming rates in recent years, putting global food supplies at risk. Inspired by nature, engineers at the Harvard Microrobotics Laboratory in collaboration with Northeastern University have created RoboBees, miniature flying […]

Rear view of an young athlete woman jogging in the nature.

Sweat the Small Stuff

Wireless skin sensors sniff out medical issues.
Mark Egan | GE Reports

Anil Duggal has always had a knack for invention — the GE Global Research chief scientist has 98 U.S. patents to his name. Now, with the support of his colleagues Jeff Ashe and Azar Alizadeh, Duggal is on the verge of turning years of abandoned research into what might be the world’s most advanced skin-surface […]

Robots dressed in a business suit

Bad Robot

A kill switch will prevent the robots of the future from going off the rails.
Joe Myers | Formative Content

Science fiction loves a story about robots rising up and taking control – consider Will Smith’s iRobot – but how realistic are such visions of the future? DeepMind, Google’s artificial intelligence (AI) division, certainly thinks there’s a risk. They’ve teamed up with Oxford University to develop a “red button” that would interrupt an AI machine’s […]

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Trucking’s New Era of Sustainability

Truck platooning can reduce CO2 emissions and offer other benefits. But what will it take to make this more sustainable option a reality . . . and when?
Peter Harris | UPS

It was the start of a new era in mobility. Earlier this spring, six convoys of wirelessly connected trucks, linked closely together in sets of two and three, embarked from three different European countries bound for the Port of Rotterdam in the Netherlands. In each convoy, the trucks were lined up in platoons, one behind […]

Mohammed Ali

Shaking up the World

What advice does Muhammad Ali have for socially aware business people? Follow these six core principles.
Donald E. Lassere | Muhammad Ali Center

“I shook up the world!” is one of Muhammad Ali’s most enduring proclamations.  Indeed he did, first as the bombastic boxer who proclaimed himself the Greatest of All Time, then later as the humble humanitarian whose remarkable ability to connect to people at every level has spanned decades and inspired countless millions. In life, Muhammad […]

Brexit, Symbol of the Referendum UK vs EU

Why We’re Not Brexiting

Voting to remain with the EU later this week is a win-win across Europe.
Andy Smith | UPS


As two members of the U.K. electorate, we both plan to vote to remain in the EU on June 23. We’d like to explain why. At UPS, we have grown our business through our customers.  Twelve years ago, we had about 3,000 employees in the U.K.  Today, that has risen to 8,000. That increase has […]

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Retail Steamrollers: Power Shoppers and Millennials

Don't get flattened by the competition.
Bala Ganesh | UPS

“Once a new technology rolls over you, if you are not part of the steamroller, you are part of the road,” says author Stewart Brand, editor of The Whole Earth Catalog and founder of the Global Business Network. Retailers who do not stay ahead of the technology curve are likely to get flattened.  Consumers are adopting new technologies more quickly than ever […]

Finger about to press future button with blue light over black and grey background. Concept image for illustration of change or strategic vision.

Is Your Company Ready to Employ the Digital Generation?

What today's teens expect out of technology and the workforce
HPE Matter | HPE

Today’s ambitious and digital-native teens are about to take the world by storm. But is your company ready for this generation to enter the workforce? HPE recently commissioned a survey among teens about their expectations around technology. Here, we gathered HPE execs and other technology leaders to discuss the findings. [Also on Longitudes: Technology: Disruption […]