The Vital Role of Business in Global Development

Removing all barriers to mutually beneficial partnerships is smart business and good for our communities.
David Weiss | Global Communities

The challenges for businesses looking to invest in emerging economies are the same challenges for communities themselves: good governance and transparency, a strong, business-enabling environment, market accessibility and, of course, peace and stability. As a global development organization, Global Communities is committed to creating these conditions. And one of the most important ways to do […]

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Life in 2030: 4 Things Experts Can’t Predict

There is ample opportunity to make the uncertain more certain.
Lee Rainie | Pew Research Center

Alvin Toffler predicted a future in his 1970 bestseller Future Shock that looks much like today’s reality. He anticipated the rise of the internet, the sharing economy, companies built on adhocracy rather than centralized bureaucracy and the broader social confusions and concerns about technology. He foresaw that the evolving relationship between people and technology would […]

A Peek Into the Brave New World of Programmable Materials

A computational architect is shaking up the material world.
Karen Eng | TED

Ever tried to assemble an Ikea table? Turning a two-dimensional pile of wood and plastic into a useful 3D object can be a challenge. Now imagine opening the box and watching the table assemble itself. At MIT’s International Design Center, Self-Assembly Lab founder Skylar Tibbits, co-director Jared Laucks and their team are inventing smart materials […]

Podcast: Crystal Clear on Retail

These 2017 holiday shopping trends are driving the seismic shift in online purchasing.
Udayan Bose | NetElixir

Udayan Bose might be hiding a crystal ball somewhere. That’s because his projections of online holiday shopping are always the best in the business – almost too close to what actually happens. Ahead of Black Friday and the kickoff of retail’s busiest season, Longitudes sat down with Bose, founder and CEO of NetElixir, a search […]

The Business of Belonging

Belonging is a universal human need – it’s also a largely untapped business opportunity.
Kelly Mooney | IBM

Belonging has always been an essential ingredient in the business of brand building. This fundamental human need is increasingly on display as the fragile state of belonging in the world mounts. Less trust in institutions, economic divides, political partisanship and increased levels of isolation –  loneliness due in part, paradoxically, to near constant digital connectivity – have […]

Strategy Is a Hypothesis You Constantly Adjust

With today's best strategies, calling an audible is part of the design.
Amy C. Edmondson | Harvard Business Review

Paul J. Verdin | Harvard Business Review

The widely accepted view that strategy and execution are separable activities sets companies up for failure in a fast-paced world. In our research on strategic failure, we discovered a common pattern: What started as small gaps in execution spiraled into business failures when initial strategies were not altered based on new information provided by experience. […]

Working While Learning: Does the Past Signal the Future?

Gathering knowledge isn’t as important as how well you use that knowledge to drive performance.

There seems to be general consensus among most education and economic experts that a different approach to learning is needed – an approach that guarantees successful student performance in work and life rather than just knowledge gathering. There is also agreement that new learning models should enhance the performance of our students in such a way […]

4 Ways to Future-Proof Your Supply Chain

How can digitization improve the resiliency and sustainability of our supply chains?
Cliff Henson | HPE

Supply chains are facing the perfect storm of disruption – from radical transformations of industry to disasters like the extreme weather events recently felt across the world. For large and complex supply chains like HPE, digital technologies offer an opportunity to predict and manage this risk by future-proofing operations with increased visibility, agility and efficiency. At […]

Podcast: Navigating a New Renaissance

Globalization is at a crossroads. Which path will we choose?
Ian Goldin | University of Oxford

Ian Goldin believes we’re on the verge of a New Renaissance that will redefine how we live, how we work and how we interact with each other. The respected scholar and author of more than 20 books is an ardent defender of globalization, but he cautions that we must pursue a more inclusive global system. […]

The Quest for Perfection

What if “good enough” isn't good enough?
Jon Bowers | UPS

In his role as a driving instructor, Jon has a well-earned reputation for being strict. He wants his drivers to be obsessively perfect in every detail, large and small, because the cost of imperfection is massive for someone behind the wheel. With his TED@UPS talk, Jon says we don’t seek perfection because we’re too often […]

4 Ways to Build Military Precision Into Civilian Leadership

There are parallels to leading on the battlefield and in civilian life.
Stefano Trojani | World Economic Forum

I remember the words of the commanding officer of a French Foreign Legion regiment saying that leading human beings was a love story, a very tough one, since it was about sending the very same loved ones to war, and possibly to death. This was a dilemma I was presented with in April 2007, at […]

What Sensors Mean for Business, the Planet and Your Lungs

Business partnerships, when combined with scientific expertise, can turn raw data into action.
Aileen Nowlan | Environmental Defense Fund

A recent study from UPS and GreenBiz revealed that 95 percent of surveyed companies recognize the effect that urbanization – particularly air quality and traffic congestion – will have on business growth and sustainability. Why? Because poor air quality costs the global economy $225 billion every year in lost labor income, according to the World […]

Why Business in Asia is Changing

As the region continues to evolve, it's time to make way for a new generation of Asian entrepreneurs.

With the 29th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting in Da Nang, Vietnam this week, it’s worth reflecting on just how much has changed since the first APEC meeting in 1989. The days of Asia’s “Tiger Economies” are fading into the rear-view mirror. While the rapid rise of Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong and South Korea have largely […]

How to Navigate a Changing Global Trade Landscape

Five tips to ensure your business is reaping the benefits of global trade.
Ron Shepherd | UPS

First came Brexit. Then came the US’s departure from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). And recently, there have been talks on renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Countries that previously depended on trade with the US to conduct business are in fact looking elsewhere and diversifying their portfolios, according to Simon Evenett, director of […]

Podcast: Blockchain and the Future of Money

What the game-changing technology means for the world of finance – and the world as we know it.
Barry Silbert | Digital Currency Group

We’re going back into our podcast vault to bring you one of the more interesting conversations in the history of Longitudes. This episode, recorded last year, features a thought-provoking discussion with Barry Silbert, the founder and CEO of Digital Currency Group. Silbert sees a future in which blockchain could disrupt and remove friction from supply […]

The Best Way to Deal With Failure

How to ensure you don’t make the same mistake again.
Selin Malkoc | The Ohio State University

Failure is a part of life, and we make mistakes pretty much every day. How do we cope? Or better yet, how should we cope? Academics and the mainstream media tend to offer a simple solution: Don’t let it get to you, and think about how things could have been worse. These self-protective thoughts usually […]

A Winning Formula for Freight Forwarding

In a changing world, we all share in a global learning experience.
Cindy Miller | UPS

The future is a popular place these days. Everybody wants to know what it looks like. Everybody wants to know the best way to prepare for it. Everybody wants to know how to get there first and with the right stuff. But getting it right has never been more difficult. Or as Yoda told Luke […]

Asia: The New Center of Gravity

Here are five takeaways on what rising connectivity means for Asia.
Jim O'Gara | UPS

As thought leader Parag Khanna reminds us, we’re living in an age of rising connectivity, which affects everything from highways to seaports to power lines and broadband cables. This is particularly relevant to Southeast Asian nations expected to account for a greater share of global economic growth. With a tip of the hat to Khanna, […]

You Don’t Find Your Purpose – You Build It

In the search for purpose, sources of meaning can and do change over time.
John Coleman | Harvard Business Review

We’re all looking for purpose. Most of us feel that we’ve never found it, we’ve lost it or in some way we’re falling short. What makes things more difficult is that we often carry some fundamental misconceptions about it. Challenging them is essential in developing a more rounded vision of purpose. Here are the most […]

Podcast: What Makes a Good Public Speaker?

A TED expert breaks down the art of powerful storytelling.

Bryn Freedman believes everyone has a story to tell, and as lead curator for the TED Institute, it’s her job to provide the tools speakers need to tell their stories with passion and authenticity. TED and UPS have joined forces for three straight years to showcase the best and brightest UPSers from around the world. […]

Profound Lessons From a Pro Wrestler

We should all find what makes us different and turn it up for the world to see.
Mike Kinney | UPS

Mike started wrestling professionally in high school, and his dad was his biggest fan. But after the sudden passing of his father, Mike felt lost and unsure of what to do. In his TED@UPS talk, Mike shares how a fellow wrestler gave him a life-changing lesson. His friend explained that the best wrestlers take their […]

5 Ways to Close the Gender Gap in Entrepreneurship

Research shows that female-owned businesses are as sustainable as those operated by men.

Despite a closing of the gender gap in labor force participation rates in OECD countries over the past 25 years, women continue to be underrepresented in entrepreneurship. A new report from the OECD and European Commission – the Missing Entrepreneurs 2017 – shows that in 2016, men were, on average, 1.7 times more likely to […]

Blockchain’s Garbage-In, Garbage-Out Challenge

How data integrity could shape the future of blockchain – and supply chains.
Ken Cottrill | MIT

Any information system is only as good as the quality of its data – the garbage-in, garbage-out conundrum. Blockchains are subject to this principle but even more so than conventional systems since the entries are unalterable. Is data integrity the Achilles heel of blockchain technology, especially in supply chain applications where countless entities scattered across multiple […]

Delivering on the Customer Mandate

Technology is giving businesses and consumers more of what they want: convenience, choice and control.
Juan Perez | UPS

Talking about Apple’s approach to innovation and technology, Steve Jobs once said: “You have to start with the customer experience and work backwards.” More than ever, that is true for companies like UPS. We know that our future is closely linked with the experience our customers have with our brand. That belief is behind recent […]

Protecting Our Food Supply

Let's dispel three myths about the food supply chain.
Karl Deily | Sealed Air

Today approximately 54 percent of the global population lives in an urban area, and the United Nations expects that by 2050, urban dwellers will make up two-thirds of the population. With the global rise of urbanization, we are becoming increasingly disconnected from our food sources. We know that in the United States, for example, food […]

Podcast: Network of the Future, Part IV

Managing big data is like a conductor leading an orchestra. When done well, it creates complete synchronization.
John Dodero | UPS

John Dodero was working with big data before we even called it big data. So the UPS vice president of industrial engineering is the perfect guest to wrap up our Network of the Future series. John will take us behind the scenes of the journey of a package – through each and every package scan […]

What Happens to Mental Health When Our Devices Know How We Feel?

Workplace analytics may ultimately be used to better anticipate or cope with mental health challenges.

Stressed? Depressed? Overwhelmed? The cognitive and emotional demands on managers have rarely been more complicated or intense, and protecting a person’s mental health has become a self-preservation priority. Our smartphones seem to be ideally placed to help. In fact, our personal devices will likely become increasingly important tools to diagnose and manage our mental wellness. […]

Counterintuitive Innovation

Here are some lessons from a former Air Force pilot on outside-the-box thinking.
Jeff Kozak | UPS

Former Air Force Col. Jeff Kozak recently joined UPS’s fuel team to launch a new fuel efficiency application. In that role, Jeff must often expect the unexpected and trust his intuition. The pursuit of constant improvement has taught Jeff that even the slightest of tweaks can have massive results. Jeff takes the stage at TED@UPS […]

Cognitive Computing Redefines Vehicle Safety

The auto industry is transforming the driver and passenger experience.
Ben Stanley | IBM

My first car was a ’65 Chevy Impala, which I bought from my uncle. The engine was in bad shape so within the first week, I swapped it out with one I bought from the local junkyard. It was a pretty simple car – manual transmission, manual windows and locks, no air and an AM/FM […]

Think Global Production and Supply Chains Are Shrinking? Think Again.

Disregard the talk about the end of globalization – it’s just getting started.
Parag Khanna | Bestselling Author

There’s an idea gaining credence in some circles that we’ve reached “peak globalization.” If the advocates of this view are right, worldwide trade volumes – which enjoyed unprecedented growth but then stalled out somewhere around 2012, according to the IMF – are heading for a period of long-term structural decline. The retreat, these trade pessimists […]