Innovation & Tech

260 articles

Making the Case for Technology Investments

Short-term calculations often imperil long-term growth.
Jess Szmajda | Optoro

Retail executives are no strangers to the annual “technology freeze,” a temporary hold placed on new investments, security tools or IT projects in preparation for the peak shopping – and returning – season. And while some industry experts say it’s a smart way to avoid rocking the boat during the industry’s busiest time, others argue that it […]

Reimagining Business: How to Cater to the Customer of the Future

Customers want to be empowered. To do that, companies must move from producers to enablers.
John Marshall | Lippincott

Dan Clay | Lippincott

Meet Dawn. She’s never been to the doctor’s office, but she visits her doctor every week. She’s constantly shopping, but she’s never waited in line. Her apartment recognizes her face. She doesn’t go into the office, she logs onto a platform. She doesn’t have a resume, she has ratings. She doesn’t have a boss, she […]

Productivity Tips For People Who Hate Productivity Tips

After all, who really couldn't use more time?
Monique Valcour | Harvard Business Review

Despite their efforts to stay informed on the best productivity methods, many people find staying focused to be an uphill battle. If you feel defeated and unable to focus, two things will help you feel more in control. The first is to accept where you are and have compassion for yourself. When you admit to […]

Expand Free Trade by Enhancing Digital Trust

Blockchain and artificial intelligence can lead us to a new era of more equitable trade.

Free trade has been an enduring goal of the international community for more than a century. Despite broad technological progress, modern transaction systems remain heavily burdened by antiquated practices. This creates friction that slows global commerce and hinders service delivery of all kinds. Banks, for example, still issue letters of credit to importers, a practice […]

The Future of Transportation Is Here

Let’s reimagine how we’ll move around our cities.
Alex Moura | TED

Humanity has come a long way from traveling by horse, but when we consider the future of transportation in cities, too many of us are still stuck in the 18th century. We still envision our streets full of four-wheel chariots (minus the horses) and our future as relying on cars or car-like vehicles because that’s all we know. […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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. […]

Making Work More Human

Can an automated world help us rediscover what it means to be human?
David Lee | UPS

It’s near certain that some, if not all, of your work will be done by a robot or software in the next few years. David Lee believes that if humans don’t take an active role in responding to this change, we’re almost certain to be living a future that is robotic, largely unemployed and … […]

Building Up Your Cyber Defenses

Are you equipped to handle unprecedented cyberattacks? Here’s how to assess your readiness.
Dave Zamsky | UPS

Cybersecurity breaches and cybercrime create some of the most pervasive problems in our digital age, and recent headlines remind us that even the largest, most secure organizations can become victims. The Equifax data breach prompted millions of Americans to think more seriously about cybersecurity, assess their vulnerability and question how to protect their finances – […]

4 Innovations to Build Thriving Cities

We can create a core framework for innovative solutions to complex urban problems.
Alice Charles | World Economic Forum

Economic, social and creative opportunities draw people to cities in this increasingly urban world. Today, 54 percent of the global population lives in cities and with another 3 million people per week moving to urban centers, the U.N. estimates two-thirds of the global population will live in cities by 2050. This trend is particularly evident in Africa […]

For Better Brainstorming, Tell an Embarrassing Story

Candor leads to greater creativity. Take a stab at self-deprecation.
Leigh Thompson | Northwestern University

It was Alex Osborn, a 1960s advertising executive, who coined the term brainstorming. He passionately believed in the ability of teams to generate brilliant ideas, provided they follow four rules: Members should share any idea that comes to mind. Build on the ideas of others. Avoid criticism. And most notably, strive for quantity not quality. Subsequent scientific […]

Eyes in the Sky for Disaster Assessment

Drones and other visual intelligence can dramatically bolster recovery efforts following natural disasters.
Bev Adams | Guy Carpenter

Duncan Ellis | Marsh

In the wake of flood, surge and wind damage from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, access to numerous residential, commercial and industrial properties was limited for days, even weeks. Learn more about UPS’s efforts to help Puerto Rico recover from Hurricane Maria. Many property owners struggled to safely assess the physical and economic losses. Such access […]

The Industrial IoT Must Transform

Here's how companies can better take advantage of the IIoT.
Nigel Upton | HPE

The Industrial IoT (IIoT) can be seen as a way to optimize existing processes and business models, for instance by achieving higher degrees of automation or by avoiding outages with the help of predictive maintenance. However, IIoT can and must be more. We have seen how new digital business models have disrupted industries like media, […]

The Next Energy Revolution Is Already Here

We will soon be both energy consumers and energy producers.
Gao Jifan | China Photovoltaic Industry Association

Looking back at the history of human civilization, for a long time, firewood was the primary source of energy. However, back then, energy ultilization was low and as such, air pollution emissions were also low. The invention of the steam engine in the 18th century marked the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, which led to […]

Leaders: Are You Future-Proof?

Here are five leadership literacies for current and future leaders to take their own leap into the future.
Bob Johansen | Institute For The Future

We think we are connected today, but the next 10 years will be a period of explosive connectivity and asymmetric upheaval. In this future world of dramatically amplified digital connectivity, anything that can be distributed will be distributed. Most leaders – and most organizations – aren’t ready for this future. Bob Johansen discusses his new book, The […]

This Is What an AI-Powered Future Looks Like

A society reliant on artificial intelligence will have a dramatic impact on the design of cars, houses, products and services.
Grayson Brulte | Brulte & Company

Today we are just beginning to scratch the surface of what is possible with artificial intelligence (AI) and how individuals will interact with its various forms. Every single aspect of our society — from cars to houses to products to services — will be re-imagined and redesigned to incorporate AI. A child born in the […]

We All Need to Forget, Even Robots

How do we decide what a robot should remember?
Christopher Stanton | Western Sydney University

We all know what it’s like to forget something. A loved one’s birthday. A childhood memory. Even people capable of extraordinary memory feats – say, memorizing the order of a deck of cards in less than 20 seconds – will still forget where they left their keys. People, it seems, are never in complete control […]

Innovation for Last-Mile Connectivity

Billions of people lack access to the internet or even basic mobile networks. How can we connect the unconnected?
Troy Etulain | FHI 360

Connectivity transforms lives. Access to a mobile network, including the internet or a mobile phone, opens the door to information, and information enables people to discover their full potential. Without connectivity, people are in the dark, closed off from opportunity. Yet, more than 4 billion people remain unconnected to the internet, and 20 to 40 […]

Education and the Success of Tomorrow’s Workforce

Workers need to be nimble enough to solve new, fast-moving problems.
Randy Swearer | Autodesk

Amid today’s fast-moving, tech-heavy landscape, sit back and ask yourself an important question: How does your degree and formal education impact what you’re doing in your work life? This question gets to the heart of the immediate need for a foundational shift in how academia and industry operate — and need to cooperate — for […]

What to Do When Your Boss Says ‘Be Creative’

Novel ideas don’t just come to us like flipping on a light switch.
Jeffrey Sanchez-Burks | University of Michigan Stephen M. Ross School of Business

There’s a misconception that our brains are like computer random access memory, able to pluck the best information on command or, in particular, when needed for generating new ideas. That isn’t how it works, and it’s why many individuals and teams struggle to innovate. They’re told to “be creative” without being taught how exactly to […]

Latin America’s Innovation Potential Is Largely Untapped

New policies in Latin America could kick-start the global economy.
Lorena Rivera León | United Nations University

Chile, Costa Rica and Mexico were Latin America’s big winners in the 2017 edition of the Global Innovation Index (GII), which ranks the world’s economies on their innovative capabilities (innovation inputs) and measurable results (innovation outputs). The GII report, launched in June at the United Nations Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, was co-authored by Cornell University, […]

The Future of Mobile Engagement

Seamless connectivity will create competitive advantages for leaders in many industries.
Eugene Berger | Hewlett Packard Enterprise

It’s 2017. Going digital is no longer a choice but an integral part of any business strategy worth its salt. And mobile technology is at the heart of this, whether you want to boost engagement by placing connected devices in a museum or improve the customer experience with custom applications for your shopping mall. Now […]

5 Ways Mobile Technology Can Help in Humanitarian Emergencies

Mobile technology can be a lifeline in dire situations.
Mats Granryd | GSMA

An estimated 65.6 million people were forcibly displaced from their homes in 2016, and this number continues to rise. From 2000 to 2016, more than 3.5 billion people worldwide were affected by natural disasters and humanitarian crises – and the scale of response required in these situations is placing increasing pressure on the humanitarian sector […]

3D Printing Is Revolutionizing Plastic Surgery

How 3D printing is benefiting patients, doctors and pocketbooks.
Yari Bovalino | GE Aviation

Maggie Sieger | FitchInk

At first glance, the line of cheerfully colored plastic skulls atop professor Laurent Lantieri’s bookshelf might be out-of-season Halloween decorations. But a closer look reveals something less than cheery: jagged holes, missing jaws and crumpled eye sockets. The skulls represent something very real – injuries that Lantieri has fixed. Only the most seriously injured – whether by […]

The Making of a Pioneer

A Q&A with the co-founder of iRobot on leveraging technology and disruption.
Helen Greiner | CyPhy Works

With big dreams and a passion to be a pioneer, a robotics innovator began her journey. Helen Greiner, the co-founder of iRobot and now CTO and founder of CyPhy Works, began her career much like many of us – as an intern. She worked in NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, helping design robots to make repairs […]

Student Engineers Have The Right Stuff

Could SpaceX’s Hyperloop pod competitions lead to a breakthrough?
TJ McCue | Refine Digital

At an unknown point in the future, a trip from San Francisco to Los Angeles could take approximately 30 minutes – an amazing feat of mass transportation – if Elon Musk is right about his Hyperloop concept. That’s compared to the current five-plus hours by car or two hours on an airplane, both hugely optimistic figures not […]