TED at UPS 2015

29 articles

TED@UPS: Taking Trash Talk to a Whole New Level

Globally, there is a huge amount of organic waste. What can we do about all that methane?

Summary: Thirty years ago, I was a young engineer, working as a volunteer in Indonesia, trying to prevent the rice stored in warehouses and on loading docks from rotting. The basic challenge was this: rice stored in a pile tends to decompose into fertilizer and methane gas, leaving less rice for people who need it […]

TED@UPS: I am the Donation

The best donation we can make is often ourselves.

Summary: When Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance, approached my employer to ask for support, it probably expected help in one of two forms: either direct funding in the form of a check or a donation of goods or services. My company took a different path – something unusual in the world of global corporate philanthropy – […]

From Scrapper to Success

Regina Hartley discusses the idea behind her TED@UPS talk in a Q&A with Teri McClure.

On Tuesday Nov. 24, 2015, Regina Hartley’s TED@UPS talk was featured as the Talk of the Day on TED.com. In honor of this, Teri McClure, Chief Legal Officer and Senior Vice President of Human Resources, Employee Communications and Labor Relations, sat down with Regina a few days beforehand to dig a little deeper into what it really […]

TED@UPS: The Global Business Next Door

By staying on the exporting sidelines, small businesses pass on the majority of the world’s customers and leave growth opportunity on the table.

Summary:  When most of us think about successful international businesses, we think of global conglomerates and the world’s largest corporations, many of whom actually have the word “international” in their names. But a small business with fewer than 50 employees? Or a family-owned-and-operated business with a single location? Those are not the types of businesses […]

TED@UPS: Turning Skeptics into Believers

How did we finally succeed in creating the world’s largest operations research project?

Summary: The German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer once said, “Truth passes through three stages: ridicule, violent opposition and, finally, acceptance as if self-evident.” After devoting almost a decade of my life to a project that goes by the acronym ORION, I believe many innovative ideas must clear the same gauntlet before skeptics become believers. ORION began […]

TED@UPS: Why Stirring Up Trouble Isn’t Such a Bad Thing

Trouble is actually an in-your-face kind of friend. If you don’t look for it, it’s going to come looking for you.

I’m a troublemaker. Maybe I don’t look or sound very intimidating, but it’s true. In fact, I’m actually paid to look for trouble. Let me explain. I’m in sales, so I talk to folks every day about their business challenges. What I’ve discovered is that if there isn’t some trouble that comes up in the […]

TED@UPS: Hiring the Scrapper

What happens when your whole life seems engineered towards failure – and you actually succeed?

Summary: Your company launches a search for an open position. The applications roll in and two qualified candidates are identified. Person A: Ivy League, 4.0 grade average, flawless resume, great recommendations. All the right stuff. Person B:  State university, job-hopped around a bit, and has held a lot of odd jobs, including cashier and singing […]

TED@UPS: A Leap of Faith

Once again, we looked over the edge of a cliff.

Summary: Thirteen years ago, I sat in a boat in Negril, Jamaica, watching as my new bride stood on a cliff ready to jump into the water below. From the boat, our tour group called out “3! 2! 1! Jump!” But as she peered into the ocean below, fear took hold.  And despite our best […]

TED@UPS: The Secret to Stress

Want to see what de-stressing looks like?

Summary: 2014 was a year of new experiences for me. UPS offered me a full-time job, and I was accepted into graduate school. I finally had an idea of what I wanted to do with my life. All the pieces seemed to be falling into place. But the reality of my situation wasn’t so simple. […]

TED@UPS: A Tribute to Keeping Your Day Job

People ask why I don’t retire as a driver and play music fulltime. The reason is that I would miss my customers too much.

Summary:  I started playing the mandolin at a young age – no more than 8 or 9. As I was starting out, I went through phases when I admired various artists. The first was Bill Monroe. I bought every album and listened to every song of his I could find. As I got older I […]

TED@UPS: What Happens When Pigs Fly?

Since these new consumer expectations are not going away, something’s got to give.

Summary:  “That will happen when pigs fly!” How many times have you heard that in your life? I heard it when I was a kid and tried to build a hovercraft from my Mom’s vacuum cleaner. I still hear it today from time to time. It’s what practical people say to dreamers. They’re often right…but […]

TED@UPS: Flying Above Fear

I’ll never forget the day and the feeling of freedom.

Summary: For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to fly. It started with a photo in a Christmas catalogue that triggered a dream that would one day become reality. Flying lessons were not cheap. I worked multiple odd jobs and saved every penny. My parents, who respected my dream, helped as much as […]

TED@UPS: Following Your Heart, Not the Rules

My orders were clear, but I followed my heart.

Summary: When do you play by the rules, and when should you write your own to fight for what you believe in? I faced this dilemma early in my career. It was the summer of 1993, I was a 26 year old foreign service officer that had just taken a position at one of the […]

TED@UPS: The Key to Solving Hunger

How can we get food to the 800 million hungry people in the world?

From the Editor: Today marks the beginning of a three-week TED@UPS marathon on Longitudes. During that time, we will post videotaped talks from 13 amazing individuals. Join us each day for something new. Summary: From the air, Dadaab isn’t visible – and then it slowly comes into focus. The huge empty expanse of red dust looks like a terracotta platter […]

TED@UPS Highlights

Follow this feed to get live updates from the TED@UPS conference on September 2, 2015. #TEDatUPS

Did you miss the live TED@UPS updates? Don’t worry– we have you covered. Check out this post to get the play-by-play from September’s big event. (pro tip: start at the bottom and read up, each speaker is time-stamped.) Let us know what you think on Twitter by sharing the hashtag #TEDatUPS [LIVE BLOG FROM EVENT] […]

TED@UPS Speaker: Jared Hill

“No” was the obvious and easy answer, while “yes” seemed silly and deeply irresponsible.

UPS pilot Jared Hill and his wife had a dream to help families in war-torn Uganda – but it seemed downright foolish. For Hill, like so many people, “no” was the obvious and easy answer, while “yes” seemed silly and deeply irresponsible. But Hill and his wife couldn’t ignore the pull – how did they go […]

TED@UPS Speaker: Kelly Lepley

The things we choose to hide — or embrace — can ultimately define who we are.

Pain can make us selfish, while truly becoming oneself has the potential to make us selfless in ways we never imagined. In this deeply personal talk, UPS pilot Kelly Lepley considers how the things we choose to hide – or embrace – can ultimately define who we are. With a steadfast commitment to a single path that […]

TED@UPS Speaker: Laura Lane

What qualities are crucial to leading effectively in our most difficult moments?

In 1994, Laura Lane helped more than 250 Americans escape Rwanda during the start of the Rwandan Genocide. Through a harrowing story of great personal courage, Laura explores the qualities that are crucial to leading effectively in our most difficult moments. From 1990-1997, Lane was a diplomat in the U.S. Foreign Service, stationed at the […]

TED@UPS Speaker: Jack Levis

How we can persist — when everyone around us says stop.

  True innovation is risky. Not only to your reputation, but also to your sense of self. Starting in 2003, Jack Levis led the development of ORION. An optimized routing system that has been called the world’s largest operation research project, ORION is systematically transforming how UPS drivers do their job. At the center of […]

TED@UPS Speaker: Mark Modesti

Why brutal honesty and the fearless search for trouble can save a company

Professional troublemaker Mark Modesti uses examples from business, his personal life, and even Abraham Lincoln to explain why brutal honesty and the fearless search for trouble can save a company (and even a family and a country) before trouble hunts you down. 29 years ago, Mark Modesti was a driver at UPS. Today, he uses […]

TED@UPS Speaker: Johnny Staats

A UPS driver… a world-class bluegrass mandolin, guitar and violin player.

During the day, Johnny Staats is a UPS driver. At all other times, he is a world-class bluegrass mandolin, guitar, and violin player. He has been featured on NBC’s Today Show, in People Magazine, on the CBS Evening News, and CNN, and has appeared on stage at the Grand Ole Opry five times. He won […]

TED@UPS Speaker: Peter Harris

What if waste weren’t waste at all? Could the trash we produce fuel the machines that transport our critical goods? And– how can we make this happen?

  Dealing with the waste of a consumer society is one of the greatest challenges of our modern times. But Peter Harris wonders: what if waste weren’t waste at all? Could the trash we produce fuel the machines that transport our critical goods? And – how can we make this happen? As the director of […]

TED@UPS Speaker: Regina Hartley

Those who don’t always look good on paper may be just the person you need to hire.

Given the choice between an employee with a perfect resume and straight As and one who has fought their way through difficulty, Human Resources Executive Regina Hartley always chooses the “scrapper.” Because, she believes, those who flourish in the darkest of spaces encompass the qualities of our strongest leaders. In this talk, Hartley touches on […]

TED@UPS Speaker: Kevin Etter

Might there be something more valuable than money that businesses could share?

There is no doubt that international companies are among the most generous when it comes to giving money, goods, and services to charitable organizations; in 2013 alone global donations exceeded $69 billion dollars. But Kevin Etter wonders: is that the only way that companies can help non-profits? Or might there be something more valuable than […]

TED@UPS Speaker: Yami Joshi and Pulse

Their motto is "Dance Hard, Destroy the Floor.”

Yami Joshi is an organizational development specialist at UPS, where she develops and implements organizational strategies to improve the employee experience. Meanwhile, she is pursuing a master’s degree in organizational/industrial psychology at the University of Georgia. Deeply involved in UPS’s Women’s Leadership Development Group, Joshi dedicates herself to learning how she can grow leadership capabilities […]

TED@UPS Speaker: Scott Szwast

Redefining the global players is truly at the center of our interconnected economies.

Think “global company,” and the businesses that first come to mind are undoubtedly massive conglomerates or far-reaching tech corporations with innumerable international branches. Scott Szwast turns this image upside down, redefining the global players truly at the center of our interconnected economies. With a palpable passion for the unpredictability of global trade, Scott Szwast has […]

TED@UPS Speaker: Esther Ndichu

Can hunger be solved and the poverty gap bridged?

Humanitarian Supply Chain Director Esther Ndichu argues that hunger is a logistics issue – that food often rots miles away from the people that need it most. By solving the logistics problem she asks: can the world’s hunger problem be solved in our lifetime? Esther Ndichu is responsible for the UPS Foundation’s global humanitarian engagements, where she manages […]

TED@UPS Speaker: Alan Amling

How industrial-era rules are changing... making possible what once seemed impossible.

Looking forward and back to the future, Amling observes how industrial-era rules are changing in manufacturing and transportation, making possible what once seemed impossible. Amling will peek into the future to examine how these changes will impact our on-demand society and radically transform the logistics of tomorrow. As the VP of Global Logistics and Marketing, […]

Introducing: TED@UPS

Did you miss TED@UPS on Sept. 2nd? No problem. Click “Subscribe” in the top right corner to receive an email alert when the finished videos are available in early November. UPS runs on big ideas. As UPSers can attest, those ideas make up the brown blood that flows through our veins – we know that […]