TED@UPS Video Intro: Jenna Schilstra

It’s time to stop dissing emojis and consider: what does the latest universal language, the next evolution of cryptography, have to offer?


The thing that has surprised me most about this TED process is that there’s so much to say.

You have pages and pages of research, outlines and ideas, and you want to convey as much as possible in a short period of time.

But it’s not about quantity, it’s about quality. So, it’s been interesting trying to dive deep and dig out those really important pieces for the audience to take away after listening to my talk.

Watch Jenna talk about her TED@UPS experience.

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The emergence of emojis gives her the tool to overcome a lifelong struggle with language barriers.

One thing that a lot of people don’t know about me is that I’m a fitness buff.

I love obstacle course racing, like the Spartan Race and Tough Mudder, and through my fitness journey over the last year, I’ve become a marketing influencer on Instagram.

I’ve connected with thousands of women around the world, shared my fitness journey and helped them achieve their goals.

It’s been amazing connecting with people from around the world and using this platform to share my experiences and help other people reach their goals as well.

I’ve even met some of my best friends on Instagram, which has been awesome.

My topic for TED@UPS this year is all about emojis.

I’m not going to give too much away because I want you to be surprised, but I think that emojis have a really important place in our history of communication, dating back to ancient times.

I hope that you leave with a different perspective on what most people discredit as just being a fad or a phase – the lazy way that people communicate today.

I think you’ll really be surprised and leave thinking about how you communicate and how emojis might do some good.

Jenna Schilstra, Analyst in Customer Technology Marketing Emoji Defender

Jenna SchilstraJenna Schilstra grew up in a country literally divided between two languages: Dutch and French speaking Belgium. A childhood steeped in languages and years of travel seeded a lifelong yearning to overcome language barriers and communicate with the unfamiliar.

The emergence of emojis gives her the tool to do so.

Jenna joined UPS’s Mobile Strategy team after graduating from the University of Virginia.

As a customer technology manager, Jenna’s international perspective has informed the expansion of the company’s mobile presence to 83 countries.

Beyond UPS, she helps global brands connect with their audiences through her work as a social media marketing influencer. Together, these experiences have shown that embracing emojis comes with unexpected benefits and the power of positive change.

Click here to learn more about TED@UPS 2016.

TED@UPS If there’s one thing every UPSer has in common, it’s that we have an irresistible desire to figure it out and get it done. And that leads to some amazing ideas. At TED@UPS, explores both the destination and the journey of ideas — big and small — that inspire us, challenge how we think or feel, and even change the world.

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Reprinted with permission of Longitudes, the UPS blog devoted to the trends shaping the global economy.


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  2. Kelly Gonter

    How exciting Jenna! I am looking forward to hearing your talk…….I must admit I had no idea of the power of emojis…………looking forward to some in-depth talks about emojis with my 12 year old! 🙂

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  4. Doug Nodland

    I enjoyed your thoughtful and well-delivered Ted Talk. I believe your ideas are “spot on” as to how emojis will continue to be a force in improving communication in the personal and business world. I am an advisory board member for a company whose mission is to help accomplish that very purpose! I would love to connect with you to see if, and how, there could be a mutual benefit for you and this company. I have left my contact information below. I look forward to connecting with you.

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