Introducing TED@UPS 2.0

Here’s what you can expect from the latest partnership between TED and the world’s largest transportation and logistics company.

A simple question has driven innovation throughout the 100-plus years at UPS: “What if?

That thought-provoking premise is the force behind the evolution of UPS. We’re now far more than a package delivery company. “What if?” inspires us to deliver big ideas and big solutions.

By challenging ourselves to look past barriers and imagine limitless possibilities, we reach real breakthroughs.

That’s why 12 UPSers will explore the myriad possibilities of “What if?” during their TED@UPS talks on September 15. It’s the second time UPS has partnered with TED to challenge you to look at the world through an entirely new lens.

You’ll hear talks that dare us to rethink transportation networks … that use data to support 21st century humanitarianism … and explore what lessons we can learn from soap operas.

The day will showcase some of the best and brightest of our 440,000 employees. If last year’s event was any indication, we’re in store for some unforgettable ideas. We’ll even have a reggae singer this year.

And speaking of “What if?” – what if you were able to meet that reggae singer, or the other 12 TED@UPS speakers in advance of the show?

Beginning Tuesday, you’ll get that backstage pass, only on Longitudes. From 9/6 to 9/14, we’ll post short videos featuring our own TED@UPS speakers as they tease out their talks and share how they hope their talks will have impact.

In addition to our micro-bios, check out our gallery of this year’s TED@UPS speakers and performers below.

Can’t make TED@UPS on September 15? No problem. Click “Subscribe” in the top right corner to receive an email alert when the finished videos are available.

In the meantime, get ready to explore the infinite possibility of “What if?”


Our Speakers:

Kate-Adams-TED-shotKate Adams
Managing Editor –
Digital storyteller

Kate Adams, who worked on soaps for eight years, maps the ways that daytime dramas are an unlikely (but compelling) oracle to help us overcome our own everyday dramas.

Read more about Kate.



StephanieBracciniSlade-2525 square

Stephanie Braccini

Curator of mammals, Atlanta Zoo

Animal behavior researcher

Stephanie Braccini has dedicated her career to truly understanding what makes animals happy. In this talk, she shares how to build a hearth for creatures so far from their home.



Jan Denecker (UPS) Copyright Yorick Jansens

Jan Denecker
Director, Healthcare Marketing and Strategy
Healthcare strategist

What lessons does the developing world hold about building healthcare that is simpler and longer-lasting?

Read more about Jan.




Katie Francfort - Ted Photo

Katie Francfort
Specialty Pharmaceuticals Marketing Manager
Logistics professional

Could mosquitoes be the ultimate last-mile delivery system? Katie Francfort argues that this troublesome insect could be the next evolution of drones.

Read more about Katie.




Monica Johnson - TED Headshot

Monica Johnson
Escheatment/Unclaimed Property Management
Unclaimed funds manager

A tax manager examines abandonment and asks, “Why don’t people want to claim funds, other people and parts of themselves?”

Read more about Monica.




WannisKabbajWanis Kabbaj
Director, Global Strategy, Healthcare Logistics
Transportation geek

What lessons can we learn from the blood in our veins to make transportation more efficient and sustainable?

Read more about Wanis.





Amelia Laytham
Marketing Manager
Indonesian dancer

A teenage immigrant just wants to fit in. Amelia Laytham was no exception, especially when her family moved from Indonesia to Pennsylvania. In this talk and performance, we discover how she reclaimed her shunned identity through dance.
Read more about Amelia.




Mario Paluzzi

Mario Paluzzi
Senior Manager, Integration and Automation
Last-mile maven

How could addressing the unaddressable help developing countries leapfrog developed nations into the most effective logistics system yet?

Read more about Mario.




Agustín Picado UPS1-2

Augie Picado
Country Manager, UPS Mexico
Border specialist

Augie explores the impact of walls, and imagines the new realities that people and products would face on both sides of a separated border.

Read more about Augie.




Jenna Schilstra

Jenna Schilstra
Analyst, Customer Technology Marketing
Emoji defender

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

Read more about Jenna.





Romaine Seguin
President, UPS Americas Region
International trade expert

Of all the strategies to fight poverty, discrimination, and even terrorism, Romaine Seguin argues that international trade is the most impactful.

Read more about Romaine.




Mallory Soldner

Mallory Soldner
Advanced Analytics Manager
Data activist

Corporations often give money, logistical support and even their own people to solve some of the world’s most pressing humanitarian problems. But what if big companies were willing to share their other most precious resource: data?

Read more about Mallory



John Bidden

John Bidden
Package Car Driver

John Bidden believes that music is a tool for the soul. That it can either “fix, build, calm, break, or change you for a moment.” He wields the instrument to inspire others.

Read more about John.



KarlaHarris_hirez_090-1 square

Karla Harris

Jazz Vocalist

Karla Harris’ vocal style surges from vulnerable to powerful and back again, integrating both a warmth and vigor into the jazz, pop and soul music that she weaves between.







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. 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.