Welcome to upside

The Consumer-led Revolution
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How social and mobile media are shaking up retail.

Reprinted from Longitudes

It’s interesting how phrases from the pioneering days of the retail industry have stayed with us. Well over a century ago, Marshall Field said: “Right or wrong, the customer is always right.” R.H. Macy added: “Be everywhere. Do everything. And never fail to astonish the customer.”

Neither could we have known how literally those statements apply today, how powerfully they have been enabled by a revolution in technology, or how fundamentally they are changing the face of retail around the world.

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Sustainability as a Platform for City Growth
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Cities are revamping their sustainability plans with fresh, innovative solutions.

Reprinted from Longitudes

Populations in the world’s largest 750 cities are expected to grow by 410 million between now and 2030.

According to Oxford Economics’ Global Cities report, which UPS co-sponsored and whose data I’ll draw upon here, we can attribute this growth in large part to the migration from the farm to the cities across developing economies.

This migration is spurred by young people drawn by economic opportunities and the excitement urban environments offer, the rising cost of long-distance commuting — and the sheer fact that for many across the globe, the pace of city living is becoming more attractive.

As I discussed in my last post, this rapid urbanization signals that strong economic growth for cities is likely to be on the way—but there will be a need for large-scale investments and creative development to allow cities to adapt to their evolving needs.

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Hope in the Heart of Africa
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Discovering inspiration and fulfillment amid the impoverished conditions of Swaziland.

Reprinted from Longitudes

In the driveway of my new adopted home, on a mountaintop in Swaziland, a beat-up Isuzu truck has replaced the BMW I once drove. The designer clothes that once filled my closets have been replaced by off-the-rack outfits from a department store. Instead of fancy shoes, I wear sandals and have given up the pedicures I used to get regularly.

Here, I’m no longer the owner of one of the largest marketing agencies in Canada. Instead of taking care of fortune 500 clients, my husband, Ian, and I care for babies born in outdoor latrines and left to die.

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“Students: Think Less Like Americans”
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In a smaller, more connected world, students must become global thinkers.

As college students all across the United States settle into the new school year — some of whom are there to receive their final year of instruction before graduation — I have what may seem a strange bit of advice:

Try to think less like an American.

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The Future Belongs to Cities—But They Will Face Challenges
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Making urban futures cleaner, greener, safer and healthier through sophisticated planning and logistics.

Reprinted from Longitudes

There’s a growing consensus that to understand the future of the world, you must focus on the future of cities. Over the next few months, I will use this blog to highlight how well-planned urban development — combined with focused environmental consideration – can work in unison to make our collective urban futures cleaner, greener, safer and healthier. I’ll also show how sophisticated planning and logistics can help accelerate these changes.

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Rebuilding America’s Infrastructure
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We’re not living in 1950, so we need to stop planning our infrastructure like we are.

Unless we start to invest in transportation infrastructure, there will come a time when huge snarls of traffic choke our nation’s economy.

Years of political infighting and not investing holistically will constrict America’s growth potential. And worse, while our transportation system deteriorates and freight delays increase, the rest of the world will have kept investing, especially countries like China, where CEOs including myself gathered last weekend for the APEC CEO Summit.

Quite simply, we can’t allow that to happen. All signs point to increasing transportation costs, coupled with rapidly growing populations worldwide. If we don’t take action now, the results will be disastrous for American businesses and our national economic well-being.

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Introducing Longitudes: UPS’s Thought Leadership Blog
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Click here to check it out.

We live in an era of great change and disruption. We also live in a world where many aspects of business are being disrupted by innovative cutting-edge technologies and innovative ways of thinking. Old business models are being challenged by advances in mobile and cloud computing, big data, crowdsourcing and 3D printing. While these changes carry risks, they also create extraordinary opportunities for the companies that can capitalize on these trends.

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Doing More, Not Less
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The following post first appeared on the BlueGreen Alliance website on September 10, 2014.   

“At UPS, sustainability success starts with employees, not just newer and better technology.” 

Sustainability is often about creating or doing less—less waste, lower emissions. But is that the right approach?

What if, instead, we were committed to doing more?

Many corporate sustainability reports look and feel the same, but the best ones tell a story—what a company did, how it is leading, and what it is doing to take ownership of environmental and social concerns. Read More »

Veterans Give a ‘Competitive Edge’ to UPS
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The following post was written by Steve B. Brooks and originally appeared on The American Legion website.

United Parcel Service, better known to the world as UPS, has 24,000 veterans on its payroll and has a goal of hiring thousands more. Hundreds of its stores are run by veterans.

But Myron Gray, vice president of U.S. Operations for the shipping giant, told delegates to the 96th Annual American Legion National Convention on Aug. 28 that his company’s hiring practices aren’t driven solely by a sense of obligation. Read More »

The Most Important Sustainability Question at UPS
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What is the most energy-efficient way to deliver a package from point A to point B? It’s a good question. And for the legion of engineers at UPS, it’s more than that—it’s a compelling challenge that has profound implications for the global environment.

Let me elaborate. Given a set of parameters like origin, destination, and package weight, I could give you an answer to the question. But as with most things, the technical reality complicates the simplicity of rote formula. Read More »