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Inspired by WEF

Tags: Air Cargo   Cargo industry   World Economic Forum

Oliver Evans on Monday, February 03, 2014 3:10 PM

Last month some 2500 top political and business leaders, scientists, artist, philosophers, intellectuals and journalists gathered, as they do every year, in Davos, deep in the Swiss mountains, for the World Economic Forum (WEF). What brought them together was the need to discuss the most pressing issues facing the world, including health and sustainability in all its aspects. The guiding principle of the WEF is simple but highly ambitious: “Committed to improving the state of the world”. Simple maybe, but the impact this conference increasingly makes in all kinds of spheres is powerful and wide-ranging. The WEF today is not to be missed by the world’s elite and functions as the unofficial think-tank for governments and business alike.

We air cargo professionals are – I think you will all agree – “committed to improving the state of the air cargo industry”. So why is it that the numerous conventions and meetings we organise to share and discuss pressing issues within our industry fall short of the lofty mark set by WEF? Why indeed? I think the answer lies in that word: “within”.

Yes, we have a lot of speakers from “within”, and insights from “within”. But the very power of the WEF arises from its fascinating mixture of minds from both within AND outside the usual leadership circles. When sociologist or behavioural psychologists have access to business leaders – and vice versa; when philosophers have the attention of lawmakers or politicians, inspiration is just one “aha” moment away.
Both sides are enriched by ideas, perspectives and insights of people they would never under normal circumstances meet in person. New solutions are hatched, new connections are made, old problems are tackled creatively and from unexpected angles.

Now, isn´t that exactly what our industry needs as well, and quite urgently? Input from outside, thinking beyond our own collective nose, a deep breath of intellectual fresh air?
If you think so too, please let me know. Maybe together we can create a Davos for the logistics industry. Why should we leave all the inspiration outside the door to the industry?

Thank you for tuning in.


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Published by Ted Braun on Wednesday, February 05, 2014 8:29 PM
While it sounds like a reasonable idea, I have a hard time reconciling it with the recent TIACA/IATA/FIATA/ICAO press release concerning "AIR CARGO INDUSTRY MUST ACT NOW TO AVOID LEADERSHIP CRISIS" which, contrary to the outside the box/industry approach, continues to look inwardly at these industry organizations' brain trust to come up with a strategy to address "the ... limited... availability of air cargo-focused programmes that teach these higher-level skills". What am I missing here? Ted
Published by Terence Cook on Tuesday, February 04, 2014 9:28 AM
I agree with you Oliver. Just look around at our peers, there are a lot of old guys here and the old adage of you can’t teach an old dog new tricks springs to mind. Whilst this is not true for all individuals, yourself included, many of the guys running the air cargo industry are set in their ways and are reluctant to change. Air Cargo is unfortunately not seen as a sexy part of an airline and therefore does not always attract young, inspired and inquisitive minds, the people that ask why we are doing something and challenge the norm. The combination of these two factors leads us to where we are today; an industry which trundles along doing what is has been doing for years, because for them, it works. So yeah maybe it does work, but it could work better. So let’s go and grab some people from outside of the industry and gather their opinions but most importantly let’s listen to them and then the leaders need to take action to make the change.
Published by Carolina Ramirez-Taborda on Monday, February 03, 2014 9:05 PM
Many thanks for your “fresh air” on a late working evening, Oliver. A mix of people with different background and interests always proves to add value to any discussion (or at least make it interesting to say the least!). In today’s challenging Cargo World when innovation is not always the number one priority, you are right in pointing out that we should re-think about doing it on our own… By allowing new recruits for the cargo industry be handpicked to represent a wide variety of sectors, backgrounds and origins (chefs, designers, mothers, IT geeks, doctors, musicians, police officers, chemical engineers, farmers, veterinarians, regulators, engineers… you name it!), our industry will start looking closer to a Davos breeding ground much sooner than later.
Published by Ahmed Fouad on Monday, February 03, 2014 7:41 PM
i likew the article and agree fully, as i requested before from several IATA employees to try to do a commitee for enhancing and progressing Air Freight mainly as i see that air freight is not progressing enough comparing to sea freight. also i thought it should include all stackholders in air freight, but the new out of box thinking in the article includes all other stackholders outside the air freight. so i agree totally and would like to be part of it if it may succeed.

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