The Optimistic Outlook

The Optimistic Outlook

On The Optimistic Outlook, Barbara Humpton, CEO of Siemens USA, engages listeners with discussions on the future of essential fields such as energy, manufacturing, and transportation. She not only examines tough problems, but also offers solutions based on readily available technologies. Barbara’s visionary perspective is designed to spark bold thinking among listeners, urging them to innovate towards a sustainable and eco-friendly future.

Episodes

February 13, 2024 6 mins

Can the future of manufacturing be almost like playing a video game? In this Optimistic Insights episode, Barbara looks back to CES in January and presents Siemens’ vision for the Industrial Metaverse, breaking down Siemens AG CEO Roland Busch’s keynote speech. Prepare to learn about the key building blocks for making the industrial metaverse a reality, including digital twins, and the world-changing potential for combining the rea...

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Digital innovation is no longer limited to Silicon Valley. Some of the most exciting, and potentially world-changing, developments are happening in manufacturing plants across America as industrial automation systems interact with software and AI. What is the vision for applying tools that first emerged in consumer sectors in American industry? And what could the benefits be beyond forging an even more competitive, stronger U.S. ma...

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For decades, American manufacturing shifted to other countries. Now, it’s growing again in the United States. To launch a new “Optimistic Insights” series, Barbara outlines the trends such as emerging technologies and what she calls “glocalization” that are driving American manufacturing’s resurgence. This episode will help listeners to understand the convergence between the tech economy and American industry. Explore the bright fu...

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Older generations have often misunderstood younger generations. And yet, as the U.S. workforce ages, the value of multigenerational teams will continue to grow. In this episode, Barbara talks with university recruiter Sophie Nicholas and intern Adrian Vasquez. You will learn about the workplace culture that Gen Z is shaping and what they hope to learn as the youngest of the five generations now in the workforce.  

Show notes:

Jobs ...

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Successfully addressing the climate crisis requires significant progress by 2030. Will we get there? Christiana Figueres, a former UN climate leader who led the process securing the Paris Climate Agreement, offers expert perspective, defining the current state of the problem and how we can grow our ability to rapidly put solutions into action. Prepare to be uplifted about what’s possible and to learn about critical climate prioriti...

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Imagine self-healing concrete or traffic lights with “eyes” that save lives in crosswalks. Technology startup leaders join Barbara to discuss breakthrough innovations that could be accelerated by the launch of a new White House initiative: Advanced Research Projects Agency – Infrastructure (ARPA-I). Listen for inspiring, detailed insights from Ginger Krieg Dosier, Founder and Board Member, Biomason, and Angus Pacala, CEO, Ouster, a...

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With American healthcare representing 10% of U.S. carbon emissions, decarbonizing hospitals and healthcare systems promises to deliver meaningful climate action. In this episode, Barbara brings listeners inside an innovative project reducing energy usage in imaging at University of California San Francisco (UCSF). The solutions will not only help to support decarbonization but yield immediate operational savings for hospitals and h...

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Effective partnerships between large companies and startups can accelerate net-zero strategies and even produce cost savings that strengthen the business case. Recording from the TED Countdown Summit, Barbara talks to Maisie Devine, Executive Director of Sustainable Innovation at AB InBev and Founder of the award-winning 100+ Accelerator program, which is building an ecosystem of partners delivering breakthrough advancements in sup...

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April 24, 2023 7 mins

Barbara reflects on how her ideas about leadership changed during the pandemic by sharing an audio version of her recent leadership essay, The Greatest Gift We Can Give Our Organizations.

Show Notes:

Comment on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/greatest-gift-we-can-give-our-organizations-barbara-humpton/

Art of Leading Interview: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/key-role-leaders-help-people-understand-what-good-looks-adam-brya...

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Siemens CEO Roland Busch joins Barbara to discuss “glocalization” and how to scale technologies shaping a better tomorrow as industry and infrastructure become more productive and sustainable. 

Show notes:  

Roland on glocalization: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2023/01/globalization-isn-t-working-but-glocalization-can-davos2023/ 

Siemens Xcelerator and Industrial Metaverse: https://new.siemens.com/global/en/company/insights.html 

...

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February 21, 2023 28 mins

The U.S. power grid has been called both the “greatest machine ever built” and the “great enabler” of our greatest innovations. But can we successfully reinvent it? In this decade of action, with technology companies stepping up and new federal climate and infrastructure laws moving forward that each focus on power grid modernization, Barbara is joined by Karen Wayland, CEO, Gridwise Alliance. Karen is a recognized expert in nation...

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Clarence Anthony, CEO and Executive Director, National League of Cities, joins the podcast to provide a local perspective on the deployment of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. With many communities directly accessing federal infrastructure funds for the first time, Anthony outlines priorities for cities, towns, and villages nationwide.     

 Show Notes:   

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December 20, 2022 31 mins

For the last episode of 2022, Barbara is joined by Dr. Connie Hadley, an organizational psychologist and founder of the Institute for Life at Work, to discuss how to build stronger, more innovative teams. Building on the show’s core theme of optimism and last year’s episode on growth mindset, this conversation unpacks how work cultures rooted in trust and psychological safety foster individual resilience and wellbeing. The outcome?...

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November 29, 2022 20 mins

Barbara visits a groundbreaking microgrid project in the South Side Chicago neighborhood of Bronzeville. Features interviews with ComEd CEO Gil Quiniones and Paul Pabst, who leads ComEd’s Smart Grid department.

SHOW NOTES: 

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ecvUf5sdOJs&list=PLF415F6CFBF8D6A91&index=2

Microgrids opportunities in Bipartisan Infrastructure Law: https://new.siemens.com/us/en/company/bipartisan-infrastructure.html

...

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September 16, 2022 20 mins

Chad Frischmann is the co-author of the New York Times best-seller “Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming.” He also pioneered Project Drawdown and is now the founder of a new organization called Regenerative Intelligence. Barbara and Chad explore how to achieve a moment in time when the concentration of atmospheric greenhouse gases begins to decline annually and what a regenerative future loo...

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Barbara brings listeners inside a United for Infrastructure event focused on accelerating electric vehicle deployment and grid modernization in North Carolina, with commentary from North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper; Brian Savoy, Chief Strategy and Commercial Officer for Duke Energy; and Charles Lattuca, President and CEO of GoTriangle, which provides bus services in North Carolina’s Research Triangle region. 

Show notes: 

Electrif...

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June 30, 2022 27 mins

With previous episodes focusing on the power of new federal investment combined with emerging technologies, this one explores the big, overarching trend that promises to truly change everything: a platform revolution. Following the release day of Siemens’ new open digital business platform, Siemens Xcelerator, Marshall Van Alstyne, co-author of international bestseller “Platform Revolution,” offers his view on why platform models g...

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Barbara looks at infrastructure’s legacy of exacerbating inequality and explores a more sustainable, equitable, resilient approach as the bipartisan infrastructure law is rolled out. Her guest, Stephanie Gidigbi Jenkins, is an expert in and champion for public policies promoting economic, social and environmental benefits for communities. Stephanie is the founder and co-partner of Northstar Strategies, with previous experiences at ...

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Barbara is joined by United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby to take a look back at the first passenger flight powered by sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) in December 2021. You’ll learn about United’s Eco-Skies Alliance leading a shift to SAF, the aviation industry’s commitment to decarbonization, and why Kirby sees climate change as the biggest challenge facing our generation.

Show notes:

Eco-Skies Alliance Announcement: https://www.prnews...

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