The Optimistic Outlook

The Optimistic Outlook

The national conversation surrounding America’s infrastructure has focused on how to fix it and fund it. In The Optimistic Outlook podcast, Siemens USA CEO Barbara Humpton looks deeper, focusing on how reinventing infrastructure can help address societal challenges.

Episodes

August 20, 2020 2 min

Previewing the show, Siemens USA CEO Barbara Humpton shares her goals for the podcast and what makes her an optimist even amid a healthcare, economic and societal crisis. This series, she says, will help listeners see infrastructure in a new way: as a tool to build a more resilient future.

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In using data to bring infrastructure online, cybersecurity conversations tend to focus on everything going wrong. With Laura Bate, a director of cyber engagement at the U.S. Cyberspace Solarium Commission, Barbara delves into a world in which everything goes right instead.

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September 8, 2020 28 min

As U.S. manufacturers help the country respond to COVID-19, Jay Timmons, President and CEO, National Association of Manufacturers, joins the show to share lessons learned and why the digital transformation of U.S. factories matters to national resilience.

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September 8, 2020 30 min

A big challenge in co-existing with the COVID-19 pandemic is understanding how to create safe indoor spaces. Scott Rechler, CEO of New York City-based RxR Realty, shares technology solutions being used to reinvent buildings and offices.

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September 8, 2020 30 min

A rare upside to a global pandemic? Less driving helped to reduce carbon emissions and improve air quality. Vic Shao, CEO, Amply Power, outlines how we can continue to accelerate climate action even while restarting the economy by focusing on the immediately actionable opportunity to scale the use of electric mobility.

 

Show Notes:

  • California mandate for zero emission trucks
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    One of the biggest trends impacting infrastructure actually started in the consumer world: a Fourth Industrial Revolution. Elise Neel, Vice President of New Business Incubation at Verizon, joins Barbara to share its potential and the impact of 5G to infrastructure and industry.

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    September 30, 2020 28 min

    Resilience. In the wake of today’s crises, we now hear it all the time. But what it does really mean, and what will be the benefits of having more resilient infrastructure? To answer that question, Barbara talks to Seth Shultz, Global Executive Director of The Resilience Shift.

    Show notes:

  • Resilient Leadership Project: https://www.resilienceshift.org/resilient-leadership/
  • International Coalition for Sustainable Infrastructure: ht...
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    September 30, 2020 22 min

    Sustainability, consumer choices and pure economics are all coming together to support a renewable future. But first we need to bring this energy onto the power grid. To learn how, Barbara talks to Sonja Glavaski, Chief Scientist for Energy Digitalization in the Energy & Environment Directorate at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

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    United for Infrastructure is a nonpartisan organization that brings together businesses, workers, elected leaders and citizens to advocate for the renewal of America’s infrastructure. CEO and Co-Founder Zach Schafer shares key takeaways from the organization’s recent week-long virtual gathering of experts focused on how to #RebuildBetter.

    Show Notes:

  • United for Infrastructure
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    October 23, 2020 31 min

    Transportation is often described as the backbone of America’s economy. Looking towards the future, former U.S. Transportation Secretary and Lyft Chief Policy Officer Anthony Foxx shares his views on how transportation can also be the backbone for social equity, fighting climate change and addressing growth in our cities. 

     

    Show notes:

  • Beyond Traffic report
  •  

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    November 24, 2020 26 min

    This unprecedented healthcare, economic and societal crisis won’t be the last; the future promises an exponential increase in unpredictable threats. Peter Willis, who led the recent Resilient Leadership Project, joins Barbara to discuss how society should respond, by leaning in, and the power of intentional listening.  

     

    Show Notes: 

    Resilient Leadership: https://www.resilienceshift.org/resilient-leadership/ 

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    December 7, 2020 23 min

    Denver Mayor Michael Hancock joins Barbara to discuss a U.S. Conference of Mayors survey examining mayoral infrastructure priorities in facing an unprecedented health, economic and societal crisis due to COVID-19. They highlight how infrastructure and technology investments can generate new jobs and economic recovery while forging a new path for urban resilience.

     

    Show notes: “Infrastructure, Technology and Mayors’ Priorities fo...

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    Can we learn to be optimists? Maggie Smith wrote her best-selling book of quotes and essays, “Keep Moving,” to move forward through the grief, anger, and uncertainty of divorce. For Barbara’s final episode of 2020, a CEO and poet explore how crisis presents an opportunity to shape the future we want, as Smith shares how she came to embrace an optimistic outlook. 

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    February 10, 2021 11 min

    As vaccines shine a bright light through the darkest days of the pandemic, Barbara shares her thoughts on how we can begin the work of reopening America and building a more resilient future. Listeners will learn practical ways that technology can help us take steps and potential opportunities in 2021 to launch large-scale action to reinvent America’s infrastructure. 

     

    Show Notes:

  • Resources: https://new.siemens.com/us/en/compan...
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    February 22, 2021 18 min

    In 2020, the pandemic accelerated the adoption of new cloud technologies. Where do we go from here? Stephen Orban, General Manager, Amazon Web Services (AWS) Data Exchange, joins Barbara to discuss the cloud’s potential for helping America reopen, helping organizations thrive in the new normal, and more. 

     

    Show Notes:

  • Reopening America: https://new.siemens.com/us/en/company/about/covid-19-coronavirus.html 
  • Smart building solutio...
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    In this series, Barbara looks at what it takes to bring back in-person learning across schools, colleges and universities. In Part 1, Molloy College President Dr. James Lentini joins the podcast alongside Siemens’ Fred James and David Santo to talk about the air purification and technology partnership helping Molloy College expand in-person learning with confidence in 2021. 

     

     

    Show Notes:

     

  • Reopening Education: https://new....
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    While infrastructure projects have continued during the pandemic, COVID-19 is impacting the construction industry in numerous ways. Richard Kennedy, President and CEO, Skanska USA, joins Barbara to discuss technology trends accelerated by the pandemic and new partnerships for improving how we build and maintain the infrastructure needed today and in the future.  

     

  • Smart Buildings: https://new.siemens.com/us/en/products/buildingt...
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    Barbara turns her focus to K-12 schools, highlighting the reopening story of public schools in Augusta, Maine. Jon Stonier, Augusta School Department Director of Building and Grounds, and Siemens’ Erik Matzell, Senior Sales Executive, join the show to talk about the school system’s focus on air purification technology and infrastructure upgrades to safely return students to classrooms.   

     

    Show Notes:

    Reopening Education: https...

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    Is this a generational opportunity? For the last episode of the series, Barbara talks to John Macomber, a Harvard Business School lecturer and co-author of “Healthy Buildings: How Indoor Spaces Drive Performance and Productivity,” to explore how addressing the immediate need to reopen schools nationwide could actually benefit students, teachers and administrators for many years to come. You’ll learn how the pandemic has raised awar...

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    April 19, 2021 28 min

    It might be the beginning of the end for the pandemic, yet the climate crisis—and with it, another healthcare crisis— looms large: Air pollution now contributes to 7 million global deaths annually, with the World Health Organization reporting that 98 percent of the world’s children aren’t breathing clean air. Jane Burston, Executive Director and Founder of the Clean Air Fund, joins Barbara with Martin Powell, Head of Sustainability...

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