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ASCM Insights

Supply Chain Is Center Stage at the ASCM CONNECT Annual Conference


Nonstop supply chain education

The ASCM CONNECT Annual Conference continues to educate and inspire. Read on for some key takeaways from today.

Pursuing an extraordinary tomorrow creates a better world today

“What’s above us, unites us,” former astronaut Dr. Mae Jemison told ASCM CONNECT Annual Conference attendees at this morning’s keynote. “The stars are how we learned to plant, to tell time, to navigate the world. … And this is the opportunity we have to move space forward while moving the Earth forward.”

She then went on to explain that many people assume that, looking down from the Space Shuttle, one would see the whole world and everything that’s important to them. “But that didn’t happen to me,” Jemison said. “I actually felt more connected with the rest of the universe when I looked up. When we look up, we see ourselves.”

She encouraged attendees to appreciate their connections across space and time, noting that people possess extraordinary possibilities and potential, but sometimes we get in our own way. The first woman of color in space, she also stressed the importance of inclusivity and diverse perspectives. “When you’re pushing beyond what you know, you need to take folks with you who understand some things you don’t. And you won’t find them where you’re hanging out most of the time. Get outside your safety zone,” she urged. “The world is too interconnected right now for us to think we can hide in our own little place.”

U.S. Supply Chain Envoy thanks ASCM’s supply chain superheroes

General Stephen Lyons of the White House Supply Chain Disruption Task Force is no stranger to the intense demands that supply chain professionals have experienced in recent years. As he noted during his keynote, “Supply chain professionals used to operate behind the scenes to enable others. They weren’t thought of first. All of that has changed now.” 

Lyons began his speech by noting that “supply chain” may no longer be the best way to describe the industry. “Supply chains are perhaps misnamed,” he suggested. “If a chain is broken, you fix one link, and it’s fixed. But supply chains are actually more like webs, with many disparate, yet interconnected, entities and interests."

Acknowledging the public’s reaction to supply chain in recent months, Lyons took an important moment to show appreciation for ASCM CONNECT Annual Conference attendees, both in Chicago and around the world virtually. “In these complex times, when the pressure is on, we need good leaders,” he said. “So thank you for weathering the storm and for your willingness to lead.”

Perusing the latest edition of the ASCM Supply Chain Dictionary

With more than 350,000 copies and downloads in circulation, the ASCM Supply Chain Dictionary has been the authority on all things supply chain for decades. In the Expo Hall, conference attendees enjoyed discovering the nearly 500 new terms just added to this essential reference. 

The 17th edition of the ASCM Supply Chain Dictionary was compiled from ASCM certification exam content manuals and certificate programs, the new SCOR Digital Standard, the Digital Capabilities Model, Project Zebra, the Economist Resilience Benchmark and a team of supply chain industry experts. Get your copy today.

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About the Author

Elizabeth Rennie Editor-in-Chief, SCM Now magazine, ASCM

Elizabeth Rennie is Editor-in-Chief at ASCM. She may be contacted at

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