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Strengthening Supply Chains Through Digital Innovation

Andrew N. Liveris AO, Former Chairman & CEO, Dow Chemical Company; Concordia Leadership Council Member
Ryan Heath, Senior Editor, Politico
Barbara Humpton, President & CEO, Siemens USA; Concordia Leadership Council Member 
Kevin Rabinovitch, Global VP of Sustainability & Chief Climate Officer, Mars Wrigley

Supply chains are under pressure, opened Ryan Heath, Senior Editor at Politico, and companies are under their own pressure to take more responsibility for potential disruptions. When should governments step in? Barbara Humpton, President & CEO of Siemens USA, explained that there is always a place for governments to act in a business-led free market as long as regulations remain light and true partnerships are possible. Andrew N. Liveris AO, Former Chairman & CEO of Dow Chemical Company and Concordia Leadership Council Member, noted that globalization in the 21st century will require new rules that may not come from governments. Businesses will play a role in defining these rules and remaining contributory. 

Focusing more specifically on supply chains themselves, Kevin Rabinovitch, Global Vice President of Sustainability & Chief Climate Officer for Mars Wrigley, said that companies need to examine their blind spots along the chain. Ignorance is not bliss; it is a major corporate risk. Commodities require transparency throughout the supply chain, to promote both sustainable practices and security. Designing these for the future will require managing unpredictable issues like national conflicts and the effects of climate change.

Heath then asked Humpton if the recent CHIPS Act will make the semiconductor supply chain more resilient. Humpton explained that it will be an important down payment for the U.S. economy as we continue to expand the Internet of Things. Liveris noted that the U.S. missed a wave of innovation because of offshoring. Research & development needs to be positioned alongside manufacturing.

Zeroing in on climate change, Heath asked about how business leaders can manage supply chains. Rabinovitch noted his company’s efforts to consolidate data into dashboards that can be used throughout decision-making processes. Humpton emphasized the need for shareholders to understand the importance of climate change contingencies. Liveris suggested that companies should share key performance indicators across industries because the problem requires an all-hands-on-deck approach. Rabinovitch closed out the discussion by noting that we are past the point of impatience and must now drive toward targets and performance.

Key takeaways & next steps:

  • Supply chains are facing a confluence of unprecedented challenges and businesses must act to mitigate their major financial and reputational risk. 
  • Governments can help set the stage for change but businesses must act.
  • No one position within the company should bear sole responsibility, and no single company will have the magic solution. A cooperative approach across the business and within sectors may yield more effective results.

“We are completely changing the way we think about location and partner strategies, which will require significant investment.”


Andrew N. Liveris AO, Former Chairman & CEO, Dow Chemical Company; Concordia Leadership Council Member

“How does digital innovation allow you to perform that internal accountability?”


Ryan Heath, Senior Editor, Politico

“Businesses can innovate so quickly. We need true partnership with governments to create lightweight regulatory frameworks, which can accommodate shifting demands.”


Barbara Humpton, President & CEO, Siemens USA and Concordia Leadership Council Member

“We are at the end of the commodity era.”


Kevin Rabinovitch, Global VP of Sustainability & Chief Climate Officer, Mars Wrigley