It’s been six years since business advisor and strategist Vikram Mansharamani took the stage at an ISRI convention. A global trend-watcher who teaches people how to anticipate the future, manage risk, and spot opportunities, Mansharamani predicted that the world is on the verge of bifurcating into two global economies, one of which will be a U.S.-led economic ecosystem, and the other being a Chinese-led economic ecosystem.

“Countries are not going to cross these boundaries the way they historically have,” Mansharamani said during the general session Challenges and Opportunities for Recycling in a Post-COVID Trade Environment on Wednesday, March 23. When asked what effect that could have on commodities, Mansharamani said that it would vary from commodity to commodity.

“It’s going to be different for different commodities, different for different regions, and different for different sizes of markets,” he says. “You’re going to see disruption, trade patterns are going to shift, and it’s really complicated.”

Mansharamani is also a lecturer at Harvard University. He teaches students to use multiple perspectives in making tough decisions. This includes not thinking with yesterday’s logic, as he recommends that his students be skilled at many things instead of focusing on just one area of expertise.

“Unfortunately, for years and years and years, the mantra that’s been taught in academia, and I would argue in the business world, is narrow your focus, develop expertise, and develop depth, core competence,” he says. “Find your niche and own it, get narrow and deep, quickly, because the return there for expertise is high.”

Mansharamani argues that the focus on depth needs to be replaced with a focus on breadth. “Look wider. Use a wide-angle lens rather than a microscope,” he says. He implores college students to explore multiple topics and branch out to areas outside of their core focus. “Mix it up a little bit,” he says. “Breadth, I suggest, is going to be more important going forward than depth.”

Awards Presentations

“Safety is ISRI’s core value in everything we do,” says ISRI Vice-Chair Colin Kelly. “We seek to assess and address and identify safety issues. We do that for one key reason: we know our people are our greatest resource.”

Kelly highlighted the winners of the 2022 Transportation Safety Awards. Several accolades make up ISRI’s Transportation Safety Awards: the Driver of the Year Award, the Golden Wrench Award, the Best Fleet Award, and the Pacesetter Award.

The Driver of the Year Award recognizes drivers who have driven a commercial motor vehicle for more than 20 years without an accident. Michael Cuson, 30 years, Page Transportation Inc., Weedsport, N.Y. was the first-place winner this year. The ISRI Golden Wrench Award is given to the best heavy vehicle maintenance technician or manager who shows outstanding efforts, achievements, and contributions to ensure that commercial vehicles are safe on the road. This year’s winner is Maria Stinson, a maintenance technician with 14 years of service at Page Transportation.

A full list of the winners for the Best Fleet Award and Pacesetter Award can be found here.

David Borsuk and Shelley Padnos, winners of the 2021 Lifetime Achievement Award, were also acknowledged and celebrated after the COVID-19 pandemic prevented them from having their moment to shine in front of a live, in-person audience.

Photo caption: ISRI Chair Gary Champlin addresses the audience at ISRI2022. Photo courtesy of ISRI.