The Future of Work in Supply Chain, Exponential Technology, AI, and Chat GPT with Dr. Yossi Sheffi (MIT, Author)

In Episode 77, Dr. Yossi Sheffi, iconic thought leader and professor at MIT, innovator, and author of a new book ‘ The Magic Conveyor Belt’ chats with host Sheri Hinish about the future of supply chain including the people, exponential technology, and disruptive themes that will shape the future of the profession.

This book offers explanations to pressing supply chain topics and much more, with historical perspectives and modern examples. It covers contemporary issues of outsourcing and re-shoring, sustainability, resilience, regulations and the social, managerial, and policy issues resulting from technological innovations.

Additional topics covered in this episode include: how tech adoption has shaped and helped humanity, how technology has repurposed jobs, the digital divide, the impact of AI and ChatGPT on the future of work and automation, and freeform flow on sustainability, quantum, nuclear, and many other political, provocative topics!

In the Magic Conveyor Belt, Professor Sheffi lays the foundation for understanding supply chains and the characteristics that make them complex. In Part 1 of the book “The Global Dance,” he delves into the often-hidden intrinsic structure of supply chains to ground the reader in the challenges of managing the mammoth networks involved. Part 2, “Further Complexity and Challenges,” shows how the last 50 years have added even more complexity to supply chains. This part covers the rising demand for goods, as well as the increasing consumer expectations for fast, perfect delivery services.

The relevance on technology creates a sobering thought around the digital divide. The digital divide is multifaceted and includes many factors such as access, affordability, quality, and relevance. As Michael Kende wrote, “the digital divide is not a binary.” These gaps in availability, affordability, interest, and digital literacy. The UN’s Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development estimates that nearly 3.6 billion people remain totally unconnected to the Internet by any measure. This means there are around 4.1 billion people online, about 53.6% of the global population.  What does the future hold for global supply chains and countries, economies, marginalized communities left behind in a technology infused world?  

The capabilities and future roles of automation, robotics, and artificial intelligence are changing and augmenting the jobs held by workers—covered in Parts 3 and 4. Elements of the book trace the implications of multiple trends in the operating environment for tomorrow’s global supply chains, as they change and augment the jobs held by workers. While many of the new skills require technical knowhow, it is social skills, ironically, that may be a key for future human employment in an economy dominated by technology.

To learn more about The Magic Conveyor Belt, visit

To connect with Yossi Sheffi on linkedin, visit

To connect with Host Sheri Hinish, visit

About The Author

Sheri R. Hinish
Sheri R. Hinish
SupplyChainQueen ® | Executive Advisor and Change Leader | EY Principal and Senior Leader | Passionate about Supply Chain, Sustainability, Innovation, and Inclusion|

To read more about Sheri R. Hinish, check out her full bio here.