According to UPS, the Longitudes conferences are designed to stimulate dialogue about the future of global trade, including its human and cultural aspects, as well as the supply chains and technologies that shape commerce. The symposia are co-sponsored by Harvard Business School Publishing and UPS. This year's included among its participants former President Jimmy Carter; Thomas Friedman of The New York Times; former U.S. Trade Representative Carla Hills; Edward Mueller, CEO of Williams-Sonoma Inc.; Brad Anderson, CEO and vice chairman of Best Buy, and Rebecca Matthias, president and chief operating officer of Mothers Work.
More than 60 percent of the Longitudes attendees surveyed work for companies with revenues of US$1 billion or more, and 55 percent identified themselves as vice presidents or higher. Most of the respondents said their companies had begun expanding beyond the United States and estimated that an average 43.6 percent of their revenue already flowed from non-U.S. operations.
Harris Interactive conducted the online survey on behalf of UPS between April 8 and 15, 2005, among 70 high-level business executives who attended Longitudes '05 in Chicago, or who attended two similar conferences last year in New York City or Paris.