Arkansas Trucking Association

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Up Front- Meeting of the Minds

SHANNON NEWTON 2Shannon Newton
President, ATA

Before Edison commercialized the light bulb, illumination has been a metaphor for how innovation lights up the dark. Scans of our brain show neurons literally “lighting up” the screen when we think and consider ideas.

We have this image of an isolated genius, hunched over his desk, where a glowing bulb flickers above his head in a dim, empty room as he composes, paints, or invents some masterpiece. Even Pablo Picasso, one of the greatest artists of the 21st century said, “Without solitude, no serious work is possible.”

But science suggests that no serious work would be possible without socializing either, that our brains are made for relationships and innovation is just a by-product of what we really use our minds for—community.

Brain size generally increases with body size in the animal kingdom. Big species like elephants have big brains, small ones like mice have small brains, but that ratio doesn’t hold for some species like humans. British anthropologist and psychologist Robert Dunbar proposed social brain theory to explain why the larger the social group, the bigger the brain in a species.

It’s a more complicated task to make friends, enemies and coalitions. Learning to live together, work alongside, break bread, tell stories is where our ideas are tested, allowed to mature into concepts, plans and strategies. Building relationships is a survival tool older than fire or electricity and certainly solar-powered panels.

When mapping out the Arkansas Trucking Association’s Annual Business Conference, we think about the pressing regulatory issues facing the industry, the role of technology in improving safety and efficiencies, and the economic climate under which all of these topics are being navigated.  We want to shine our light on the brightest ideas in trucking, but the magic we really try to capture isn’t ideas. Those will change, fall out of fashion, and old problems will be replaced by new ones.

This event is as much about the community of trucking as it is about the latest transportation research. The act of shaking hands, clinking glasses, scooting down a couple of chairs to make room for a colleague and sharing the same space is important.

Creativity and problem-solving may look like it happens in the quiet and solitude of an office, but the capacity to harness that creativity is multiplied as a result of networking. And ATA is invested in building this network of bright minds and invites you to be a part of it.

When you are back at your desk facing a problem, the switch that triggers your own light bulb moment may be a contact you make, a conversation you have, a relationship you build at this year’s conference.

We talk a lot about the Power of Association. We are stronger, louder, smarter together, and that isn’t just a neat phrase for a motivational poster. It’s science.

Contact Us

Arkansas Trucking Association
PO Box 3476 (72203)
1401 West Capitol Ave.
Suite 185
Little Rock, AR 72201

(501) 372-3462 | Phone
(501) 376-1810 | Fax

Our Mission

  • PROTECT the collective interests of trucking companies in the political and regulatory arenas.
  • PROMOTE the dynamics of trucking so that people have a better understanding of the link between America's primary freight delivery system and the standard of living they enjoy.
  • SERVE our members to help them to grow their business and their profits
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