Arrow Electronics' Richard Kylberg at the Sustainable Brands Conference in London

Nov 7, 2014 2:00 PM ET

LONDON, November 4, 2014 –  A race car driven at the Indy 500 by a quadriplegic using only head movements. Artists from around the world imagining a world Five Years Out through sculpture, wood-turning and digital printing. A symphony orchestra composing music for the first time – and reenergizing itself in the process.

Arrow Electronics performed these “innovative acts of corporate social responsibility,” said Richard Kylberg, vice present of marketing and communications, because the 80-year global supply chain company realized it needed to shed its anonymous past in order to prosper in the accelerating world of technology.

Kylberg spoke at the 2014 Sustainable Brands conference in London to a large audience of CSR, sustainability and marketing executives, as well as representatives of nonprofit organizations.

Arrow’s innovation brand looks at the world Five Years Out – the tangible future when Arrow helps innovators turn their ideas into practical devices and smarter solutions.

Corporate social responsibility projects that require demonstrations of innovation and partnership help to extend Arrow’s brand and “express its soul” for vital business reasons, he said.

“If you don’t tell your story, other people will tell your story for you and they are likely to be your competitors,” Kylberg said.

“We are far too complex to talk to people in a single conversation about all that Arrow does,” Kylberg said. “So we tell them what we believe, what we value. Our projects express that.”

Among the examples:

  • Arrow’s Semi-Autonomous Motorcar (SAM) project, in which company engineers and outside partners modified a 2014 Corvette so a quadriplegic former race car driver could run qualifying laps at the Indy 500 at 107 mph. Further demonstrations and modifications are planned for 2015.
  • Arrow’s support of the Cherry Creek Arts Festival in Denver features a unique juried global competition that expresses the idea of innovation. Following the first Arrow Five Years Out Artists Challenge in 2013, the festival won the Gold Grand Pinnacle Award, the highest award in the special event and festival industry.
  • Arrow also has extended its support of the Colorado Symphony Orchestra to include an innovation challenge – composing music that expresses the Arrow brand.

“We want people to experience our brand with all of their senses,” Kylberg said. “We commissioned the Colorado Symphony Orchestra to compose music that embodies the principles of our Five Years Out message so that they literally can hear our brand.”

About Arrow Electronics Arrow Electronics ( is a global provider of products, services and solutions to industrial and commercial users of electronic components and enterprise computing solutions. Arrow serves as a supply channel partner for more than 100,000 original equipment manufacturers, contract manufacturers and commercial customers through a global network of more than 460 locations in 58 countries.