The UrbanBound Blog

Elon Musk's Relocation Plans Could Save Humanity

Posted by Mike Armstrong on Oct 1, 2014 12:15:00 PM

We remember people whose vision had such an impact on humanity that it reshaped life on earth as we know it. Benjamin Franklin discovered electricity, and Thomas Edison harnessed it into the light bulb (among his roughly 1,000 patents which also included the phonograph and the motion-picture camera). Karl Benz invented the first practical automobile, the impact of which is evident if you look out nearly any window in the civilised world. The Wright Brothers gave us flight, which once seemed an impossible feat but is now a typical part of everyday life. Even contemporaries like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs have put a significant imprint on earth with their innovations in technology and savvy business strategies. All of these men dreamed big, and all of them changed life on Planet Earth. 15488712_s

But Planet Earth has its limitations.

Just one planet in a sea of, well, quite a few. We’ve estimated that there are between two and three trillion planets in our galaxy alone, and that there are at least one hundred billion galaxies in the observable universe. Go ahead and do the math, that’s a lot of planets, and humanity has set foot on exactly one of them.

So where do earthly visionaries and the vastness of the universe intersect? In the mind of Elon Musk, the driving force and founder of such companies as PayPal, Tesla Motors, and SpaceX. Musk might be the greatest visionary of our time, which is not a statement to throw around lightly, but it’s impossible to listen to his ideas without your mind exploring the potential limits of humanity, or most recently, the vastness of the universe. Through SpaceX, by far the most successful private-sector space transportation services company in history, he has already accomplished several firsts. He now has his eyes set on Mars, more specifically, colonization.

I recommend blocking out a chunk of time (it’s a long article) and reading this article by Ross Anderson of aeon. Musk has put some serious thought into sending humans to Mars, and his logic seems fairly sound. While previous visionaries dreamed big enough to reshape Earth, Musk’s visions go beyond it. It’s true, Earth won’t be able to sustain human life forever, so our continued existence relies on us leaving it. Elon Musk might not be the first person to come to this conclusion, but he’s far and away the closest to doing something about it.

You might be wondering why a Relocation Management Software company is blogging about Elon Musk and his lofty goals for human space travel. If you step back and examine Musk’s body of work with a wider lense, however, you’ll notice that he has a somewhat relocation-centric view. Tesla is perhaps the most blunt, an electric car company whose product is literally used to efficiently transport people from one place to another. There’s also his idea for the Hyperloop, a transit system that he believes could be capable of reaching speeds of nearly 600 mph. His plans with SpaceX completely dwarf all of those. If SpaceX (or any company for that matter) is successful in one day colonizing other planets, there will be a need for interplanetary relocation management. I like to envision a future where UrbanBound and SpaceX work in conjunction to smooth out humanity’s transitions toward the interstellar, but that’s more than getting ahead of ourselves at this point in time.

Where it all starts, Musk believes, is reaching Mars. As a visionary by definition, he sees a clear plan to getting to the future he wants. He also sees the short term. The original space race which climaxed with NASA sending men to the moon captured the imaginations of the world, but since then the dream has all but died. Musk is attempting to revive that wonder in humanity, because he believes it will take a large amount of wonder, and a large amount of funding, to make this dream a reality. The truth is that the fate of humanity could rest on the shoulders of men like Musk.

In order to prevent mass extinction, humanity will have to leave Earth someday. We can only do that by starting small. It’s also true that none of this is going to happen in our lifetimes. We could see a manned mission to Mars in the next 20 years, but colonization is a whole different beast. What we need, is for people to continue to dream as large as Elon Musk for as long as it takes to achieve the ultimate goal of survival, by relocating to other planets.

It relies on the minds and actions of men like Elon Musk, but in the long term, relocation could literally be the saving grace of humanity.



Michael Krasman to Speak at the ERC® Global Workforce Symposium

Posted by Kinga Skowronek on Sep 30, 2014 12:50:00 PM

This year the Worldwide ERC® is celebrating its 50th anniversary in the city where it all began! Join us for the 2014 ERC® Global Workforce Symposium in our hometown and ERC®’s birthplace: Chicago from October 8 to October 10. The symposium, which will be held at the Hilton Hotel Chicago, is a great place to gain industry knowledge and expertise through training and educational sessions. Attendees will have the opportunity to listen to outstanding speakers, attend programs that focus on workforce mobility, professional development and future trends. In addition, attendees will have the chance to benchmark with some of the best mobility professionals in the business.

Big Data – Applicability to the Mobility/Talent Industry Panel

Join our very own Co-founder Michael Krasman at the ERC® GWS this year! Michael will be speaking on the ERC® GWS panel: Big Data – Applicability to the Mobility/Talent Industry on Thursday, October 9, 2014 from 10:45 AM till 11:45 AM. The panel will be composed of:Krasman-headshot-high-res

Michael Krasman, Co-founder, UrbanBound
Debbie King, CEO, DSK Solutions
Lisa Rodriguez, Senior Director, HR Operations, AON
Chad Sterling, COO & CFO, Altair Global Relocation

Join Michael Krasman and the panel as they tackle the subject of big data, and how to embrace it in a way that benefits Talent/Mobility programs. We all track, report and attempt to analyze our data, but what are we missing as an industry? In this session attendees will learn to define the usage, impact and future trends of big data. The panelists will provide insight and strategies on how to tame big data, add value to corporate programs and become strategic partners.

The session, geared towards corporate HR/mobility professionals and their service providers, will review a case study of a global program taking steps to utilize big data through awareness and buy-in to support a strategic approach. The audience will have the chance to obtain ideas and suggestions to start using big data for their corporate program.

Participants in this session will:

  • Understand the implications of big data
  • Learn specific life cycles of big data with a corporation
  • Discover the importance of big data for corporations and clients

The ERC® GWS offers many exciting educational sessions and opportunities! This year attendees will have the chance to gain industry knowledge on many interesting topics. The full list of all ERC® GWS educational sessions can be found here. If you have questions about big data appliation for the Talent/Mobility industry or how UrbanBound can impact your benefits program: Visit us at our booth #225 in the Exhibit Hall. We look forward to seeing everyone at Global Workforce Symposium at the Hilton Hotel Chicago!

Michael’s Bio:

Michael is a serial entrepreneur who has co-founded five high growth businesses over his fifteen year career. Michael sits on the board of four of these companies (UrbanBound, Hireology, Homescout Realty, Humatal). Michael's first business,, grew rapidly over a 3 year period and was successfully sold in 2000. During his time with Versity, Michael held several roles which included CFO, VP of Product Development and Board Member. Prior to these ventures, Michael was a financial analyst at the investment bank Donaldson, Lufkin and Jenrette in New York (acquired by Credit Suisse). He graduated with High Honors from the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business with a Bachelor of Business Administration. Michael is also the former President of the Entrepreneurs Organization of Chicago a global organization with over 10,000 members worldwide.



Topics: Human Resources, Relocation

Relocation Story: Toyota Financial Services

Posted by Ryne Inman on Sep 30, 2014 10:33:00 AM

While relocating individuals to a new location for your company may be common, relocating the bulk of your current employees to a new headquarters is another story. There are different hurdles to clear in these cases, and unique challenges for every company. Below is a look at one of the most high profile relocation stories of the year.

Toyota Financial Services Relocating US Headquarters Moves to Plano, TX


Toyota announced its Financial Services Headquarter’s new home in late April, a massive move that will affect 4,000 employees currently in Torrance, CA; Erlanger, KY, and New York. The company listed lowered costs as the main driver, highlighting lower tax and real estate costs, as well as lower cost of living for employees. Texas offered a package that added up to $10,000 per job.

Toyota also sought to consolidate operations and communications, as many of its manufacturing plants are located nearby in north Texas. The move will take place gradually, with the first employees working from a temporary location this Fall, until a new headquarters is finished in late 2017, when the last employees will transfer. Cities in the Plano area are leaping at the chance to land these new residents, with new subdivisions being added to attract them.Toyota plans to move 4,000 employees to its new Financial Services US Headquarters by 2017.

Employee Policy

Despite the anticipated consolidation of roles, Toyota is approaching employees with an “everyone is welcome” policy, in which all current employees were invited to relocate. It is offering all full-time employees paid visits to Plano, as well as a lump sum disbursement to help with relocation costs for those who choose to move.


A relocation of this size and scale, with multiple source locations is bound to run into unique challenges.

Problem: Planning for changes to personnel and organizational structure.

Solution: A slow transition is necessary for a move of this size, but since this is a major functionary organ of Toyota’s US operations, a gradual transition allows the company to evolve its structure organically, as employees decide whether to relocate or stay in their current locations. It also allows critical operations to continue with minimal interruptions.

Problem: Employee well-being and way of life due to cultural and legal changes

Solution: Most notably, employees from California and New York will be moving to a state that doesn’t recognize gay marriage. Any LGBT employees would lose marriage rights granted to them in their current states. The issue is thorny enough that it’s address in the company’s official FAQ regarding the move. Toyota has touted the nearby city of Dallas’ commitment to LGBT rights, as well as its intention to continue all compensation and benefit policies for LGBT families.


Moving any employees carries benefits and drawbacks that cross the lines between your company’s interest and your employee’s personal interests. While your company has access to a detailed and thorough evaluation of its relocation options, it’s important for you to provide similar tools for your employees. Toyota Financial Services has created a website with detailed information about the relocation, and provided employees with the resources and tools for them to make the decision that is best for them and their family.


Topics: Human Resources, Relocation, Economy

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