Innovations: Ideas Begin to Take Root

This week in innovations, we began to really focus in on our individual projects. What saved me from a lot of trouble, and at some point, probably some sort of existential crisis, was the work I had done during the summer. I happily avoided the whole brooding, Dostoyevsky-esque phase and was able to quickly transition into the planning stage.

Over the summer, I had contacted different city managers about their ordinances, and didn’t really expect much of a response, but was pleasantly surprised by the wonderful Dr. Douglas King. All it took was an email, and finding the right person who was clearly very passionate about their job. Dr. King drafted a light pollution ordinance that is currently in use, and works for The Madison Group in Wisconsin. He sent me a variety of papers with sample ordinances and pamphlets that answer practically any question I could possibly have.

So right now I’m focusing on sifting through all the information and attempting to form a network of connections with those who might be able to help via email and Twitter. I would like to be as well educated about the subject as possible, and in contact with towns who have similar populations to Noblesville and have their own light pollution campaigns before I begin to even think about drafting some sort of ordinance.

I suppose that before this class, I couldn’t really see the appeal of being involved in social media. The only way I had ever seen it used was for people my age to post vague, hackneyed statements and update the general public on their eating habits.

However, Mr. Wettrick has begun to show us how, when used properly, websites like Twitter can be a thing of wonder. I can connect to people from all corners of the Earth, with, of course, the exception of places like Antarctica, where only the penguins live (Although who knows how far technology will progress in the next few years?), and communicate with them about the work that they’re doing.

This week has been mostly focused on researching my project and creating a web of connections with people I think are motivated towards getting things done. It’s amazing how many doors open when you realize you actually have the power to fix, or at least try to fix, the things that you see a problem with in the world. And hopefully, throughout this project, I will keep a mind open enough to evolve along with my project, as I’ve found throughout my years in school, a stagnant mind hardly leaves room for ideas to grow.

In conclusion, if you’ll forgive me for wandering into the realm of teenage clichés, I’d like to leave you with a quote. This one comes from the great, “mustachioed” German philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche, who said, “The snake which cannot shed its skin must die. As well as the minds which are prevented; they cease to be mind.”

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