Just in case you can't see the template, I've copied a picture of the button.
I'm still not exactly sure what innovation means. But hey, it's a great word, and why not keep using it? So Pittsburgh has CMU with their nerdy geniuses always making stuff. The other day, the blog Gizmag, had a blog post all about how these nerdy geniuses created a robot that can go get you snacks and bring them back. But does it go do my grocery shopping? No. Anyways. Secondly, the visual then brings about the sound of pushing a button, sounds such as DING DING DING, ERRRRRRR RED ALERT! RED ALERT! PLEASE EVACUATE THE BUILDING, um, etcetera. Then, I place the buttons on a map of the region and start pressing them and hearing sounds.
Are you still with me? I'll give you a moment to think about the buttons and the sounds and how they go along with the term, "innovation hot spots".
Take a minute to put them all together.
Okay, now the questions I came up with are the following:
1. Where would we place those buttons if we could?
3. What would the buttons tell the program TO DO?
So let's imagine that we take the green button. The green button means, "Forge Ahead" (excuse the use of a campaign slogan, it's catchy and it's what I remember and my memory only serves up so many campaign slogans in the space of 30 seconds.) Okay. Let's change the term. So let's say that the Green button means, "Full Throttle Ahead" (I innovated). It's a verb button- it DOES something. Well, kinda. I think. Whatever. Full throttle ahead.
Where would you want to place those buttons? How many would you place?
Oh wait, we still haven't figured out what the button does. I think most people automatically assume that it means that you're going to make innovation happen where the button is. Suddenly innovation will spark economic success.
So let's take an area with high unemployment such as The Hill.
If we place the green button in the hill what would we want it to do? What should the button tell the program to do?
You still with me? I'll give you a second to think about the button in Hill making noises and telling a program what to do.
Okay. Let's full throttle ahead.
What would your green button do?
Tough question. It's easy to say, "CMU will innovate and take us into the 21st century global economy!"
If we place a green button in the Hill, what will it tell the program to do?
-Will a CMU nerd move her robot company there?
-Will more pools open?
-More trees be planted?
-Better snow removal take place?
-Does the Keystone Innovation Zone include The Hill in its area?
I tried out this idea using Garfield recently. I was talking to a CEO of a very successful SEO/SEM company about his plans to relocate his office. When I suggested he move the office to Garfield, he immediately said, "Oh I need to be on the Southside. I need to be in the Keystone Innovation Zone area". Oh, I see.
It's this clustering effect that worries me. Do "innovative" companies spread or do they cluster in certain areas?
The author of the opinion piece, answers the question, "what are the most "game-changing" ways to use $100 million-plus to change the trajectory of an urban economy?"
He goes on to say, "The bad news is that we have turned innovation into a buzzword. Everyone and everything is an innovation, and of course when that happens no one and nothing is. We have to get below the buzzwords." (*Hugs and Kisses go out to this author*)
His last paragraph reads, "It's time to start playing offense. Let's get below the buzzwords of innovation and turn our cities into innovation hot spots. Yes, there are lots of details to work out. Let's work them out together. Our citizens are waiting."
So from now on, I think I'm going to ask all politicians the same question (unless they're running for judge or some other legal entity, this isn't really their job).
The answer he gives to my question, "What does the button tell the software program to do in each neighborhood?", is interesting.
"The four selected cities would be connected in a national network and would share a common framework for defining economic development objectives and measuring progress. Each city would target specific focus areas (health care, education, energy, transportation, housing, workforce development, etc.) for system design and experimentation in the real-world labs of their cities. An Innovation Story Studio would be shared across the target cities to package and share the stories of progress in order to create an emotional connection and strong grassroots engagement both within and across target cities."
Can we create our own Innovation Story Studio in Pgh?
Can we become a leader in one of the following categories: health care, education, energy, transportation, housing, or workforce development?
Are we a leader in any of those fields?
So let's say the green button then goes to six buttons and you have to press one of those six buttons, which one would you choose first?
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