Big Ideas Becoming a Big Deal

A couple weeks ago I got to sit down with the Mayor and talk about big ideas for our city.  Rick Redding wrote about the Create Louisville: Your Big Idea competition, but let me assure you that 8664 was not the whole story.  I might be a little biased because my idea was also in the Top 5 of the competition (Check out the Creativity Fund), but the really cool part of this project was all the interest it generated.

I think our city really is starting to recognize that people are crying out for good ideas.  We want people who are passionate about creating something new or different to come forward.  We’re tired of letting all our potential lay flat – as Todd Blue said in an interview with Cindy Lamb, Possibility City is fine, but, “Let’s GO!”

The opportunities for sharing these ideas are popping up like rabbits.  Feeding on the popular events like IdeaFestival, many people are beginning to organize their own outlets for interacting with smart people.  I spent this last Friday listening to Tony Tomazic from Humana’s Innovation Center talk about Creativity and Design – it was awesome!

The point is that all this idea sharing is great.  Take 2 minutes right now, and go read some of the other Big Ideas – don’t just read the first page, skip around.  There is some cool stuff in there…there is also some stuff that is way out there, but hey, that’s cool too.

The really interesting part (for us nerds) is the analysis of who participated.  Take a look at their Briefing Book.  I think it’s pretty promising for our city that over one quarter of the people who submitted ideas were age 18-24….young people with big ideas means a bright future.

So, congratulations to 8664 for mobilizing their already large network to win this competition.  Thank you to the Mayor for agreeing to hear more that just one idea – was it because he already knew about 8664, sure.  But who cares?  He also got to hear a passionate plea for development in the South End (Southern Strut), connect a young tech-company with some local resources (Louisville City Text 311), learn about the long-term benefits of tree planting (Big Tree Planting Campaign), and look at me in disbelief as I asked for $10 million to keep the ideas flowing (Creativity Fund.)

Thanks most of all to the Greater Louisville Project, Louisville Public Media, and DRIVE for putting the competition on.  A lot of people worked really hard for the sole purpose of brining more good ideas to the forefront.

The most important question is, what’s your big idea?  How are you sharing it?