Today is a bittersweet day for me. It’s with both excitement for the future and more than a healthy pang of sadness that I’m making the final push to inbox zero as I get ready to move on from Techstars.
“Describe the most important way you have positively impacted the world?” (in 1000 characters or less) Closing the laptop and kicking back from my kitchen counter, I realized that completing this application was going to take much more thought than I had first anticipated.
As the two student teams each took turns standing in front of the white board covered with hastily scrawled notes ranging from “connect, movement, service, devices, automate” to “How are you going to sell your product?” it was clear that the class was excited to pitch its ideas. Two completely new company concepts were hatched in the preceding hour, and everyone in the room had participated in that process. Meanwhile, I found myself breathing a sigh of relief that the group exercise had actually worked!
Crayons and paper can’t possibly be as important as GPS-enabled smartphones and open data layers when it comes to mapping cities. Or can they? One group in India is out to prove that they just might be. And don’t let the medium deceive you. These low tech tools are driving conversations to the highest levels of government.
More than 20,000 schoolkids in Detroit walk to their bus, a public bus, or school each day. Often times in the dark. They pass abandoned homes, cross the street to avoid shadowy figures, and dodge potholes. Some are robbed. Some much worse. Over the course of the past couple of months, I’ve spoken with numerous friends, colleagues, and organizations in Detroit about this challenge. Standing idly by is just not an option.