Arguably, the Neolithic Revolution was one of the greatest accomplishments to have ever occurred. An agriculture-heavy Palouse can appreciate that. It certainly changed the world, at the very least allowing hunter-gatherers to be permanent fixtures in a certain geographical location.
We’ve had other great ideas, when, brought to fruition, changed the world. Vaccination, the Internet, Relativity, Copernican Revolution.
It’s kind of cool sitting right on the edge of WSU, from where amazing ideas often come. In fact, for a while, WSU had a “Big Ideas” research campaign. But it wasn’t enough. In fact, outside the university, many feel a mere idea is a joke. Business doesn’t want ideas, it wants results. That means an idea that is developed and then taken to market. It’s probably the reason WSU set a much better goal of taking ideas and then actually solving some of our societal grand challenges.
To go with its low crime, good school, highly educated people, etc., etc., Pullman still has its fair share of challenges. For example, based on geography, to get from Sunnyside Hill or Military Hill to downtown, to the university, to Bishop Boulevard, you have to cross or go down Grand Avenue. It creates a choke-point. This is a small challenge within our public transportation network. I’m sure we can come up with several more, including our water use and reuse, improving our town-gown, and increasing our business downtown.
Previously, I wrote about engagement, and how important it is. I truly believe that we have folks in our city who will come up with ideas that may not change the world, but will change Pullman. We may not know who those people are right now, what’s on their mind, and how it will help, but they’re out there. If we have the right people in key elected positions, the right people in key city positions, and the right communication processes and mechanisms in place, we can take the best ideas in Pullman and apply them to the issues or challenges we face.