The Society of Innovators of Northwest Indiana (SOI) is dedicated to celebrating innovation throughout the seven-county region. Check out the following members whose innovations have made news headlines over the last month.
–The Dunes Learning Center provided space through what is referred to as a timebank trade, or “timebanking,” which enables participants to network, brainstorm ideas and create systems for their various projects. The concept of timebanking serves as a catalyst for the exchange of resources and ideas. On January 28, Kathy Sipple, Founder of the CoThrive Timebank in Valparaiso, hosted an event called “Naturally Innovative: Green Timebanking Solutions,” which celebrated the most prominent 2016 successes from members of the Northwest Indiana Society of Innovators. The event also aimed to help attendees envision how Northwest Indiana would look if more projects were fueled through the innovation of timebanking. Kathy’s overall mission is to create a community that cultivates learning and mutual member support by providing opportunities for people to trade skills and talent for time. In addition to the feeding of thought processes, several area restaurants served locally foraged foods at the event, providing green eating at its purest.
-Carl Lisek, Executive Director of South Shore Clean Cities and Vice President of Legacy Environmental Services recently shared a prediction made by experts that by the year 2050, more than 6 billion people will be living in urban areas, accounting for about 70 percent of the world population. In essence, this will require that Northwest Indiana cities revamp in order to meet the needs of the shifting population and function smarter. The majority of living spaces are now connected with cable, mobile devices, internet service and are being supported with a variety of multifunctional handheld devices, television sets and household appliances. Advanced technologies enable homeowners to have a more energy efficient environment, providing increased levels of comfort and security. Solar energy is enhancing this capability, and the development of more smart homes, supported by smarter modes of transportation, is paving the way for smart cities via “smart city infrastructure.” Carl encourages Northwest Indiana business leaders with entrepreneurial vision to seize opportunities to become innovators in this “vast new frontier.”
-Steelmaker ArcelorMittal has been working since 2013 to preserve about 10 acres of dune and swale at its Global R & D Center in East Chicago, and their efforts to conserve additional habitat space is increasing. Utilizing a natural, controlled source of fire as part of the restoration process, these efforts are considered “globally rare.” Matt Bartz, technology procurement and process researcher for ArcelorMittal Global R & D indicated that the East Chicago Fire Department has been involved in the planning of this process to ensure safety as a priority. Because the Global R & D Center is located next to a school, the East Chicago school board president was also involved in the planning discussions. Students from that school have also been invited onto the R & D campus to learn about natural habitats. Since there are few remaining in the world, Bartz considers them to be irreplaceable and immeasurable.
To learn more about all the great things that SOI Members are doing, visit www.NWISOI.org.