Chapter 16

The Twenty-First-Century Lighthouse

Research is what I'm doing when I don't know what I'm doing.

Wernher Von Braun

The EFP offices were small and cramped. My paltry office was right next to Mike Walsh's even smaller office. The entry area held three desks, two of which were staffed by assistants. Rafael Marques worked at a small desk in the reception area across from the desk of my new assistant, Mary Ann White. Mary Ann was smart, assiduous, and adventurous. After graduating with honors in business from Illinois State, she had gone to live and work in Japan. Somehow, the cramped space didn't matter because we were all so energized about embarking on an epic journey. Something monumental was about to take place.

I was enthusiastic about Paula DiPerna's suggestion to apply for a grant from the Joyce Foundation. They were a renowned, nonprofit foundation that had previously funded environmental projects and enjoyed an untarnished reputation within the environmental and public policy communities. Private funding would have provided cash, but it would not have ratified the intellectual and moral significance of the project. The approval of the president and board of directors of a major foundation, on the other hand, did.

An academic partner would further enhance the credibility of our research. I met with the dean of the Kellogg School to gauge the university's interest in becoming the recipient of the grant and hiring EFP as a subcontractor. EFP was a for-profit company ...

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