Inventing the Future

Ideas and inventions encompass things that are mechanical, social, and civic. Ultimately, inventions are about the future. As the inventor of the self-starter, Charles Kettering described the difference between most people and inventors, “Most people are interested in where they come from. Inventors are interested in where they are going” (1982, p. 72).

Civic inventions must ultimately improve a particular problem, the way we work, or where we are going. The idea is to straighten the road. Doing something better or more efficiently can often promise the same results, but only faster! The previous chapters focused on the experience and knowledge gained from the smart decisions of communities of varying sizes. ...

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