Blog: Mel Drumm

He blinded us with science! Not really. But Mel Drumm does help make science fun and accessible for Ann Arbor area kids as director of the Hands-On Museum. Under his leadership the museum  has broken attendance records and updated its exhibits and programs. Mel will talk about how lessons learned at the museum don't only apply to kids.

Mel Drumm - Post 3: Innovation – I’ll Choose Door Number…

With apologies to a long defunct television game show, it doesn’t matter whether you choose door number 1, 2, or 3 – you’ll find innovation at work in the businesses and labs located behind each of those doors and behind hundreds more within the greater Ann Arbor area. If this is ever in question, just peruse each issue of Concentrate. You’ll be amazed at the depth and breadth of the tech, medical, engineering, IT and yet to be categorized industries and products. It IS happening right here!

Think about it for a moment. Try to count the number of incubators, start-up companies, academic endeavors and related firms at work around us. Lose track? Me, too! Now, start thinking about all of the people involved in supporting and/or promoting new ventures through loose-knot or highly organized ventures. The number of people involved in innovative efforts in our community multiplies quickly.

Once again, the notion of people, or community, surfaces as the heartbeat of innovation. It doesn’t matter which door you open, each door will reveal a plethora of people working together to solve some impossible problem, or creating some new widget, contraption, software app or other miracle device.

Yes, I think there is magic occurring all over town. One of the rewarding aspects of my job is being given the opportunity to peek behind closed doors and to see the magic long before the miracle widget or gizmo sees the light of day. These glimpses behind the wizard’s curtain excite me and I’m convinced they would excite you and the budding scientists, engineers, physicians, artisans and skilled trade aficionados of tomorrow. Our innovators are an eclectic group and more often than not, they are willing to open their doors, pull back the curtain, and share some of their magic with us – well, (insert disclaimer here) at least the concepts and products that are protected by copyright!

As you look around the region, I invite you to ask yourself how often you see innovation in our community. While you’re at it, think beyond the obvious wonders occurring in the tech, engineering and sciences communities and innovation will be revealed at every turn – in mom-and-pop shops, in artists’ boutiques, in our cultural organizations, or in our schools and far, far beyond.

As an innovator, would you consider sharing your insights? I encourage you to do so – and to join with me in the quest to inspire the workforce of tomorrow. Let’s open the doors and make the idea of innovation inspiration a team effort. Join me and a community of friends as we celebrate innovation at the Hands-On Local Tech Event at the Museum on May 22. Whether you are an innovator or an innovator in training, we welcome you, and wholeheartedly invite you to open our door and to jump right in – the sea of change is upon us and the water is fine!