written by Jessica Tatum
Although I was unable to attend the "Next :Lives Here" Summit for an extended period of time, the few innovations I watched presented by those representing the University of Cincinnati served as an impactful reminder of the basic principles of public speaking.
While some presenters seemed to have important, legitimate ideas, they had a hard time communicating them effectively - thus rendering their points useless. The first presentation I observed fell into this category. The older gentleman was flustered by his unexpected lack of a partner and difficulties while operating his slideshow. So even though his calls for an easier and more efficient "attendance machine" were warranted, his responses to the judges questions were relatively lacking in coherency. Basically, he lacked confidence.
Another pair of innovators was the small staff of the "TownCat" social planning website. The main speaker in this group was by far the most charismatic speaker I was able to see. In sharp contrast to the first I saw, this man younger and seemed completely comfortable in front of the audience, which allowed us to completely focus on the idea he was pitching. Unfortunately, in this case, the website's feasibility and niche fell under scrutiny by the adjudicators and all the charisma in the world couldn't seem to provide the serious answers needed to pacify those doubts.
Which bring me to the presenters from "Breathe OX Easy," who I believe were overall the most successful in pitching their entrepreneurial ideas in the few minutes allotted to them. This was due to the balance of a confident, professional speaking style and a well thought-out product that they defended well to the judges. Were there issues with their presentation? Of course - but instead of being flustered when their slides wouldn't appear, the duo spoke well from memory on the topic they obviously knew inside out. They also interacted with the judges, giving them a physical memory of their product.
Written by Jessica Francis
When I went to the Summit, I did not really know what to do first. So I wandered the rooms hoping some booth would catch my eye. There was one in the corner full of pictures and artifacts and a T.V. screen showing some kind of indigenous people. It seemed out of place in this room full of suits, V.R., medical devices, and other cutting edge technologies. Naturally I was curious. I spoke with this man for about fifteen minutes and read every display. His homeland, the Republic of Kiribati, is one I have never heard of. It is a small island near Hawaii and it is going under water. The rising of the oceans is something we do not notice, especially in Ohio, but the people in Kiribati and other islands like it can practically see the ocean rising around them. They want their stories told and their culture remembered. They do not get any time in the media, so some of them are beginning to use social media to raise awareness about themselves. They have a Facebook page and an instagram if you want to learn more. After I thanked him for his time and carried on, I went to watch the presentations. Bailout systems seemed quite exciting. The aim is to create a better system for firemen getting out of buildings. One of their points was that the fire fighting industry uses a lot of old technology and does not experience much innovation. They had testimonies from local firemen. They also discussed other potential applications such as helicopters, rock climbing, the military, and even residential uses. This was a very exciting and educational experience. I would be interested in going next year.
The room was less than enthusiastic. Business professionals littered the room, and the starched collars were threatening to overwhelm my t-shirt and shorts clad self. I walked through the doors from the din of the lobby into the absolute and utter silence of the lecture hall. I sat in the back and waited for the presentations to begin. The MC and moderator outlined the general form of the presentations. Simply three minute presentation and five minute question and response.
Overall the presentations were acceptable with varying success. The first was a product called "Breathe OX Easy" and promised freedom from annoying oxygen tank wires. The presentation was basic and words filled most of their frames, but the information and passion won out. When questions arrived they handled themselves masterfully and understood their product's potential as well as its downfalls.
The next product geared to connect people with their community in a new app and web development program called TownCal. Basically a glorified Google calendar, the service would combine listings of events in rural areas in one easy-to-access place. Personally, I liked the targeted approach to the rural areas, however their concept seemed redundant and lacked a concept of scalability. The panel had most of the same concerns and continued to grill the product creators without viable answers.
The most impressive presentation by far was Bailout Systems. Their presentation blew me away with its artfully rendered images, intriguing concept, and demonstrated need and potential. Their product was well on its way to becoming a truly viable product which was already almost ready to be manufactured. Truly inspiring.
Industrial Design at DAAP University of Cincinnati
Written By Celeste Bauer
Next Lives Here (NLH) was different than I expected. I attended the 1:15 time slot where entrepreneurs shared their ideas with a community of faculty, students, business associates, and well qualified judges who were all interested and engaged in supporting their ideas. Knowing this, I was expecting students or recently graduated students to come up with products, or engineering advances, or something tangible. Instead, the first entrepreneur, Jody Miniard, shared her idea of Priority Spine. This was more of a process adjustment to the current health care failure of addressing spinal pain. The second entrepreneurs’ brainchild was Learning Paradigm, a school type program to help mentally disabled children gain real world skills. Although both candidates were ladies and recently graduated, they did not fit the predisposition I had about NLH. It expanded my idea of what entrepreneurship truly is and what it means to have great ideas. Their ideas were so simple that anyone of us could’ve had them if we have back pain or a mentally disabled family member. However, the fact that they took these ideas and ran with them and developed a plan to address them is what separates them from me. I see a problem and create something entirely new to solve said problem. Jody saw a problem and used what is already known, in place, and staffed (current neurology practices) to solve the problem. Although she didn’t have to invent a machine or make a scientific discovery to come to her solution, her solution to help address back pain is probably the most feasible. NLH gave me a new perspective of the word ‘entrepreneur.’ Sure there were people there who made scientific discoveries and designed machines to address problems, but this seemed so typical science fair to me. I have a new and greater appreciation for those who are able to address just as significant problems with just as substantial ideas that don’t involve another new creation.
Hawaii's Yellow-Faced Bees: The First Bee Species from the U.S to be Listed on the Endangered Species List
Written by: Laura Mendez Ortiz
Starting in 2009, the Xerces Society, a non-profit organization aimed at protecting pollinators, filed a petition to get seven species of yellow-faced bees protection under the Endangered Species Act. After seven years, finally on September 30th, the United States Fish & Wildlife Services announced that it would grant endangered species status under the Endangered Species Act to the seven species of yellow-faced Bees. This is the first time in the United States that a bee species has been listed under the endangered species list. These seven species include Hylaeus anthracinus, Hylaeus longiceps, Hylaeus assimulans, Hylaeus facilis, Hylaeus hilaris, Hylaeus kuakea and Hylaeus mana. These seven species of yellow -faced bees are endemic to Hawaii and are critical to the biodiversity of this island. They are important pollinators to a lot of Hawaii's native plants and trees and have also been said to be "critical for maintaining the health of the plants and trees across the island" by Gregory Koob, the conservation and restoration team manager for the Fish and Wildlife Service in Honolulu. Karl Magnacca, Hawaii entomologist, went as far as to say that they "maintain the structure of the forest" because they tend to favor Hawaii's "more dominant trees and shrubs".
The yellow-faced bees can live in different parts of Hawaii such as its "coasts, dry forests and shrublands, mesic and wet forests, and subalpine shrublands". In the 1980s and 1990s, they were described to being one of the most abundant insects in Hawaii and have now been observed to have shrunk to almost non-existent in certain locations. There are a multitude of causes for their disappearance. One noticeable correlation is between the general disappearance of Hawaii's native plants and species and the disappearance of the bees. It is believed to have been caused by the introduction of non-native invasive species. There are other causes such as development on the coasts and agriculture, and possibly disease. Often time, these small populations have habitats that are in contact or directly affected by agriculture. As the environment changes, including the climate, the extremely small size of this population will inhibit its ability to adjust to these changes.
Groups such as the Xerces Society recognized this as a great first step, but as Xerces Society spokemen Matthew Sheperd says "there is much work that still needs to be done". Putting these species on the Endangered Species List allows for authorities to " implement recovery programs, access funding and limit their harm from outside sources" . When a species is added to the Endangered Species List, must determine and define its habit a "critical habitat" but unfortunately, the United States Fish & Wildlife Services announced it was not able to determine it as this time.
Written by Jessica Tatum
As we have discussed in class, one of the problems making up the wicked problem of Colony Collapse Disorder and the decline of honeybee populations worldwide is a lack of urgency and awareness about the problem. Even if small groups continue to lobby for solutions to the problems facing bees, the vast majority of people either don’t realize what is happening or don’t care.
In order to combat this, several documentary films have been made over the years, including some that we have viewed as a part of this class; Queen of the Sun and More Than Honey. In addition to these films, however, are more mainstream cultural references found in popular T.V. shows and movies.
Take, for example, this abbreviation of the dialogue between characters in M. Night Shamalan's The Happening:
- You're not interested in what happened to the bees?
[Jake shakes his head]
Elliot Moore: You should be more interested in science, Jake... Come on, buddy. Take an interest in science. What could be the reason bees have vanished?
Jake: [after a long pause] An act of nature, and we'll never fully understand it.
Elliot Moore: Nice answer, Jake. He's right. Science will come up with some reason to put in the books, but in the end it'll be just a theory. I mean, we will fail to acknowledge that there are forces at work beyond our understanding. To be a scientist, you must have a respectful awe for the laws of nature.
A Similar Situation appears in an Episode of the BBC TV series Doctor Who, in which the "Bees disappearing" is actually an important plot point.
While both of these references are clearly not a source of factual information regarding Honeybee population decline, they serve as both an indicator of slowly growing cultural awareness of the problem and as a way to introduce people to the problem offhandedly.
Somewhere between the documentaries and the casual references lie the small niche of children's entertainment - as exemplified in Bee Movie (see clip below). While not being very scientifically accurate about the bees themselves, the anthropomorphic characters are an appealing way to communicate the importance of bees to the next generation of innovators.