The human imagination may be among the most powerful forces in the universe, but without the courage to exercise it, to challenge "conventional wisdom" and to embrace the endless possibilities, we are doomed to go along with outdated ideas and obsolete concepts that not only perpetuate our ignorance, but actually promote collective laziness and conservatism, leaving us increasingly unwilling to accept change, even when it is clearly in our own best interest.
The path of least resistance is found by going along with accepted thinking, because we don't want to risk the embarrassment of being wrong, or simply because we assume that others already agree with whatever is being said. Sadly, that is a path to nowhere.
Worse yet, we fool ourselves into believing we are part of the "solution" by participating in established institutions who on the surface appear to be seeking progress but who, in fact, use us to advance predetermined agendas. Their process has been perfectly described as "transactional, not deliverative" and they are masters and herding the rest of us in directions of their choosing.
Fortunately, there is also another ytpe of person who has the intellectual capacity and the courage to challenge the status quo, to confront conventional pluralistic ignorance and push the boundaries of the existing comfort zone.
Begun in 2002, and presented biennially in 2005, 2007, 2009 and 2011, the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon has challenged collegiate teams from a variety of countries to "design, build and operate solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient and attractive".
The 2011 Solar Decathlon provided more than 350,000 house visits over a ten day period, and information to millions more across the globe through a wide variety of media. Additionally, more than 30 onsite public workshops were held, as well as a day of workshops dedicated to builders and industry. Conducted on the National Mall in Washingotn, the event featured 19 teams from as nearby as Maryland and from as far away as New Zealand.
As you can see in our January issue, the innovative solutions were as diverse and imaginative as you might expect, but they shared some commonalities too - especially a fearless pursuit of knowledge and solutions for a better future.
Posted: 2/1/2012 9:22:14 AM by
Mary Kestner | with 0 comments