Brainstorming Richmond community improvement ideas

For more of my commentary on life in Richmond, Indiana check out RichmondMatters.com.

Every time I go on vacation or get a little bit of time to step back and think, I end up making long "to do" lists for myself.  The lists are about projects I want to start, books to read, things to learn about, people to get in touch with.  It's common for some significant chunk of those lists to be related to how to make my home, Richmond Indiana, a better place to live, work and play.

At the same time, I recognize that other people are out there coming up with their own ideas about how to make Richmond better.  I hear those ideas mentioned at meetings, in casual conversations, in planning documents, and all over.  Sometimes I hear people talk about idea overlap - how something they thought was a new idea was something someone else had worked on in the past.  And then I start to worry that we might not be fully honoring the collective brain power we devote to improving Richmond, and I wanted to create a resource that would allow for some consolidated storage of all of those great ideas.

Thus was created the concept for a new website I launched this week, Richmond Brainstorm.com.  It's a place where people can submit their ideas for how to make Richmond better, and discuss the ideas already on the site.

It's not going to be a place that tries to then take ownership or leadership of those ideas.  It's not trying to promote one kind of idea over another, or to advance any particular agenda.  I'll leave that up to everyone else to do in their own work.  No, this is just a place to collect and refine ideas to make our community better.  Some of them may sit there a while untouched, but my hope is that some day, perhaps when someone with new time, energy or money comes along and asks "what can I do?," we'll have given them a head start.

It's been beta tested pretty thoroughly now (thanks Anna Lisa, Carol, Amy, Jim, Scott, Mark, and Aaron for your feedback!), but I'm sure there's room for improvement and new features.  I hope you'll try it out and let me know what you think.  Most importantly, I hope you'll share your ideas.

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Chris Hardie

Chris Hardie is an Internet tech geek, problem solver, community-builder and amicable cynic.

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