Roadtripping in a Land of Innovation

On March 11, 2020
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I am Holly Truitt. I’m passionate about places of possibility. I study them. Travel to them. Now, I blog about them. What are places of possibility? They are community-driven spaces where hope, innovation and meaningful impact occur. In our communities, they are our beloved museums, libraries and third places. They are change-focused design schools and innovation hubs. They are the places where creative ideas collide, life-changing impact unfolds, and insights occur. I recently found inspiration in three of these places while on an unexpected road trip.

Two years ago, Missoula’s mayor, John Engen, and the University of Montana, asked a group of local leaders to come up with a plan to promote additional and inclusive growth in our community’s vibrant innovation ecosystem. I was asked to convene the group and facilitate the work. Knowing that innovation efforts not only remove barriers to social mobility but also foster personal wealth, I dove in by hosting an initial series of collaborative design labs. What emerged? Excitement for the project, some agreement among the group on direction and, for me, more questions than answers.

I was stuck in this project. I needed a fresh perspective, so I decided to hit the road. Yes, the LITERAL road. As luck would have it, I was extended an invitation to take an off-the-beaten-path learning journey. The timing was perfect and I said yes.

I visited three world-class places of possibility, and met some incredible experts along the way. At the end, I emerged with some incredible insights, I grew professionally and found a new path that has taken me to owning and leading a thriving start-up.

In hopes it would inspire others, I wrote about my road trip and the rich lessons I took away from three places of possibility. I can’t wait to share it with you, it’s going to be published in Dimensions magazine this spring!

Holly Truitt Consulting in Missoula, Montana is a social innovation and design firm that helps communities create lasting change. Holly Truitt Consulting has engagements with National Institutes of Health, the Missoula Mayor’s Office, Missoula Economic Partnership, the University of Montana and a number of national museums. Want to know more about Holly? Visit her personal site at hollytruittmissoula.com.

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