Q: Shane, I'm told that the stars in that flag behind you really bring out your eyes. Is this a crazy conspiracy theory?
A: LOL. I hope Ol'Glory doesn't mind.
Q: Shane, how would you describe yourself to an interested party? What's your 'elevator speech'?
A: In politics, the elevator speech is an overly used cliché. These cookie cutter approaches hold no merit and all constituents deserve better.
People want a well developed plan toward any progressive concepts and not those surface level promises with unclear notion. Many that I have talked to are tired of those "same ol's".
I explain to those I meet, that I don't have that silver bullet or magic "ON" switch that will produce positive economic developments over night. What I do have is a collection of talents that include the knowledge of our city's competition and with this information we can maneuver ourselves through the rough water ahead with more certainty.
Q: Well said Shane, and I am sure your work overseas and travels have made you a better-informed person. So, based on your response, you are saying we need flexibility and an understanding that change is a process with a lot of stakeholders, not a simplistic slogan. Is that a fair recap?
A: Yes, I feel that would be a fair recap. Things do take time to evolve. The most necessary thing to any transition is for someone to be informed as best as they can. From there a community can rationally find those sensible bridges to cross and work toward common, achievable goals.
Q: Shane, Ohio is at the heart of what was the industrial heartland of the US for at least a century. Now it languishes in relative decline. What do you think is the reason for that decline?
A: There was not just one general factor that played into the decline of our industry. There was an assorted combination that became too great for many of the businesses and hindered their success.
The reality is Ohio is not a very business friendly state and when a company looks for places to invest, investors want to be reassured that there will be profitable margins with the supporting local structures.
When comparing the global markets a city, just like a business, has to create those attractable means for investors. Through my research, I am able to point to those micro investments that are approachable and can be implemented to support our local commerce. As these projects move forward, the city can construct tangible directions for larger capital improvements.
Q: You mentioned 'micro investments' just now. Are you a fan of the micro-financing model seen with Kiva.org, Grameen bank and others? Are you considering this venue also?
A: Kiva.org and the Garmeen bank are excellent organizations for micro-financing. They are a blessing for so many. Along those same concepts I would like to introduce the design of local micro-enterprises. Consider the benefits of what micro-industry can accomplish. The core is a tightened focus that hones in on manageable and profitable means.
By having several micro-businesses, under the same roof, this diverse cosmopolitan becomes reliant of each other and can grow by leaps and bounds. Each micro-unit contains its own identity, but shares the tools and responsibly toward the groupís overall economical successes.
Q: I noticed on your web site some sample projects that you link to, such as the hydroponics and aquaculture systems one of the videos mentioned. Are you big on this type of approach?
A: I am obsessed with hydroponics and love the idea of aquaculture. Iím currently growing tomatoes, eggplant and peppers and posted some of my pictures on my Facebook.
Having locally grown food, which can be produced all year long, in a safely controlled and green environment has many considerable benefits toward supporting local commerce. If you eat, youíve touched an agribusiness.
Q: Do you see examples in other cities of how you want to go?
A: All the time.
Q: It's my experience that the average citizen doesn't have the time to get invested in issues of importance to their community. Do you think that's at least partly true, and if so, how does one try to get them engaged?
A: Yes, there are a diverse range of concerned and non-concerned citizens in my community. It can be a challenge discussing the substantial number of their anxieties and at times cynical standpoints. In all of my conversations I am able to sympathize; Iíve worn a lot of the same shoes and have crossed many of the same bridges.
I havenít had a lot of problems discussing my concepts toward economic renewal. Our community continues to witness the negative effects of job and tax revenue loss. The doors for economic directions are wide open and people are willing to listen and there has been an encouraging reception.
This is an opportunity for us to develop. The challenges will be great but through those trials and tribulations we will be awarded for our determination.
Q: I can't think of a better way to conclude our little chat; good luck, Shane!