Last night there was a quiet celebration. The Simulation Interoperability and Standards Organization and the Society for Computer Simulation International teamed up to host “CELEBRATE Central Florida Modeling and Simulation”. Now, that’s a mouthful of organizations and pretty geeky looking till you look deeper. 11 of the honorees represented work right here in Orlando. That has assured that our military is better able to face the rigors of the battlefield, our hospitals are beginning to be able to “rehearse” the most pressing kinds of emergency care and that commercial aviation is safer than its ever been- not to mention how we get human beings safely to space and home again.
What struck me the most in the array of future projects was the incredible potential of this set of largely misunderstood disciplines offers. Orlando has the most potent critical mass for the next generation of solutions for mission and life-critical human immersion in the world. Why? Its because of what I characterize as our four “power vectors”: UCF and its centers of academic excellence, Research Park and its corporate and organizational reach into a world of technological excellence, Medical City with its “greenfield advantage” in research and applied medicine and Creative Village- the nascent downtown nexus of creative digital media and entertainment professionals. As was noted last night, the puffery of “who’s the biggest” in any segment is empty compared to the real issue of who is actually innovating.
I like to think that’s where we get in the game at IDEAS. The 12th honoree was me and I’m really grateful that Priscilla Elfrey, the undisputed QUEEN of MS&T;, saw fit to include me. We are an Innovation Studio. Our definition of innovation is “The applied confluence of creativity, artistry and intentional action over time for a specific purpose.” What we’ve been able to synthesize from our early efforts creating Battle Stations 21 for the Navy and Essentials of Modeling and Simulation for the ADL Co-Lab, have carried our work into online virtual worlds, our TeacherStudio™ collaborative professional online community for educators, new cultural attractions and redefined patient experiences in both military and community healthcare. As my old friend Chris Stapleton said last night, its invention until someone actually does something- then it can be innovation. I’m grateful not only for the kind recognition from SISO and SCS but moreover for being part of what is happening in Orlando. This is the right place for the next 20 years.