Letters to the Editor

Building a community of entrepreneurial innovators

Heartiest congratulations to the Miami Science Barge, one of the winners of the inaugural Knight Foundation’s Cities Challenge. An initiative of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the challenge seeks ideas that make cities across the country more successful.

Miami Science Barge, proposed by nonprofit organization Cappsci, aims to create a floating urban ecological laboratory and public environmental education center powered by renewable energy. The hope is to make it a focal point for education and sustainability initiatives addressing Miami’s climate issues and spark more community engagement around pressing civic issues.

The Science Barge project is an example of the innovative and creative ideas Miami residents are developing to make our city better. It bolsters Knight’s focus in Miami on supporting the city’s emerging community of entrepreneurs and startups as a tool to build community, while fostering talent and expanding economic opportunity. And it sits alongside our ongoing community-building work in the arts, journalism and media innovation.

Knight chose the Science Barge out of a pool of more than 7,000 applicants because it stepped up to offer its ideas, and now it has the funding necessary to realize those ideas.

The project moves our city forward by addressing key drivers of city success: attracting and retaining talented people; creating spaces to expand and open up opportunity to all; and increasing civic engagement.

We think this round of the Knight Cities Challenge was just the start of an extended conversation about urban improvement and civic innovation in Miami.

Keep the discussion going; keep putting your ideas forward. We’ll be running the challenge again in the fall, but there are plenty of opportunities to get involved in making Miami more of a place where ideas are built right now. Let’s continue to show the world what Miami has to offer.

Matt Haggman, Miami program director, Knight Foundation, Miami