New ideas can feel modest and straightforward, or sometimes innovative, dramatic, even outlandish. But without them, nothing changes — progress isn’t made and a stagnant state settles in. The best place to start? Asking a simple yet powerful question: “What if…?”
What ifs force us to dig deeper, get creative and envision new possibilities in inspiring ways. Great questions provide the ability to come up with great answers, which become declarations of how to move forward. And there’s truly no better time to imagine the possibilities ahead than at the start of a new year.
It’s no secret the Coastal Bend is in the midst of a renaissance. I speak to that fact constantly on this page each month. With growth comes opportunity; to dream big and build anew, but also to create innovative solutions to existing difficulties. So, with the new year in mind — a time when people tend to look ahead and ponder ambitious ideas — we decided to pose a few of our own what ifs with our city’s future in mind.
The opportunities discussed in this month’s cover feature, “Big Ideas,” beginning on pg.46, range from capitalizing on what makes our coastal geography so exceptional to implementing innovative technology to aid in disaster response tactics, living and building more sustainably and beyond. Managing editor Alexa Rodriguez, writer Luis Arjona and I explore nine “what ifs” all geared towards our city’s progress.
In working on this feature, I had the opportunity to speak with several individuals in our community who are constantly asking themselves and those around them, “What if…?” Tye Payne, assistant director of operations, testing and evaluation for Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi’s Lone Star UAS Center of Excellence and Innovation, chatted with me about using drones in aiding emergency response tactics after weather-related disasters, and made a point of reminding me that this is only the beginning. “We still aren’t sure of all the possibilities,” he said. “The more ideas we have coming in and the more people we’re able to work with, the better our chances to develop a set of teams and tools.” Which is, in my opinion, a rather exciting state to exist in … being unsure of all the possibilities that lie ahead, but eagerly unearthing them by asking questions and looking at all possible answers.
You might notice a few differences throughout this month’s issue: Our talented art director, Jarred Schuetze, and I posed several “what ifs” to one another in preparing the layout, from newly designed pages to a new flow of departments. I am always amazed at how Jarred can take other people’s ideas and elevate them even more.
I hope you enjoy this issue and the wonderful local stories it holds. Our team is running full speed ahead into 2023, and we can’t wait to see some of our own big ideas come to fruition this year.
– Kylie Cooper, Editor in Chief