We want to spend a bit more time here at the beginning of the year setting the stage for our plans for the whole year, so please bear with us.
I (Jim) was having lunch with a good friend last week, and the subject of the Light Green Machine Institute came up. He asked how I would characterize it, as compared to the many other initiatives that exist to move the pulp and paper industry forward technologically.
We were sitting in a restaurant where all the table tops are covered in black leather. I thought about his question for a minute, then responded. I pointed to another table in the room and said, "See that table. My view of most initiatives in this industry is that they would think it radical to change the color of the leather on the top of that table from black to green. And the first thing they would do is form a committee to discuss it and spend a couple of years on the project. I, and hence while under my leadership, the Light Green Machine Institute, is not interested in changing the table top from black to green--we want to levitate it! And do it by tomorrow!"
In late 1861, John Ericsson was mad at the US Navy. He thought they had cheated him out of payment for work he had done for them previously. However, the Navy need this brilliant naval architect badly and begged him to accept a new assignment, which he did. The Confederate forces had recently converted the USS Merrimack to an iron clad ship that was poised to wreak havoc. In 100 days, the Swedish native Ericsson designed, and the Brooklyn Naval Shipyard built, the USS Monitor, a ship that looked nothing like any other ever built. It was made of iron and steel. It had 47 patentable inventions.
Again, he did this in 100 days. Was the Monitor perfect? By no means. But when it met up with the Merrimack, the subsequent battle (a draw) immediately made the wooden ships of every Navy in the world obsolete.
We should hold the story of the Monitor up as our standard to which to aspire with the Light Green Machine Institute.
Our annual conference last fall at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio was quite successful. The University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point has invited us to have our annual conference on their campus, starting on Tuesday evening, 20 October 2015. Think about what you want to see at this conference. If you are interested in presenting a paper at this conference, let us know. We will be formally announcing it a bit later, but we are certainly receptive to hearing from you now.
As I mentioned previously, we have now established the Light Green Machine Institute as a stand-alone 501c3 charitable corporation. We'll have more about this as time goes on, but we have already placed a "donation" button at the bottom of this newsletter. Be assured your donations will not go to pay anyone a salary. We'll use all funds collected to pay outside expenses, (unfortunately, likely starting with the accounting services necessary to keep and maintain our status).
We will levitate that table!
with "LGMI Frontiers" in the subject line.