Features

Human ingenuity is nothing new. It’s the reason why I’m able to write this editor’s note on a laptop, using public Wi-Fi and why we can print this magazine and distribute it around town in a matter of hours. If you think about it, examples of human ingenuity are everywhere — from the phone you have in your pocket to the shoes on your feet.

And the reality is that there’s nothing like a sudden change and a little hardship to inspire innovation — two things 2020 had in spades. While most of us were stocking up on TP and refreshing our browser for election results, others were out there putting their heads down, challenging the norm, and working to find solutions.

Blake Mycoskie, the founder of Toms shoes, launched Madefor, a program that helps people tap into their best selves by creating healthy habits. And Hannah Bunshnaq helped solve Jackson’s recycling (and composting!) woes with her company, Enviromates. Teachers made a dramatic pivot in how they teach and many chefs — like the founders of Provisions — reimagined their entire business model.

To an outsider, our take on ingenuity might not look all that different than what occurred across the country, but when you’re living in a small mountainous community in the least populous state in the country, one person’s creativity can make a big difference in a community’s reality. And as we head into winter, and face icy roads and cold mornings — in addition to everything else — we’ll need that Mountain Town Ingenuity more than ever.

I hope the doers and thinkers we’ve chosen to showcase in this issue inspire you to think outside the box and consider ways you can use your own talents to make life in Jackson just a little easier.