Meaningful Things That Matter.

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As you look back on 2017, you get the opportunity to understand at a deep level, why you do what you do. As well, in looking back, it’s really cool that you get to see how dots connect in ways that you couldn’t see at the immediate time an event happens.

A profound discussion of this concept happens as Steve Jobs famously stated in his “How to Live, Before You Die” Stanford Commencement Address. Knowing the finality of where Steve was with his health at the time of the speech, he says it way better than we ever could. It’s advice that you need to take to heart. You can only see how the dots connect in looking back, and how the organic the growth of something occurs as it develops, never at the speed that you want it to, and never evolves exactly as you think it might.

The title of this post is Meaningful Things That Matter, and as such, we have something meaningful to share with you. Introducing…

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You can check the organization out at

Who Are the Inclusioneers

Inclusioneers is a partnership of volunteer engineers, formed to assist Summit County businesses, organizations and public agencies in the creation of an Inclusion-Friendly community. Together, Inclusioneers are volunteers that provide inclusive engineered solutions to help the disenfranchised enjoy the same facilities, events, and activities, that are commonly taken for granted by the mainstream population. Through volunteer time and talent, our team helps people of all abilities engage in community programs and enjoy their natural learning environment.

What is the Inclusioneers’ Purpose

The Inclusioneers organization is formed exclusively for charitable purposes. The Inclusioneers organization is purposed for the charitable mission to provide inclusive engineered solutions that (a) are ADA (American Disabilities Act) compliant, (b) are designed by mentor engineers that volunteer from local businesses and student engineers that volunteer from local colleges, (c) bring accessibility to public facilities, public events and (d) provide independence and mobility to individuals with developmental disabilities, empowering people of all abilities in the Summit County community.

Here’s the most recent example project that Inclusioneers delivered for a special six year old in the community.

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  • Adaptive Bike – A young boy could not ride a standard bike due to his physical disability. Bike modifications included: (a) a custom 3-D Printed Pedal designed and balanced to accommodate his shoe brace, (b) adjustable horizontal and vertical back/seat supports, (c) modified handbrakes to account for unequal hand strength and (d) engineered pedaling motion to prevent his leg joint from “locking up”.

Check out The Full News Story Here

Other Examples:

  • Prosthetic Leg Attachment – A young girl had her left foot amputated at 15 months and had received several prosthetic legs over her life, that just never seemed to fit quite right for a growing and active child. The team carefully designed a prosthetic leg with a unique adjustable fit that would “grow” with her. Shortly after receiving her new prosthetic, the young girl ran in downtown Akron’s 1k Fun Run at Lock 3. For their efforts, the University of Akron Biomedical Engineering Design Team was awarded the Community Impact Award , by Summit DD Board. See Akron Beacon Journal Article
  • Combination Wheelchair – A young child’s family has two children that use wheelchairs and neither child can operate a wheelchair independently. The family requested a “combination” wheelchair designed so that one parent alone could easily mobilize both children while out of the house for shopping, visiting the park, traveling etc.
  • Motorized Jeep – A young boy who uses a wheelchair for mobility wanted to enjoy playtime activities with his siblings. So, a donated Power Wheel was modified with a custom car seat that can be controlled locally by a child using a proximity switch or remotely by the parents with a modified Xbox controller.
  • Tandem Wheelchair – A family with one child in a wheelchair and the other child in a stroller requested a “tandem” wheelchair design. The family requested a modified wheelchair designed so that one parent alone could easily mobilize both children while traveling out in the community.

The Innovation Garage® has been involved in coaching capacity since 2016 and now an advisory board capacity since May of 2017. So, in looking back , How did the dots connect for us to get involved with Inclusioneers? It started with a startup judging event, sitting next to a co-judge, who is the Chair of The University of Akron Biomedical Engineering department. We presented to his students on startups as a former U of A alum. Then, being asked to mentor projects in flight. Then being asked to advise the 501(C3) non profit that evolved organically from that.

So, you might be thinking…what does all of these dots have to do with meaningful things that matter? Well, one thing that you are witnessing, if you look deeper, is a really interesting trend, especially with students. It happens at the intersection of millennials and technical engineering education.


Engineering students really want to contribute to their local community and do meaningful things that matter. This is in stark contrast to when many of us went to Engineering school.

Back in the day, engineering students spent our time in lecture halls. Listening, studying theory and taking tests.  We were not presented with any real opportunities for getting out to the community to help with meaningful things that matter.

So, if you like the concept of Inclusioneers, how can you get involved?

If you have an interest, please check out the website here.

If you’d like to contribute, please go here.

Reach out directly to Inclusioneers founder and CEO at

If you want to have a really great time, doing something meaningful for others, join us March 16th, 2018 to celebrate (Day of Inclusion). We are supporting the development of a series of adaptive power wheels cars for kids. You learn more about that in a future post.

So, take a few minutes and look back on 2017 see how your dots connect.

As you look forward to 2018, join us and make the time to put energy into your very own meaningful things that matter.

At The Innovation Garage®…

We help organizations grow. We build strategy. We build ideas and the capability of teams. We design products, services and supply chains.

We guide leaders from startup to the Global Fortune 50 to intentionally self-disrupt their offerings and organizations.

We provide world-class education, tools and technology on how to craft business operating systems focused on long-term profitable growth.

Share your contact info with us if you would like to learn more and subscribe to our blog.

If you’d like to join us at one of our upcoming events, check out our full events calendar.

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