Editor’s note: WRAL Local Tech Wire is adding another feature with the launch of the “Innovation Exchange.” Noah Garrett, former executive director of communications for the North Carolina Technology Association, is a creative spirit, from writing music to news stories, who recently launched his own communications firm. The focus of the Innovation Exchange is just that – creating a Web community through which people can exchange ideas and foster creativity.

“I am excited with this opportunity to partner with Local Tech Wire to launch the Innovation Exchange, where readers are not just readers – they are participants,” Garrett says. “This will be your ‘anything goes’ destination on the Web where you can share ideas and collaborate in a format that encourages disruption and new thinking."

The Innovation Exchange will be published weekly, but readers/participants are encouraged to correspond directly with Noah and to post feedback.


Send feedback and suggestions to: noah@thinkngc.com.

RALEIGH  – Welcome. No, no, no … that’s lame.

How about, "Glad you could make it"? Nope … that’s pretty boring.

Oh, I got it … "Thanks for stopping by. " Wow, now that’s both lame and boring.

Geez, how hard can this be? Here, we have this great idea and can’t even get it started. How about just a simple hello? Is that good enough?

There, now that the formalities are out of the way, let’s get down to business.

What keeps you up at night? Is it an unbelievable idea? Are you worried? Are you worried about your unbelievable idea? This is the place for you. This is The Innovation Exchange.

Let’s break it down (cue the dance club, techno beat). If you have another beat in your head, feel free to use it, just as long as it’s not polka. If you can name an innovative polka band, by all means let me know.

Innovation is more than being creative. Innovation is change. Innovation in an online social atmosphere is at its best when the focus is on the ideas and the people working on them. Don’t be afraid to stick your neck out. You are safe here. This is our bookmark-worthy meeting place on the Web that embraces all views on creating something new. Now, that you have the official mission statement, let’s continue.

There is a reason why The Innovation Exchange starts this way. Sometimes the most difficult part of developing a good idea is simply starting. Not knowing what to write to start this post is a metaphor for so many good ideas out there that need to be nurtured. The Innovation Exchange is a starting point where you can build relationships and take your ideas to the next level.

The Internet has fundamentally changed the way we live our lives. Today, we are truly in control over how we interact with information and entertainment. With your help, what you see here can and will work. Opportunities have never been better to really make a difference. This is where like-minded, brilliant people such as you and I can swap ideas, collaborate and make this world a better place. A critical component to innovation is to embrace collaboration.

So write this down or hum it to that rocking polka tune in your head right now: To innovate in `08, we must collaborate.

The Innovation Exchange is here for you. Where we go from here is up to us? Let’s get started!

About the author: Noah Garrett is the founder and chief operating officer for NGC Communications. a specialized public relations firm focused on relationship building, strategic business intelligence, innovative messaging and content development. Noah began his professional career as a newspaper reporter, photographer and editor on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, where he covered several major news events, including hurricanes Floyd and Isabel and the First Flight Centennial Celebration. He also served as executive director of communications for the North Carolina Technology Association. Noah is an accomplished musician and producer, with two full-length albums to his credit, and a nationally signed singer/songwriter with Acclaim Records. He attended Francis Marion University in Florence, S.C., on a soccer scholarship. He enjoys surfing, fishing, soccer, and just about anything you can do outdoors. To reach Noah, e-mail him at noah@thinkngc.com.