Intern Project Update: Jack Pedlow

So far, my project has been full of up and downs. I started on a very broad subject, sustainability, which I quickly realized is far too broad and inconsistent to be a subject on its own.

My initial research found that every company wants to attach sustainability to their name, whether or not it is actually true. In many cases, some of the largest polluters have the largest budget to make a sustainability marketing push.

I then pivoted to clean energy, but my research found that it doesn’t always create a ton of jobs as much of the clean energy sector is not labor intensive. While doing research on the talent pipeline and existing industry clusters out of the Lansing area, I realized Lansing has an advantage in the agricultural technology sector, with a lot of companies thriving in the area and a great talent pipeline. I also realized agricultural technology has the potential to bring forth sustainable innovation and started to focus on that.

After a long and natural process, I found my true topic, sustainable agriculture technology in the Lansing region.

Since then, I have compiled a list of 25 agriculture technology companies who I believe are innovative, sustainable and would benefit from relocating to the Lansing area. I am doing research on each one and am going to compile that into a written document with additional information about Lansing’s regional advantages and a brief overview of sustainability and my findings on it along the way. I am also compiling a list of each company and information pertaining to it on excel, to have easy access to each one.

This process has been a great one so far and I’m glad I was able to get to the point I am now naturally. I learned a lot about sustainability and some of the issues when trying to study it broadly. I’ve finally found a great topic and I am looking forward to finishing my research and hopefully benefiting LEAP.