Every once in a while we need to get out of the office together as a team in order to get closer and think about the future. A few Fridays ago, Nextiny decided to head to Selby Botanical Gardens in order to clear our minds, get away from the day to day activities, and innovate. This year at Innovation Day, we talked about the future of marketing software, the impact of AI in the future, and much more.
Innovation Day and Why We Choose to Innovate
With most of our days spent inside the office, it’s easy to forget that we live in such a scenic location here in Sarasota. It’s good to step outside, pull ourselves away from the computer, and enjoy everything around us.
Innovation Day is a chance to do just that. Everyone gets together to grow closer as a team and outline our goals. We think it’s important to step away from the day to day activities of a workweek every once in a while because it allows us to look at the bigger picture, think about how far we’ve come, and realize how far we can still go.
At our last Innovation Day, we talked about the future of marketing software, the impact AI will have, drones, and how each and every one of us can innovate in our individual roles.
Aim to Sustain
What is innovation? For us, it’s all about thinking about the future. But we don’t limit ourselves to the scale of our office, we want to think bigger.
That’s why we took the day to walk through the wonders of the garden, to see the beauty around us from the plants and animals to the wide open Sarasota Bay. We live in one of the most naturally beautiful places in the country and a walk through Selby’s celebration of nature only makes that more apparent. The closer you get to it, the more you realize that we’re all connected through nature, and we’re all responsible for its well-being.
“The Earth does not belong to man, man belongs to the Earth. All things are connected like the blood that unites us all. Man did not weave the web of life, he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself.”
- Chief Seattle
Like the plants around us, we never want to stop growing, both as a company and as people, which drives us to innovate. But growth should be sustainable. Innovation is important because it gets you thinking; about the future of our business, the future of our agency and, eventually, the fate of humanity itself. That may sound melodramatic, but it’s something we want to be thinking about constantly. So we decided that’s exactly what we’re going to do.
Our afternoon under the Florida sunshine has given us a new perspective on what we can do to sustain the world around us. We’ve seen it first-hand here in Florida with the recent storms, Hurricane Irma and Michael, and this year with the red tide epidemic. We want to adapt, change, and improve ourselves to help maintain a healthy environment.
Sarasota’s commitment to 100% renewable energy has inspired us to follow their lead. And with what we’ve seen and Earth Day coming up, we’ve decided to work our way toward becoming a fully sustainable agency and we encourage everyone to join us.
How We’re Changing
Becoming environmentally friendly can be challenging and require a lot of changes, including things you’ve been doing for a long time and didn’t even know were causing harm.
There are many things to consider. Here’s a list of the things we’ve done in the past couple of years, both at home and the office, to help you develop your own list:
- Reusable Bags: Buy and use the same bags for shopping rather than using more paper or plastic bags with each trip to the store.
- Reusable Containers: Bring your own reusable containers when going out to eat instead of taking home styrofoam packages and plastic containers.
- Home Water Filters: Use a water filter to cut down on water bottles used at home.
- Rechargeable Batteries: Cut down on battery usage for controllers, remotes, etc. by using rechargeable batteries.
- Electric Cars: Remove gasoline from your life by investing in an electric vehicle that doesn’t produce harmful emissions.
- Solar Panels: Produce your own electricity through renewable solar energy. Tesla has a great program to make it available to more people and Sarasota solar companies are helping home-owners and businesses get as close as possible to 100% renewable energy.
- Office Water System: Enjoy a casual water cooler talk with your coworkers and be sure to use your reusable water bottles to cut down on wasted plastic or paper cups.
- Go Paperless: Eliminate paper waste by having your business go completely (or as close to 100% as possible) paperless with online tools and the help of software like Google Docs and PandaDoc.
- Biodegradable utensils, cups and dishes: Be sure to buy biodegradable cups, forks, spoons, plates, etc., for your workplace.
- Home & Office Cleaning/Hygiene products: Replace traditional products with plant-based, organic and sustainable cleaning brands like Meyers and Puracy.
- Go with a green car cleaning service: work to eliminate water waste and chemical runoff from cleaning your car by using a green (water-less) service.
- Support local businesses: Patronize local restaurants and businesses that believe in sustainability like Sarasota Honey Company, Indigenous, Evergreen Cafe, and Lila.
- Reduce electricity usage: Using devices to control lights and to be able to turn off electronics and appliances more easily like the zap switch.
- Make Compost: Recycle organic waste such as coffee grounds, old vegetables, and other kitchen waste and turn it into a useful supplement to your garden.
These are just a scratch on the surface of what we can do to help, and it’s an ever-growing list. We are continuing to learn more about new things we can do to add to it. What types of things are you or your business doing to help? Is there anything not on the list we should be doing? Let us know in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you all and learn more and more about new ways to increase our efforts.
Innovation day has helped us to think differently about our agency and our work, but most importantly it’s found us thinking about things bigger than anything like that.
There are plenty of little things we can do every day to help make a big difference, but one of the biggest things you can do is to spread the word that we can’t all sit back and let others tackle these problems anymore. It’s time to take matters into our own hands. We’re trying to to do our part, and we hope you’ll do the same.