April 2, 2013
Past/Present/Future: Indiana Innovation

Historically-recognized great men and women are not the only people who innovate. For years Hoosiers have upheld a tradition of innovation. How can we continue this legacy?

For thousands of years, Native Americans lived off of the land in Indiana. They cultivated the soil, settled in villages, and upheld their cultural traditions. By the 18th century, more Native Americans began to populate Indiana Territory as European settlers pushed them out of their own land. Native culture survived the European invasion only because of Natives’ dedication, ability to adapt, and innovative-thinking at key historical moments.

Sometimes, the most innovative among us may not be recognized as such.

While the city of Indianapolis was in decline, Indiana spearheaded the innovative technique of using sports to revitalize the city. Hoosiers built a football stadium before we had a team. We courted the NCAA and Olympic teams to relocate here. The sports plan restored life to the city and improved the local economy. This innovative revitalization project is still influencing city planning as evidenced by hosting Super Bowl XLVI and by Indianapolis’ future professional soccer team.

Where do you see the impact of innovative thinking?

Will Hoosiers in the future remain true to their agricultural roots? How will we continue to leverage our assets?

Indiana Humanities will be focusing on the theme “The Next Indiana” starting in 2014. This theme is still under development and the staff is busy brainstorming.

Therefore, we want to know, what would you like Indiana to look in the future?


In April and May, Indiana Humanities is exploring the topic of “innovation,” as part of its Spirit of Competition theme. This post was written by Jenny Kalvaitis, an intern for Indiana Humanities and a Master’s candidate in Public History at IUPUI. 

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