Doing Things Differently

About the author: Elisabeth Lisican | Editor-in-Chief | [email protected]

As I stare at my iPhone, as I often do, I’m reminded of Apple’s memorable old slogan: “Think different.” Do you remember that one? Incorrect grammar aside, those two little words arguably helped propel the tech giant to the superstardom it enjoys today. The concept was so simple, yet “think different” equated to joining a pantheon of greats: the Einsteins, the geniuses, the “crazy ones,” as ad text put it. Who wouldn’t want to be among that bunch? According to an article on, that ageless slogan was the brainchild of art director Craig Tanimoto. When asked how he dreamed up the slogan, Tanimoto didn’t know, but he told a reporter, “It’s about being open to everything … Good ideas just sneak up on you.”

I think this theme parallels what we at W&WD have been doing recently. We’ve been thinking a lot about innovation and how we can step outside the box to better serve our readers.

It is this spirit that has brought about, for example, our new augmented reality (AR) feature. (Have you downloaded the Blippar app yet? Do it and hover your smartphone over this page.) Be sure to look for the Blippar logo throughout this issue to activate more AR content! It’s this spirit of being open to new ideas that allows us to tell the stories of young people making waves in the water industry—an industry that needs them as it loses more and more professionals to retirement each day. Those young people are thinking differently. (Read their stories here.) Different is good, and this often set-in-its-ways industry could use a healthy dose of it.

In addition, thinking outside the box has allowed us to create a new live event this year: THINK: Diversity. Diversity goes far beyond the obvious characteristics that make us different from one another. Diversity is the myriad ideas that emanate from a varied workforce of differing ages and backgrounds. It’s all the different challenges that arise on the job. It’s the many different innovations designed to keep roads, bridges and water supplies viable. It’s all the ways we communicate in this hyperconnected world. And that’s just the beginning. There’s technological diversity, generational diversity; and we’ll also tackle concepts of DBEs (disadvantaged business enterprises) and D&I (diversity and inclusion) on project teams. You won’t get information like this anywhere else.

THINK: Diversity is brought to you by W&WD and Roads & Bridges magazines and takes place June 28, 2017, at the Association of the U.S. Army Conference & Events Center in Arlington, Va. For conference details and full agenda, visit

We’ll see you next month at the American Water Works Assn. Conference & Expo in Philadelphia—and hopefully in Virginia on June 28, too.

About the Author

Elisabeth Lisican