David Brancaccio, a longtime national business journalist and host and senior editor of NOW on PBS, visited Western’s Vehicle Research Institute in August to videotape a feature on Western’s Vehicle Research Institute team that completed a dramatic run all the way to the last days of competition in the finals of the Progressive Automotive X Prize.
That documentary, called "Fixing the Future" is set to air at 7 p.m. Nov. 26 on PBS, but an early screening of the film will take place Nov. 18 at the Mount Baker Theatre in Bellingham.
In addition to WWU, Brancaccio features several innovative Whatcom County businesses, including the sustainable fishers at Lummi Island Wild, creative innkeepers at Willows Inn and local oven manufacturers at Woodstone.
Bellingham's Sustainable Connections is host of this public viewing event, with support from the city of Bellingham.
"Bellingham/Whatcom County's local small businesses deserve this important national recognition for their leadership, innovation and stewardship," said Derek Long, executive director of Sustainable Connections, on the Sustainable Connections website. "With continued effective local government and educational partnerships, as well as the support of locally vested citizens, these businesses will continue to transform our economy for the benefit of us all."
A reception will take place from 5 to 5:45 p.m. in the Encore Room, withrefreshments from local businesses Boundary Bay Brewery, The Willows Inn and Old World Deli. Introductions will be followed by the screening of the documentary at 5:45 p.m. in the Walton Theatre.
Admission is free, but seating is limited.
Brancaccio and the PBS crew spent a couple of hours in August at the VRI, interviewing Viking 45 crew members and VRI Director Eric Leonhardt. Afterward, Branacccio said he was extremely impressed by the incredibly high quality of work of the students and by how the project had inspired them to think of the future and of themselves in a different way.
Afterward, Brancaccio blogged about his experience.