I'm just not in the room where they do that. So in ten years, I'd like to be in the room where they do that. Ideally I could make that happen without having to get a Ph.D. in information science or a master's in urban planning, because those things are expensive and I'm already $25,000 in the red from Carleton, but I think if it was brutally necessary I'd find a way to deal with that. Jobs like this don't exist, though, and also I live in a forest where nobody cares about urban planning.
This is way after the fact (Tumblr outage plus end-of-semester craziness interfered) but I just wanted to say that one semester into library school, I already feel like I'm in the same boat, and I'll be interested to see what kind of path you take.
I'm interested in broadband / community technology / community development policy, and I'm getting tons of hands-on experience in the Community Informatics track here at GSLIS, but I'm not seeing many practitioner-level jobs where you can make even close to an acceptable or stable living, and I sort of need health insurance to stay alive and stuff. I'd prefer to build a reputation through practice and work my way up to the policy level that way, but I'm not seeing much of a path there. Even with policy, I'm not seeing the kind of career track that justifies going way in debt and getting a Ph.D when I'm not particularly interested in the tenured faculty rat race or in doing hyper-focused and rigorous research (that's likely of dubious practical value to anyone) in areas where I could learn a lot more and be a better policy maker through practice.
It looks like the best path is probably entrepreneurial, whether starting an organization or a business or what have you, but I'm not really interested in or skilled at that either. I kind of need someone else with business, marketing, management, and begging skills to do that for me, but I don't see anyone lining up to do that. I'm really not sure how to get from here to there, though hopefully the next year or so of school will give me a more of a sense. Right now the fallback plan is to work at a public or community college library, and try to do cool community outreach and tech/info literacy stuff in that context, but I'm afraid that could always be doomed to be a sidelight in most such settings, especially with the resource constraints we'll be under and the stage of my career I'll be in.