Matthew Ames has been an instructional designer, instructional technologist, community activist, researcher, musician, videographer and more for over 20 years. Between 2007-2015 he was active through his own organization, Philosophy INC, using creative practices to build community in Virginia, United States. During this time, he developed curriculum to connect people with their neighbourhoods. This included several grant-funded projects such as the design of solar powered trash bins which were placed throughout the city of Roanoke, Virginia. In 2014, Dr. Ames was awarded the Heritage Education award by the Roanoke Valley Preservation Society for his efforts in preserving historic neon signage of Virginia.