Becoming a proactive ultramod tends to be the road less traveled. The majority of people don't tend to step outside of their lives to attempt anything that might alter the future of their community or state or whatever scale they prefer to work.
A good place to start is with an idea. Write down your thoughts, doodle, and make detailed notes on your idea. When you start to flesh out your idea, take into consideration budget, scope of work needed (if it requires contractors or additional work not by you), supplies, etc. The USA is currently undergoing modernization of infrastructure, so if your idea is related to infrastructure there are grants for that!
Once you get your idea worked out, get a detailed proposal written up. You might also want to consider how you want to present this proposal. I mentioned how to write a proposal in the Public Spaces post. Consider a proposal, even if you think the idea is small; this way it's on paper for you and for the person(s) you talk to. I wouldn't suggest something if I hadn't already done it first.
What have I done? I contacted the Fairbanks North Star Borough (we have boroughs, not counties), specifically the Sustainability Commission, to set up a possible future presentation of an idea for what I call the "Golden Heart Quad". Fairbanks is the "Golden Heart City". This quad features wind trees (bladeless wind turbines), a public space along the river, electric vehicle charging (level 3), and a recycling drop off center (with a suggested app). The app suggestion is based on an incentive program; example - if you recycle 50lbs of aluminum cans, you might be eligible for a $5 coffee card. People in this city love incentives. I talked to one of the guys on the commission and he is going to try getting me in for the next meeting to discuss the proposal. I have visuals ready for any sort of future presentation.
Another proposal I'm working on is for a new style of transit stop for the bus system. It will be yellow and feature seating, wifi, a transit map, a cold-weather display, and a security camera. It might seem simple, but we currently have aluminum and plexiglass or dark walnut stained log cabin style or simply just sign post bus stops. They are boring and offer no amenities for locals and/or tourists. Once I'm finished with this proposal and the 3D visual, I will contact the Public Transportation Advisory Commission and the Planning Commission. The best thing is that it can be done through grant money.
I always suggest having conceptual art, blueprints, paint chips, or even a 3D model of what you are going to propose. It looks good to have something like this for your presentation and it helps clarify your idea. Imagine that everyone you are presenting to have zero imagination and it's up to you to provide some sort of visual to explain yourself.
Why is it important? Let's say you tell a group that this thing you are presenting should be painted blue. Person A thinks sky blue, person B thinks navy, person C think royal blue, and person D thinks tropical aqua blue. If you want to clarify, provide a color sample - just hit up a paint section and find the color samples you need.
Once you have your basic proposal finished, you might want to find some others to work with you. You might need some assistance for finishing up your proposal or for the concept design. It's okay to consider your proposal a draft and make some alterations based on the input of others. If you can get other people involved, then things tend to get done faster. Talk to people who are in fields related to your project.
You might also find other people who are willing to help you with your project, if you help them with their project. This can be an excellent option. You might find some other Ultramods in your area who want to jump onboard with a new project.
Get It Done
Strive to get your proposal completed. Make the world a better place. This may require time and effort. It may require passing your idea to a local group for it to be completed. Get to whatever the final stage is for your part of the project and move on to the next project.
Write down your ideas for new things.
Challenge non-Ultramods to consider the future
Look for other Ultramods for networking
Don't be afraid to learn a new skill to work out your new project or to create a prototype