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Shaping Things Up

For those attending SHAPE North America 2014 (SHAPE NA), many came to the city thinking about cars and bankruptcy with maybe a couple of Motown songs humming through their heads. They left with a whole new respect and admiration for Detroit, dismissing superficial stereotypes after encountering the city's charisma, vibrance, creativity, and resilience.

Lessons learned from Mackinac(ish): Bringing it all back home

ASSEMBLE@Mackinac(ish) was more than just a reaction to the Mackinac Policy Conference or a party in the woods. Matthew Lewis has this reflection on his experience with the diverse group of Detroiters that got together Up North.

Toward an Innovative City

"Detroit and the Innovative City" is a report on how to make Detroit a more innovative city that includes a deep dive into latest thinking on innovation in general, defines the three principles of an innovative city, and provides cross-sectoral recommendations for creating an innovation eco-system in Detroit. Here co-author Chad Rochkind shares some insights into the report and key takeaways on how to make Detroit the social innovation capital of the world.

UIX Q&A: Alok Sharma, Sharma Analytics and Detroit Startup Drinks

National Day of Civic Hacking is May 31, so we thought we'd check in with UIX innovator Alok Sharma of Sharma Analytics and Detroit Startup Drinks to see what's on his mind and up his sleeve.

Opportunity for All: The Question Every City Should Ask, And Answer

How can cities better connect all residents to economic opportunity? It's the million-dollar question -- the question we hope our civic leaders, policymakers and philanthropists wake up every morning to answer. It is also a question we ought to be asking ourselves, within our own businesses and organizations: How can each of us help create greater opportunity for all?

One Detroit, One World: Re-imagining Detroit Through Diversity and Inclusion

Detroit is a city of division: blacks vs. whites, downtown vs. neighborhoods, immigrants vs. Detroiters. It is exactly these dichotomous relationships that draw people to the city from around the world to join us in our journey of growth and redefinition. How do we move beyond these divisions to become a more inclusive and diverse, global city? 

Reflections of an old new guy

Our eternally youthful Detroit correspondent revisits his skinny, 25-year-old self, and name checks Dennis Archer and Spike Lee to help sort out what's next for the city. Take it away, Sir James Boyle.

Three things we've learned from Detroit's innovators

As the Urban Innovation Exchange (UIX) initiative enters its third year, we are reflecting on all that we have learned since we set out to understand and measure social impact within Detroit’s growing entrepreneurial ecosystem of innovation.

UIX Q&A: Jessie Feller, Meeting of the Minds

Meeting of the Minds is one of the premier annual leadership summits focused on urban sustainability, innovation and connected technology. The organization will hold its annual conference in Detroit this year September 30 through October 2. Here Managing Director Jessie Feller introduces Detroiters to the concept.

Knight Arts Challenge seeks best ideas for the arts in Detroit

Beginning March 10, Detroiters will once again have an opportunity to win funding for their arts projects through the Knight Arts Challenge, offering a share of $3 million for arts and culture projects that engage and enrich the city. The deadline for the contest, now in its second year, is April 7. 

Jazz mentoring hitting the right notes in Midtown

Instruction at Michigan State's Detroit Community Music School is done by working musicians and educators who are giving back some of the same elite training they received as students. Gather round as Veronica Grandison tunes into the scene.

Detroit, get ready for transit-oriented development

Public officials and developers across the region are preparing to reap the economic potential of functional transit, something many cities across the country have already done. How it gets done in Detroit is critical to its success, writes Nina Ignaczak.

Rebuilding Detroit's first and last neighborhood

Francis Grunow's presentation at last month's Idealab in Ann Arbor was so good we thought it should reach a wider audience in UIX, and we're also turning it into a three-part think series on Detroit neighborhoods. 

Growing bold ideas for Detroit's future

At this year's Idealab at the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business, six Detroit innovators were invited to Ann Arbor to share radical ideas for the future of the city. Matthew Lewis was there with his notebook, Doug Coombe with his camera.

The Grand + Woodward Corridor: Collaboration as Innovation

Khalilah Burt Gaston is the new Executive Director of Vanguard Community Development Corporation, and is collaborating with residents, businesses, and institutions along the Grand + Woodward Corridor to implement a cohesive plan for community development as part of the Grand + Woodward Building Sustainable Communities Initiative. 
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