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Can small ideas add up to big change for cities? 13 projects that prove they can (VIDEO)

Urban revitalization is not built on stadiums and skyscrapers alone. Vibrant cities begin with passionate people working on the ground, doing the creative heavy lifting to make their communities better. Leading up to Urban Innovation Exchange Sept. 24-26 in Detroit, we take a look at 13 small projects with big potential.

Three Things I Learned About Social Innovation Across America

D:hive BUILD Program Manager Jessica Meyer reflects on her experiences representing Detroit on this year's Millennial Trains Project (MTP), a ten-day train trip across the country that explores how social innovation is changing cities across America.

UIX invites urban innovators to exchange ideas in Detroit

Cities are reinventing themselves in creative new ways. Can small-scale projects have big impact? Join us Sept. 24-26 in Detroit to explore creative projects driving neighborhood transformation and trade ideas for the future.

G-Sync: Postcards from Detroit's Edge

Grand Rapids-based Rapid Growth Lifestyle Editor Tommy Allen shares his insights and photos from the latest Rapid Growth #GRR2DET project, in answer to the question, "What else is happening in Detroit besides the often-negative headlines?"

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.
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