Conference Proceedings

*Please contact our office at 517-535-9555 or if you would like a copy of one of our reports/publications.

Urban Summit I & II

House Bipartisan Urban Caucus and Urban Core Mayors, Urban Vision Summit, Building Coalitions for Michigan Cities, January 2000

The second Urban Summit was designed to bring special attention to four key issues that face Michigan as we enter the new century: land use and the environment, transportation, housing, and education. These four issues were identified-during a statewide policy meeting attended by many caucus members in Traverse City last October-as key elements of any comprehensive state policy discussion. Each of the invited speakers for Summit 2000 was asked to keep in mind these four issues as they discussed urban policy.

House Bipartisan Urban Caucus and Urban Core Mayors, Urban Vision Summit, June 1998

Michigan's urban centers lie at the core of regional prosperity. The Urban Vision Summit was an extremely successful beginning to the hard work of learning about the barriers and challenges our cities face and realizing opportunities for development of our urban centers. We also recognize the interdependence of our cities with the suburban and rural communities that surround them.

The mission of the House Bipartisan Urban Caucus focuses on policy, research, education, and leadership development. The Caucus Steering Committee-recognizing the need to bring a diverse group of stakeholders from around the state into the process of developing a comprehensive agenda for Michigan's cities-determined that a summit would be an effective focal point for raising the profile of urban issues in the eyes of Michigan's leadership and help to develop an agenda for the Caucus in the years ahead.

Annual Insitute

Responsibly Investing in Michigan's Future: Community Development Investment Strategies, Nineteenth Annual Institute, April 2006

Access to financial capital is a critical factor in the revitalization of distressed communities. As traditional sources of capital diminish, distressed communities must find new alternatives. Financial administrators for institutions of higher education, pension funds of faith-based institutions, endowments, and other institutional investments can play a vital role in providing alternative financial resources for community revitalization. For example, secured investments in community-based financial institutions can leverage other financial resources and stimulate redevelopment in distressed communities.

With the administrators of institutional endowments, pension funds, and other institutional portfolios have been historically guided by the simple investment policy of "seek the most prudent and highest rate of immediate return," we believe it is time for civic-minded private and public institutions to adopt a multiple bottom line approach to managing their institutional investments.

The 2006 Annual Institute will examine how changes in the traditional institutional investment paradigm can support responsible investment policies that deliver both a "prudent, high rate of return" and the financial resources needed for community redevelopment in distressed neighborhoods. This multi-bottom-line approach to investing underscores the social and environmental impacts of investment decisions as well as the financial bottom-line.

Ideas and Dollars: How Cultural Economic Development "makes cents" for Michigan, Eighteenth Annual Summer Institute, June 2005

As the economic landscape is transformed from a manufacturing to a knowledge economy. Michigan communities are also changing their understanding of the role arts and culture play in the globally competitive environment. Creative and cultural assets in local communities are seen as both a source of jobs and an important factor in increasing community competitiveness. The convergence of creativity and technology are critical to inventing our way to prosperity.

The theme of the 2005 Summer Institute is the role of the "cultural economy' in generating and supporting economic development. Attendees will examine relationships among arts, culture, innovations. Job creation and wealth generation. The conference will also include discussion of effects of entrepreneurship, cultural creativity, and education on economic development community prosperity.

Facts, Fads, and Fantasies of Economic Development in the Knowledge Economy, Sixteenth Annual Summer Institute, June 2003

Today's most technologically advanced economies and highest paying jobs are increasingly knowledge-based. Knowledge has become the most important factor determining standard of living. But what is a knowledge economy? How has the role of economic development practitioners changed as they work with distressed communities in the knowledge economy? Is publicly funded economic development keeping pace with the changes in the knowledge economy and serving the public interest in the areas of job creation, tax-base enhancement and community revitalization?

Advocates for the economic revitalization of distressed communities will need the skills to help such communities release all the creative potential within their borders to be competitive in a rapidly changing economic environment. Summer Institute 2003 will examine the facts, the fads, and the fantasies of the knowledge economy and economic development as it is emerging in the new millennium.

Reshaping the Fundamentals: Strengthening Community Economies in Turbulent Times Fifteenth Annual Summer Institute, July 2002

Skating on thin ice. Is that your picture of our present economic and social environment? Or is our economy rock-solid? Depending upon where you sit, your answer will certainly vary. However, all of us are affected by the expanding global economy and the international debates on terrorism and human rights. It seems that the global financial marketplace ebbs and flows with unnerving ease.

If distressed communities are to successfully seize the opportunities and overcome the challenges of economic development in these turbulent times, community leaders, economic development professionals and students of development will need to examine the fundamental elements of community: their people, places, financial resources, and ability to plan for the future.

The presentations and workshops of the 2002 Summer Institute will emphasize these fundamental issues of community economies. Count yourself among Michigan's thoughtful practitioners.

Working Wired: Empowering Workforce Development in an Information Society Fourteenth Annual Summer Institute, July 2001

Development in an Information Society The 2001 Summer Institute will explore the transformation of the nature of work in the 21st century. It builds on last years Institute by continuing a focus on a technology-based economy and the many aspects of the Digital Divide that keep poor, immigrant, and other underutilized workers from participating in the economy.

To ensure full participation in the emerging digital economy for all Americans, it is critical that workforce development efforts take into account the importance of Information Technology. This year's Summer Institute will feature workshops on Information Technology skill development for the emerging workforce, the underutilized workforce, and the existing workforce, and an examination of state and local level policies that may encourage workforce development in an Information Technology society.

Discovering the Digital Frontier: Opportunities for CBO's and Low Income Communities, Thirteenth Annual Summer Institute, June 2000

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) reported in 1999 that although the number of Americans connected to the nation's information infrastructure was soaring, many groups who lack access to information resources remained. The 2000 Summer Institute, "Discovering the Digital Frontier: Opportunities for Community Based Organizations and Low Income Communities", will address the issue of the Digital Divide in Michigan's communities. The rate of technological progress and change contributes to growing social and economic inequities, as the widening gap between the technology haves and have-nots exacerbates educational and employment disparities. At issue is access to not only the technology and necessary infrastructure, but also the information and skills to use technology effectively.

The conference seeks to provide an insight into these areas by examining how the Digital Divide can be bridged through: economic development and infrastructure planning practices; information technology skill development and education; methods for community based organizations to access and use information technology; and the successful use of E-Commerce by nonprofits for community development.

Creating Sustainable Communities: The Role of Community Based Organizations Twelfth Annual Summer Institute, July 1999

MP/EDA Summer Institute will focus on Sustainable indicators: exploring the diverse concepts defining sustainability, and the role of citizens and CBO's in assessing and creating sustainable communities.

Sustainable indicators are a revealing way to measure performance. They may be used to evaluate the impact of policies, community and economic development programs, and to identify problem areas in our communities today. Understanding the concept of sustainable indicators is fundamental to ensuring the long term well being of our communities.

The 1999 Summer Institute focuses on examining our current capacity to describe the sustainable characteristic of successful communities, and with the active participation of communities in Michigan, seeks to apply these concepts and practices throughout our state.