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Why access to Mackinac matters

Posted by Della Cassia on

Starting tomorrow through Friday, Detroit Public Television (DPTV) will provide viewers with unprecedented access to the 2016 Mackinac Policy Conference through live online and on-air coverage of almost all the sessions along with one-on-one interviews with key presenters. But, why is access to a conference that is taking place on the other side of the state so important? Why should you care and tune in? Even better—why should you encourage your employer, employees, donors, clients, stakeholders to listen in and listen in closely?

1) Education: As Michigan students continue to fall behind other states, the pool of highly qualified workers that will help boost the state’s economy will continue to shrink:

A recent report from the Education Trust shows that Michigan’s student performance continues its steady decline. Michigan ranks 41st in 4th grade reading (African-American 4th grade students rank 41; White students 49th; Latino students 33rd; low-income students 45th; and higher-income students 48th); and 42nd in fourth grade math among students in all 50 states (African-American 4th grade students rank 42; White students 47th; Latino students 43rd; Low-income students 48th; and higher-income students 45th). It’s no longer an urban education problem—it’s statewide.

Sessions include:

  • Risk Takers; Kids read rewards when leaders leave comfort zones to drive Detroit schools reforms
  • Quality schools: Building a sustainable funding model for education
  • Increasing the Bottom Line: Why Michigan Businesses Are Investing in Early Childhood Development

2) Entrepreneurship: Detroit and Michigan’s key to a brighter future is its next generation of innovators:

Buying local has almost become its own Michigan brand. And, it’s a brand fueled by the innovative thinking, commitment and perseverance of young entrepreneurs who are part of a burgeoning ecosystem developing right in your neighborhood. From pitching ideas to Shark Tank’s Daymond John or learning about new models for business growth, the conference will provide insights into the movement of entrepreneurship.

Sessions include:

  1. Brian David Johnson: Futurist in residence at Arizona State University: Insights on technology disruption leading to business opportunities and new models for business growth
  2. The Internet of Things: Opportunities and Obstacles in a Connected World
  3. Pitch Mackinac: Companies will pitch their business plan to a panel of expert judges, including Mackinac keynote speaker Daymond John of ABC’s “Shark Tank.”
  4. The Value of Defense: Protecting and Growing Michigan’s Assets
  5. Governor Rick Snyder Keynote: The Governor will share his vision and priorities for pushing MI to the forefront.

3) Technology and Connectivity:

Let’s face it, a well-prepared workforce and a rising entrepreneurial spirit can only be made stronger with increased investment in technology and urban transit. That’s when the conversation shifts to new milestones in automotive technology and driving “pardon the pun” the conversation to better connectivity through regional transit.

Sessions include:

  • The Convergence of Auto and Technology: The Impact on Michigan’s Economy
  • Moving Toward a More Equitable Region: Creating Opportunity and Connecting People to Better Regional Transit throughout Southeast Michigan.

The health of the Great Lakes, the Flint water crisis and national politics will also be key topics of conversations making for a well-rounded conference with issues important to every citizen and community leader in the State of Michigan. Tune in to DPTV’s coverage on www.mivote.org or live on-air on WTVS Channel 56.2 with a nightly wrap-up show on 56.1 starting at 7:30 p.m.

Mackinac matters and Detroit Public TV gives you the access to learn about it, share it, and engage it.

Thanks to our Sponsors

DTE Energy FoundationITC

  Masco Corporation FoundationPVS Chemical Inc


William H. Smith Leadership Circle Shirlee and Bill Fox Fund for Leadership and Public Affairs Programming