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2014: Engaging Michigan Community Alumni Networks as Catalysts for Development: Leveraging People, Platforms and Places for Michigan's Transformation

Co-Learning Plan - 2014

Authors: Elizabeth Garlow, Michigan Corps; Mayor Dayne Walling, Flint Club Founder


While focusing on how Michigan expatriates can play a role in revitalizing Michigan's urban economies, this plan outlined the untapped potential of and strategies for engaging alumni in tangible efforts that support cutting edge economic development and job creation, primarily through the lens of investing in entrepreneurs.

Project Updated As Of September 30th, 2014


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Author Information

Elizabeth GarlowElizabeth Garlow, Michigan Corps

Elizabeth Garlow has extensive business social responsibility and impact investing experience across sectors and around the world. At Michigan Corps, Elizabeth launched the country's first state-wide Social Entrepreneurship Competition. The Michigan Social Entrepreneurship Challenge attracted hundreds of social entrepreneurs and catalyzed $1.2 million in local entrepreneurial investment from philanthropic and business investors, both inside and outside Michigan. Prior to Michigan Corps, Elizabeth spent years working to advance domestic microfinance with ACCION USA, where she focused on strategic partnership development and program implementation to grow the country's leading microloan portfolio. Elizabeth led key projects such as "Kiva Detroit" to engage a network of expatriate 'Detroiters' as lenders to local small businesses. Elizabeth has been published on the topics of social entrepreneurship and business social responsibility in The Stanford Social Innovation Review, Harvard Business Review, Lonergan Review, and North American Case Research Journal. In 2013, she was named one of Detroit's 20 in their 20's emerging business leaders by Crain's Detroit Business. She holds a B.A. in Political Science, Spanish and International Economics from Kalamazoo College.

Mayor Dayne WallingMayor Dayne Walling, Flint Club Founder

Dayne Walling is serving in his second term as the Mayor of the City of Flint, Michigan. Walling has focused on innovative approaches to planning and development as a way to bring new energy and investments to the difficult task of turning Flint around. In 2001, Walling was a co-founder and later the executive director of Flint Club, one of the first community alumni networks in the country. Walling is a Truman and Rhodes Scholar and also a recipient of the Graduate Research Fellowship from the National Science Foundation for his investigation of "The Prospects for Community and Economic Development in Midwestern Cities." Walling is a leading urban policy voice with numerous published written pieces and presentations with the Governing Institute, Smart Growth Network, Michigan Municipal League, and Cities of Service. He serves on the Executive Committee of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and is chairman of the national Manufacturing Alliance of Communities. Walling has experience in the public, nonprofit and private sectors and he is President of 21st Century Performance LLC, a management consulting company.

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