REI E-Update

October, 2016

Keynote speaker Johnathan Holifield presenting at the Summit

Thank you to everyone who made the 2016 Innovate Michigan! Summit a success!

Share, Learn, Create Innovative Economic Development Ideas!

"A diverse and dynamic network developing innovative economic development ideas, tools, models, policies, and practices for Michigan."

In This Issue

Summit Recap

Photo of Summit Higher Ed. Panel: Zenia Kotval, Robin Boyle, June Manning Thomas, and Rex LaMore

2016 Innovate Michigan! Summit

REI would like to thank everyone who attended the 5th annual Innovate Michigan! Summit on Wednesday, September 7th. The event was very successful with more than 100 attendees. REI was very fortunate to receive an opening statement from Senator Gary Peters, and to host Johnathan M. Holifield as the keynote speaker, who spoke on inclusive economic development.

The overall response to the Summit from attendees was positive, with one response being: "It's a wonderful opportunity to be involved in practical learning experiences." All of the presentations were excellent, on topics such as: Flint City Pop-Up, North Flint Healthy Food Initiative, and A Historical Perspective and Assessment of the Role and Funding of Michigan Regions.

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Joel Rash presenting at the REI Summit

In Case You Missed It

All of the projects below were presented at the 2016 Summit, click on the title for a more detailed description.

  • Flint City Pop-Up: Showcased how Flint, Michigan has developed a unique program to support youth entrepreneurship.
  • Some College? Degree Completion and Michigan's Workforce: This project took on the challenge of addressing the 22% of Michigan's workforce that has some college experience but no degree. The goal is to promote sensible online adult learning for the state's workforce.
  • BLVD Harambee Bike Shop: Madonna University in partnership with Church of the Messiah established a business model framework for a community bike shop in Detroit.
  • Net Zero Hybridized Infrastructure Implementation Project: This presentation resulted from a three year partnership in District 6 of Detroit that aimed to test and prove the feasibility of Hybridized Net Zero Energy (HNZE).
  • Women Who Weld II: A free of charge welding training program in Detroit, aimed at women who have fallen on hard times or were looking for a new sustainable career path. Samantha Farr presented an analysis of the effectiveness of the program as a springboard to employment.
  • Improving Soft Skills in Agriculture with Hard Core Strategies: This Co-Learning Plan explored the use of a multi-layered, multi-faceted approach to recruiting, selecting, developing, and retaining employees that includes Virtual HR services and a "one-stop HR shop" that would be accessible by all sectors of agriculture.
  • North Flint Healthy Food Initiative: A plan to empower north Flint residents with the knowledge and ability to create safe and vibrant neighborhoods through entrepreneurship and healthy food production, while securing a financial future.
  • Development Strategies for Disconnected Youth: This project was to create a handbook to align young untapped talent with current existing job openings as a means to drive local economic development.
  • Development of a Sustainable EcoTourism Alliance Organization: This presentation examined the potential economic effects of creating a Sustainable Ecotourism Alliance Organization in Munising.
  • Assessment of the Role and Funding of Michigan Regions: This Co-Learning Plan focused on the existence and implications of regional funding models for Michigan.
  • Dearborn Southend District: Vision Plan and Economic Development Strategy: This project created an economic development strategy for the Dix-Vernor Corridor in Dearborn.
  • Civic Park Neighborhood Needs Assessment: This project focused on the feasibility of applying the "20 minute neighborhood" model to the historic Flint neighborhood of Civic Park. Located on the north side of Flint, it is assumed that Civic Park has the potential to become a 20 minute neighborhood because of its smaller size and multiple destinations. The research team took a closer look at the US Economic Census by zip code and county, generated commercial mapping, social demographic analysis and resident interest to determine its feasibility.


Potential Project Ideas for 2016-2017!

Below is a list of potential topic ideas for our next round of projects.

  • Term Limits and Economic Development
  • Social Entrepreneurship
  • Public Infrastructure and Economic Development
  • Gender Gap
  • Job Sharing and Succession
  • Dashboard Denial
  • Riba Free Financing
  • Great Lakes Non-Compete Agreements
  • Native American Food and Tourism
  • Unconditional Basic Income

Michigan Inventors Coalition

Michigan Inventors Coalition Expo

We would like to congratulate MIC on another highly successful event! Check out their recap video below!

Michigan Inventors Coalition Video Thumbnail


Aqua House

The project creates a self-sustainable, resident-owned aquaponic system in the West Pulaski neighborhood of Flint that allows neighbors to work together to improve their well-being. The aquaponic system will be used to grow foods that mitigate the effects of lead poisoning in people, especially children. The system will be built in a vacant house owned and maintained by the block club. This first Aqua House will be a demonstration project to understand product yields, value to residents, and potential for additional aquaponic houses around Flint.

Aqua House Trailer Video Thumbnail 
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