Fast Forward: Leading the Future of Michigan Cities

Crystal balls are out of stock.
Fortunately, we’ve already started planning for the future.

In the spirit of continuous improvement and change management the Michigan Municipal League hosted Fast Forward: Leading the Future of Michigan Cities policy forum series meant to support and energize public servants in their quest to lead their communities through tectonic change. A cohort of about sixty local officials and state partners came together over the course of several months in 2019 and 2020 to hear from state and national experts on scenario planning, smart city and mobility technologies, the role of business and philanthropy in advancing technology, climate modeling and resiliency planning.

The conversations in these policy forums were eye-opening. Even a little dizzying at moments. But they provided a great start for helping to prepare cities and villages in Michigan for the accelerating social, physical, and economic changes we are facing. Copies of the presentations and videos are below so you can see what we’ve been talking about!

Looking Back at Looking Forward – A Year of Policy Forums

Policy Forum #1: Future Scenarios for Michigan’s Cities

Oct. 16, 2019, Detroit

  • A Futurist’s Look at Michigan Cities, Cindy Frewen, Urban Futurist & Architect [video] [presentation]
  • Panel: What Does the Future Hold for Michigan’s Population, Economy and Work?
    • Michigan Population Trends, Eric Guthrie, State Demographer, Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget (DTMB) [presentation]
    • What Does the Future Hold for Michigan’s Population, Economy, and Work? Jason Palmer, Bureau Director, DTMB [presentation]
    • Rita Fields, Professor, University of Michigan Flint, and CEO, Copper Phoenix Consulting [video]
  • Scenario Planning for Future Cities, Robert Goodspeed, Professor, University of Michigan A. Alfred Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning, [presentation]

Policy Forum #2: How Technology Changes, Smart Cities, and Big Data Will Shape the Future of Cities

Dec. 4, 2019, Ann Arbor

  • Lyft, A Look AheadLily Shoup, Senior Director, Transportation Policy and Partnerships [video]
  • Technology and Civic Innovations, Nigel Jacob, Co-Chair, Boston Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics [presentation]
  • Tech, Talent, Place, and Philanthropy, Dug Song, Co-Founder and General Manager, Duo Security at Cisco [video]
  • Lightning Talks: Community Contexts
    • The Role of the MTEC SmartZone in the Development of Houghton and Hancock, Michigan Economies in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, Daniel Jamison, CEO, MTEC SmartZone [presentation]
    • Revisiting the Digital Divide, Jean Hardy, PhD Candidate, University of Michigan School of Information [presentation]
    • Lauren Hood, Equitable Development Strategist, Deep Dive Detroit [video]
    • Daniel Ashley, Founder and President, UltraCamp
    • Charles Lackey III, Director Internal Affairs, Highland Park Police Department [video]

Policy Forum #3: The Future of Michigan Cities with Changing Climate Adaptation, Climate Migration, and Other Opportunities

Feb. 12, 2020, Grand Rapids

  • A Look at Projected Climate Change and Michigan’s Future, Jonathan Overpeck, PhD, Samuel A. Graham Dean and Professor of Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering, University of Michigan [video[presentation]
  • The Stories of Climate Change – Building Resilient Communities, Victoria Herrmann, PhD, President and Managing Director of The Arctic Institute [video[presentation]
  • Using Art and Cultural Activities to Engage People in Climate Change, Lucinda Linderman, Environmental Artist and Art Curator  [video[presentation]
  • Local Success Stories – Cities Leading on Climate Mitigation and Adaptation
    • Will Lytle, Mayor Pro Tem, City of Hancock
    • Erin Quetell, Environmental Sustainability Planner, City of Ferndale
    • Alison Sutter, Sustainability and Performance Management Officer, City of Grand Rapids

Policy Forum #4: How Will Communities Meet Future Change?

July 29, 2020, Virtual Event

  • The Great Disruption of 2020 and Why it’s More Important Than Ever to Plan for the Future of Cities
    • Pete Buttigieg, Founder, Win the Era; former Mayor of South Bend, IN; former Democratic presidential candidate [video