The "D" brand summit was held on February 1, 2008 at Lovett Hall on The Henry Ford campus in Dearborn. To summarize, the summit was to inform business owners and entrepreneurs how the "D" brand, Detroit's official tourism and community development brand, could help with their brands and initiatives while promoting a positive image of our region. I wasn't able to go, nor do I know anyone who went, so I'm not writing this post as a review. I did however, catch a blog entry written at huffingtonpost.com by the keynote speaker at the D brand summit. His name is John Kao and he is considered a master innovator, entrepreneur and expert in corporate transformation. His entire blog post is at Huffington Post. He has an interesting perspective, if not an obvious one, about the state of Metro Detroit. He writes about our troubles, our reliance on our laurels and our stubborness regarding change. He also writes about the recent positive steps we have made to align ourselves with the 21st century economy.
John Kao finished his blog entry with the following paragraphs. His thoughts struck a chord...
"Predictably Detroit has a number of initiatives to look at the future of the city that are as yet somewhat scattered. The city needs a strategy, it needs a vision of how it can turn itself into a 21st century city, attractive to talent, with a critical mass of R&D and a revitalized approach to education, fresh thinking. It needs to go for the brass ring — incremental innovation will not save it — nor will the four casinos and other tourist amenities that have been put in to make the city a tourist destination. Only a fresh re-thinking of the strategy, the sources of future wealth and the willingness to make the investment of time, treasury and effort will see the city through.
And herein lies the full drama. If Detroit can effect its transformation, then there is hope for the rest of us. I see three scenarios — continued decline, middle of the road via tourism and entertainment, or the high road — nurturing the roots of a true Detroit Renaissance. Much food for thought."
In the end it is up to us. It's a new age and we have all the tools for success. This town was built on efficiency and innovation and there is no reason why we cannot forge down that path once again. We hold the key to our future.
Ann Stavrou, Shelby Township, carries her granddaughter Ann, 2, as she marches in the parade. - Traditional Greek soldiers, known as Evzones, march along Monroe during the 15th annual Greek Independence Day Parade in Detroit on April 17, 2016. 15th ...
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