That first Michigan House, we had no idea what we were getting ourselves into. Traveling across the country, transforming a home overnight, recording 17 bands while throwing continuous events, sleeping next to none - yeah, that was a lot to bite off. And then there was the slow realization that a huge responsibility that comes with daring to represent an entire state.
We weren't elected. We weren't really hired. And whatever permission we had came more from the collaborative nature of the project that anything we asked for. But as time has gone by this responsibility has weighed heavily both on Middle West and our partners in all things Michigan House, Creative Many Michigan. With every decision, every change, and every effort, it's always right there in the room. And as we begin to announce some of the stories that we'll be telling in Austin next March, it also becomes obvious to us that striving to live up to that responsibility might be our greatest strength.
If we're creative, collaborative, and honest, we believe we can be leaders on SXSW's international stage. The five SXSW Panels that Michigan House will be hosting - they're a pretty damn good start.
WATER INSIGHTS FROM THE GREAT LAKES -
The Great Lakes contain 21% of the world's surface fresh water by volume, and communities in Michigan are working hard to maintain equitable, sustainable access to the abundance that surrounds them. This session examines some of the tactics that water protectors, community activists, and industrial users employ in Michigan to maintain public trust in the systems that regulate and distribute water.
BIG CITY PROBLEMS, NEIGHBORHOOD SOLUTIONS -
Jackson Koeppel- Executive Director, Soulardarity, Shamayahim “Mama Shu” Harris- Founder, Avalon Village, Diana Nucera- Director, Detroit Community Technology Project, Allied Media Project, Ezekiel Harris- Executive Director, MACC Development
In legacy cities, deindustrialization, population loss, segregation, and poverty have hampered local governments' ability to provide basic services. To solve entrenched challenges, cities will have to utilize their greatest resource--their residents. Hear from resident innovators from Detroit and Highland Park, Mich., who are transforming their neighborhoods through community-led projects promoting local ownership, energy independence, equitable internet access, and civic commons.
STRATEGIES FOR NEIGHBORHOOD HEALTH IN MICHIGAN -
Amanda High- Chief Strategic Innovations, Reinvestment Fund, Jeremy Moore- Director, Community Health Innovations, Spectrum Health, Debra Furr-Holden, PhD - C.S. Mott Endowed Professor of Public Health, Michigan State University, Darel Ross - Director, Start Garden
Invest Health is an initiative that brings together diverse leaders from mid-sized U.S. cities to develop new strategies for increasing and leveraging private and public investments to accelerate improvements in neighborhoods facing the biggest barriers to better health. Members of the Invest Health teams from Grand Rapids and Flint, Michigan team up to share their challenges and successes, and discuss where the initiative is heading in their communities.
THINK DIFFERENT, TEACH DIFFERENT -
Jeff Sorensen- Co-Founder, optiMize, Director Social Innovation, University of Michigan, Trudy Ngo-Brown- Directory Teen Programs, WMCAT, Damien Rocchi- CEO & Co-Founder, Grand Circus, Skot Welch - Founder & Collaborator, Mosaic Film Experience
How do we teach the kinds of thinking the future demands? What does that thinking even look like? Can it be taught? How then do we make sure everyone gets in on the lesson? Representatives from the tech, start-up, and educational worlds come together to share some ideas.
MAKING THE FUTURE OF MOBILITY -
Jessica Robinson - Director, City Solutions, Ford Motor Company, Alisyn Malek- COO & Co-Founder, May Mobility, Garry Bulluck - Deputy Chief Mobility Innovations, City of Detroit, Brian Brackenbury - Business Development Leader, Gentex Corp.
We’ve all heard that the next ten years could see massive changes in the ways we drive and ride around our cities and states. As leaders in the field, how can we be sure we're creating the right kind of change? What are the questions that we're not asking that we should be? How do we make sure the future of mobility is truly a better future?