More on urban innovation in Detroit: thoughts from GMF's Detroit-Torino study tour

More thoughts on urban innovation and economic development lessons for Detroit keep coming from participants who were on GMF’s recent “Innovation Clusters” study tour. Mahendra Ramsinghani, the manager of Detroit’s First Step Fund, (a small venture capital firm) blogs over on the website of the New Economy Initiative  (NEI) about a number of things Detroit could adopt and adapt from Turin, its auto-city twin. These range from a positive attitude about the role of the philanthropic sector in Detroit’s nascent regeneration (and indeed, Mahendra likens the city to a phoenix rising from the ashes) to the more stern admonishment to commit to a long-term development plan in order to diversify the city’s economic base. Also on NEI, Trevor Lauer of DTE Energy offers his takeaways, stressing the need for both social cohesion and a strong sense that the different levels of government buy in to any urban revitalization strategy. Both Mahendra and Trevor maintain, importantly, that a unified vision of all sectors – public, private, and nonprofit – is necessary for any strategic economic development plan to have a real effect on the city’s fortunes.

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