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A new Detroit is on the rise, armed with its legendary grit and determination, diversity, and innovative capacity, it has the knowledge assets to forge a better future. Detroit has access to top-notch universities, a dense downtown, a world-class airport, an established infrastructure and deep skill-base in design and engineering. Add to that its pioneering musical history and world-class cultural institutions, the city has the DNA to become a truly great global city. Great cities shape their own narrative, and they create a new narrative for the world. Though Detroit has been the poster-child for urban distress, it’s also been charting a new path back.


The inaugural Create: Detroit, featuring city builders, city leaders, place makers and urbanists from across North America, will focus on how to build a more creative and inclusive city. The program will examine lessons from Miami, San Francisco, Toronto, Queens New York, Las Vegas, Detroit and Endeavor Global.

Create: Detroit
Creative/ Inclusive/ Urban/ Revival

June 30, 2015 from 2–6:30 p.m.


Learn more about the event participants...

UPDATE: Watch the recorded sessions on YouTube >>

2:00–2:05 p.m. / Opening Remarks
Truly great cities are idea capitals. Why is Detroit now positioned to lead a global conversation about urban renewal and creative revitalization? Why an ideas fest now?
Rana Florida — CEO, Creative Class Group / @ranaflorida

2:05–2:30 p.m. / Creative, Inclusive, Revival 
All throughout history, cities rise and fall. But what makes some cities more resilient than others? What is the catalyst for renewal and change? It’s the creative soul of the city. 
Richard Florida — Director, Martin Prosperity Institute / @richard_florida

2:30–2:55 p.m. / Super-Star Entrepreneurs—High-Potential Revitalization 
From the global mega-cities of Buenos Aires and Mexico City to the revitalizing neighborhoods of Brooklyn and Detroit, super-star entrepreneurs are scaling their businesses, fast tracking the rebirth of our communities and changing the economic landscape. Why do high-impact entrepreneurs matter?  What support can cities offer?
Richard Florida — Director, Martin Prosperity Institute / @richard_florida
Joanna Harries — Vice President, Endeavor Global / @JoannaHarries
Antonio Lück — Managing Director, Endeavor Detroit / @endeavordetroit

2:55–3:20 p.m. / Startup Beach
Once declared a “place where old people go to die,” and young people go for fun, sun and nightclubs, Miami is now a global business destination. How has Miami ignited this transformation? How has Miami transformed itself from party or retirement beach into startup beach?
Richard Florida — Director, Martin Prosperity Institute / @richard_florida
Matt Haggman — Program Director, Knight Foundation / @matthaggman
Gary Wasserman — Director, Wasserman Projects / @wassermanproj

3:20–3:35 p.m. / Break

3:35–4:00 p.m. / Downtown: Anchor
Founder and CEO Don Katz relocated, the world’s largest seller and producer of downloadable audiobooks, to downtown Newark, in 2007. As a key anchor, Audible is now the fastest-growing private employer in the city. What’s been the impact? And, what are the lessons learned?
Richard Florida — Director, Martin Prosperity Institute / @richard_florida
Don Katz — Founder and CEO, / @don_katz

4:00–4:30 p.m. / Downtown: Project Lessons
Can a city be turned around by one wealthy enthusiast? Tech sensation Tony Hsieh sold Zappos to Amazon in 2009 for $1.2B. He’s now committed $350M of his own money to transform the company’s new neighborhood: downtown Las Vegas. What are the lessons learned? How important is authenticity?
Rana Florida — CEO, Creative Class Group / @ranaflorida
Maggie Hsu — Chief of Staff, Las Vegas Downtown Project / @meigga

4:30–5:00 p.m. / Inclusive Onramps
Every human being is creative. Coalition for Queens aims to turn the borough of Queens into a high-tech hub by tapping into the creativity of Queens residents and build inclusive onramps to the New York’s creative and tech economy. Can the tech industry be an onramp to the creative economy? Are there other models across the U.S.?
Richard Florida — Director, Martin Prosperity Institute / @richard_florida
Jukay Hsu — Founder, Coalition for Queens / @jukayhsu
Kim-Mai Cutler — Technology Journalist, Techcrunch / @kimmaicutler

5:00–5:15 p.m. / Break

5:15–5:45 p.m. / Innovate: Detroit
From the birth of Motown to the ascent of Iggy Pop and later the rise of Eminem and Kid Rock, Detroit has always been a city to innovate. Whether it’s in manufacturing, design or music, creativity is in Detroit’s DNA. Startups and innovative companies are sparking change in the Detroit's downtown core.  What’s need to continue this growth and impact?
Steven Pedigo — Director, Creative Class Group / @iamstevenpedigo
Melissa Price — CEO, dPOP! / @mprice_dpop
Justin Mast — Managing Director, M1/DTW / @justinmast
Randall Fogelman — Vice President of Business Development, Detroit Eastern Market / @randallfogelman
Veronika Scott — Founder and CEO, The Empowerment Plan@EmpowermentPlan

5:45–6:15 p.m. / Create: Detroit
Artists and creative of all types—young, up-and-coming, and experienced—are being drawn to Detroit in large numbers. How can Detroit’s vibrant arts and culture scene continue to lead the way for Detroit’s revitalization? What lessons can other cities take away from Detroit’s efforts?
Steven Pedigo — Director, Creative Class Group / @iamstevenpedigo
Robert Elmes — Executive Director, Galapagos Art Space / @robertelmes
Matt Clayson — Director, Detroit Creative Corridor Center / @matthewclayson
JJ Curis — Gallery Director, Library Street Collective / @lscgallery
Tiff Massey — Fine Artist, Tiff Massey
Amy Kaherl — Executive Director, Detroit SOUP / @amykaherl

6:15–6:30 p.m. / Urbanism For All 
Cities are our greatest inventions. How do we ensure equitable, inclusive urbanism for all? What’s the path forward?
Richard Florida — Director, Martin Prosperity Institute / @richard_florida 


Participants subject to change.

Download Event Program [PDF]

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In the News:

Watch CREATE: Detroit's Inaugural Ideas Fest on City Building — Huffington Post, July 9, 2015

Founder of Audible to Speak at Create: Detroit — Michipreneur, June 18, 2015

Lessons From Other Cities at Detroit's Global City Forum — Huffington Post, June 10, 2015

City builders to gather for Create: Detroit ideas festival — Crains Detroit Business, June 4, 2015

Create: Detroit audio clip (1:06) — WJR, June 3, 2015

Inaugural Create: Detroit Festival to be held in Midtown in June — DBusiness, May 20, 2015

A World-Class Global City-Building Forum: The First-Ever in Detroit — Huffington Post, May 20, 2015

Press Release (PDF) — May 18, 2015


Tuesday, June 30, 2015 from 2:00–6:30 p.m. at the College for Creative Studies, Detroit. Space is limited — reserve your spot soon!


$50—General Admission



Click here to purchase tickets online from Eventbrite >>

LOCATION: College for Creative Studies Taubman Center 485 W. Milwaukee, 11th Floor, Detroit, MI 48202. The event entrance is located on W. Baltimore between Woodward and Cass. Google Maps >>

REGISTRATION: Registration begins the day of the event at 1:30 p.m.

PARKING: Complimentary event parking in the Taubman Center parking lot or in the Taubman Center parking structure, located on W. Baltimore between Cass and 2nd Avenue.




Special thanks to our lead sponsor Rock Ventures and supporting partners ShinolaM1/DTW, & Planterra Interior Landscaping

Map data ©2015 Google | Image NOAA, Terrametrics, and Landsat