Detroit Sept. 17, 2013

Program Overview

On September 17th, Techonomy returns to Detroit and Wayne State University to continue a series of conversations and workshops we began last year at our first Detroit conference. Our urgent theme is the role of technology and innovation in boosting American economic growth, job creation, and urban revival. The all-day Techonomy Detroit focuses on issues that form the foundation of the urban century, with technology at the core of the conversation. We see it as the central source of both disruption and opportunity.

This year’s conference emphasizes the national challenge of inadequate and inequitable education. However what interests us most is not how to reform education but how we can enhance learning for citizens at every stage of their lives in a time of constant and accelerating change. How can every U.S. city create a learning environment that incubates jobs and becomes an engine of productivity and economic recovery?  What can communities, businesses, and governments do to ensure that both young and old acquire the necessary knowledge, tools and habits?

Cities are natural hotbeds of diversity and specialization. We’ll explore how collaboration between communities, citizens and stakeholders can transform and energize cities. What is the role of entrepreneurs? Of industry? How can the rapidly-rising sharing economy contribute to the real economy? As technology transforms before our eyes, we believe it can be creatively applied to help revive America’s physical and social urban infrastructure, reigniting US competitiveness and economic growth.

Techonomy Detroit brings together leaders and thinkers from business, technology, government and academia to better understand how to move America and the world into an urbanized, technologized inclusive future.

In addition to Jack Dorsey of Twitter and Square, confirmed speakers include Rodney Brooks of Rethink Robotics, Jean Case of The Case Foundation, Etsy CEO Chad Dickerson, Quicken Loans Chairman Dan Gilbert, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, and Venture for America CEO Andrew Yang. Our Detroit partners include the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, Quicken Loans, McKinsey & Company, Cisco, Ford Motor Company, Michigan Media Solutions, Automation Alley, and Skidmore Studio.

Why Detroit?

Detroit’s travails symbolize issues faced by many American cities. As the birthplace of assembly-line manufacturing and technologized transportation, Detroit was once the innovation engine of the US economy. It is also a city energetically, desperately working to revive. There is no better place for a conversation on these national priorities. And as we learned last year, the local Detroit community is committed to creative problem-solving in ways few outsiders can appreciate. Extraordinary energies are being unleashed.

For an archive of videos and transcripts from last year’s conference, click here.