Detroit Policy Conference

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In today’s polarized environment, is it possible to instill civility in Detroit as a necessity in all that we do, and not simply a response in times of crisis?

The Detroit Regional Chamber’s 2018 Detroit Policy Conference will focus on creating a culture of civility in Detroit. More than 60 speakers will take the stage, offering insight on the need for civility in public discourse, communities and the workplace. Sessions will highlight examples of people and projects that have put differences aside and moved Detroit forward through civility. The Conference will also help define what it means to be civil and examine the role traditional and social media play in driving incivility.

Since it began in 2012, the Detroit Policy Conference has brought together 800 urban and suburban leaders annually from business, civic and government organizations to spend a day discussing Detroit.

Registration is now open for the 2018 Detroit Policy Conference, held March 1, 2018.
Check out the latest news and updates below.

Event Details:
Thursday, March 1, 2018
MotorCity Casino Hotel – Sound Board
7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Detroit Police Chief James Craig, Detroit Public Schools Superintendent Nikolai Vitti Added to Detroit Policy Conference Agenda

Detroit Police Chief James Craig and Detroit Public Schools Superintendent Nikolai Vitti have been added to the 2018 Detroit Policy Conference agenda to discuss creating a culture of civility in Detroit. Both leaders will share their insight and experiences that have helped shape their views of what it means to be civil.

Craig and Vitti will both provide individual remarks prior to participating in a joint discussion on the need for civility in public safety and education. This session will be sponsored by MotorCity Casino Hotel.


Bipartisan Leaders Debbie Dingell and Fred Upton to Provide Perspective on Civility in U.S. Politics

Reps. Debbie Dingell (D-MI 12) and Fred Upton (R-MI 6), who are known for producing bipartisan results for Michigan through mutual respect and collaboration, will take the Sound Board stage to discuss civility at the highest levels of government.The panel, moderated by Detroit Public Television anchor Christy McDonald, is sponsored by Delta Air Lines. The discussion will explore where civility still exists in U.S. government, opportunities to restore civility for better decision-making in Washington, and how disagreeing without being disagreeable is key to moving the country forward.


The Amazon Bid: Collaborating to Market Detroit

A high point for the region’s leaders, who set aside their differences and rallied around one common goal of attracting Amazon to Southeast Michigan, this panel will focus on the positive takeaways from this effort. Panelists will explore the steps taken to develop a unified message to promote Detroit’s key assets, share lessons learned through the bid process, and discuss how these lessons can be applied to positively benefit the region in the future.

Basil Cherian, Senior Policy Advisor, City of Detroit
Jared Fleisher, Vice President, Government Affairs, Quicken Loans
Khalil Rahal, Assistant County Executive, Wayne County
Justin Robinson, Vice President, Business Attraction, Detroit Regional Chamber

Moderator: John Gallagher, Business Writer, Detroit Free Press

Detroit ’67 Project: Commemorating History Through Civility and Collaboration

The Detroit ’67 Project is a defining blueprint for collaboration, bringing together more than 100 civic, business, cultural and community groups to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Detroit’s historic summer of unrest. Under the lens of respect, collaboration and compromise, this panel will serve as a case study in how civility among the partners played a key role.

Bob Bury, Executive Director and CEO, Detroit Historical Society
Melanca Clark, President and CEO, Hudson-Webber Foundation
Tricia Keith, Executive Vice President, Chief of Staff and Corporate Secretary, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan

Moderator: Rochelle Riley, Columnist, Detroit Free Press

Detroit RiverFront Conservancy’s Mark Wallace to Discuss the Power of Placemaking 

Mark Wallace, president and CEO of the Detroit RiverFront Conservancy, will deliver a keynote at the 2018 Detroit Policy Conference. Wallace will discuss the Conservancy’s ongoing developments along the riverfront, the role of placemaking, and how the riverfront provides a welcoming environment for Detroiters.

Wallace has spent the last three years leading the Conservancy’s mission to revitalize and transform 5.5 miles of waterfront into a destination for everyone to enjoy. The Detroit RiverFront attracts nearly 3 million visitors each year.


Amity Millhiser to Discuss Civility and Inclusion in the WorkplaceAmity Millhiser, chief clients officer for PwC, will take the stage for a one-on-one conversation at the 2018 Detroit Policy Conference with Wright Lassiter III, president and CEO for Henry Ford Health System.

Millhiser’s session aims to inspire attendees to lead with civility in the workplace and explain why it is imperative to an organization’s talent strategy. Both will discuss how organizations can transform their culture so that employees are more comfortable engaging in difficult conversations.

A partner at PwC for more than 20 years, Millhiser helped establish an inclusive environment that allows employees to reach their full potential. As president and CEO of HFHS, Lassiter oversees a diverse health system recognized for its inclusive practices among its six hospitals and 30,000 employees.

Registration Opens for 2018 Conference; Wes Moore to Deliver Keynote Address

Wes Moore, CEO of the Robin Hood Foundation and best-selling author, will deliver a keynote address at the 2018 Detroit Policy Conference on Thursday, March 1 at MotorCity Casino Hotel in Detroit. A renowned social advocate, Moore will discuss what it means to be “civil” and the role communities play in influencing individual behavior and tolerance. Moore delivered a highly attended keynote address at the 2017 Mackinac Policy Conference focused on inclusive, broad and transparent conversations. This keynote is sponsored by PNC Bank.

In today’s polarized environment, is it possible to instill civility in Detroit as a necessity in all that we do, and not simply a response in times of crisis? The 2018 Detroit Policy Conference will bring together more than 600 business, community and political leaders to focus on creating a culture of civility in Detroit.

Former Senator Carl Levin to Serve as Honorary Chair of 2018 Detroit Policy Conference

Carl Levin, senior counsel at Honigman and former U.S. Senator, will serve as the first Honorary Chairman of the Detroit Policy Conference. In this position, Levin will provide strategic guidance in the development of the agenda around the Conference’s core theme of creating a culture of civility. At the Conference, Levin will participate in a one-on-one conversation discussing his experiences and the importance of civility in Detroit.

Levin served in the U.S. Senate for 36 years and is the longest-serving senator in Michigan’s history. A longtime advocate for civility, Levin’s experience and knowledge of producing bipartisan results through mutual respect and collaboration will be invaluable as the Detroit Regional Chamber develops the Conference agenda.

Previously, the Chamber honored Levin at the 2014 Mackinac Policy Conference as he retired from public service. He also sat down with the Detroit Regional Chamber’s Vice President of Government Relations Brad Williams to discuss his final term and reflect on his time as an elected official.