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Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist II: We Can Be Bold and Meet this Once-In-a-Generation Moment

Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist II sees a once-in-a-generation opportunity to address some of society’s most significant challenges from racial inequity to climate change – and unlock the state’s full potential and prosperity for all in the process.

“(This moment offers a) generational opportunity for investment in our people, in our businesses, our infrastructure and our communities,” said the Lt. Governor during his keynote address. “The question is not whether we need to invest these resources, but how … and in whom.”

Joined by Conference Chairman Dennis W. Archer Jr. for a Q & A, the Lt. Governor challenged attendees to seek out a role to put their entrepreneurship and business acumen to work to address the issues that are stifling productivity and blocking the path to increased economic growth and opportunities for all.

“Imagine if Michigan led the nation in new business starts when it came to child care enterprises? Imagine if we had an accelerator for aspiring childcare entrepreneurs to meet a social need with entrepreneurial rigor and vigor? That doesn’t exist anywhere else in the nation, but I think it can exist in Detroit and Southeastern Michigan,” he said.

He said “innovation” is defined by being new, different, better, and providing more value to more people, and proposed that as the test that should be applied to how to decide to invest resources in Michigan communities to solve problems.

“We can meet the moment of challenge we face with climate change. We can demonstrate entrepreneurial glory and vigor and address the injustices that impact vulnerable people in this city with entrepreneurial might. That takes innovation and energy that can help our state, our communities, our economy grow,” he added, calling for Michigan to be a model of inclusive economic development and community investment.

“(Investing our resources) in a way that puts poverty in the past, and doing it in a way that puts equity and injustice in the past, we have the opportunity as the current generation to end these problems,” he said. “Yes, that sounds hard and big and bold. But if we aren’t here to do big, bold, difficult things, what are we here for?”

“We can do anything in Michigan if we can do it together. Let’s do it together,” he added.

Sponsor: Huntington