The 2021 Mackinac Policy Conference, held at the historic Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island from Monday, Sept. 20 to Thursday, Sept. 23, brought together nationally recognized speakers and thought leaders to discuss driving Michigan’s economic recovery and growth following the COVID-19 pandemic.

Under the theme of “Reimagining a Healthy Michigan,” the 2021 Conference conversations were focused around three pillars:

  1. Accelerating our COVID-19 economic recovery and sustainability.
  2. Advancing racial justice and equity for all.
  3. Investing in the health of our people and our communities.

The theme of “Reimagining a Healthy Michigan” highlighted what should be a top priority for the state in 2022, according to Conference Chairman, Wright L. Lassiter III, president and chief executive officer of Henry Ford Health System who kicked off the event challenging attendees to see themselves as part of the solution to the major problems the state is facing.

Notable speakers from the 2021 Conference include Yale’s Nicholas A. Christakis, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, Walgreens Boots Alliance’s Rosalind Brewer, Harvard Economist Raj Chetty, and Governor Gretchen Whitmer.

2021 Mackinac Policy Conference To-Do List

The Detroit Regional Chamber unveiled its 2021 Mackinac Policy Conference To-Do List following three days of discussions featuring top state, regional, and national thought leaders. In its 41st year, the Conference convened leaders in a dialogue on “reimagining a healthy Michigan” under the pillars: accelerate our COVID-19 economic recovery, advance racial justice and equity, and invest in the health of people and communities.

2021 Conference Chairman Wright L. Lassiter III, president and chief executive officer of Henry Ford Health System, and Sandy K. Baruah, president and chief executive officer of the Chamber, announced the list at the conclusion of the Conference.

The To-Do-List items include:

  • Bring together business, philanthropy, civic/nonprofit, and government to accelerate data-based collective action to close racial and social equity gaps throughout the Detroit Region.
  • Support measures to help employers deploy strategies to reduce the impact of COVID-19 on community health and the economy.
  • Help businesses understand how COVID-19 has permanently changed work life and the workplace so employers can adapt and prepare for a changed environment.
  • Ensure the 2022 Mackinac Policy Conference includes a robust representation of bipartisan elected leaders.
  • Capitalize on the Chamber’s education data assets, such as the State of Education report, to encompass the type of research highlighted by professor Raj Chetty that showed the connection between upward mobility and job growth.

On the final day of the Conference, Detroit Regional Chamber also announced Arn Tellem, vice chairman of Pistons Sports and Entertainment (PS&E), as Chairman of the 2022 Mackinac Policy Conference and First Vice Chair of the Chamber in June.

Tellem will lead an advisory committee of Michigan-based CEOs and Chamber leadership to develop the theme and the agenda for the 2022 event, taking place Tuesday, May 31, through Friday, June 3, 2022, on Mackinac Island.

Mackinac Policy Conference - Grand Hotel

Read news from the 2021 Conference.