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What's happening in Detroit? ComNet16 Friday morning breakfast discussion with Ryan Friedrichs, Dr. Abdul El Sayed & Kimberly Driggins from the City of Detroit - Brought to you by ComNetworkMICHIGAN

Make a point of grabbing a bite and joining ComNetworkMICHIGAN to learn what's going on and what's ahead for the Detroit during a breakfast discussion Friday morning on the 4th floor of the Westin Book Cadillac in the Crystal Ballroom. Ryan Friedrichs and others from the Mayor's office will share their perspective and take your questions  

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American Aspirations: Driving change by driving new narratives

ComNet16’s closing plenary drives home the conference theme with a focus on driving change by driving new narratives. Alfred Ironside of the Ford Foundation and Doug Hattaway of Hattaway Communications will share groundbreaking research on the aspirations of Americans—with useful insights for framing even the toughest issues in ways that inspire people and transcend political divides. (Hint: Connect your cause to people’s hopes for their own lives.) 

 

In exploring innovative ways to drive change in America, the Ford Foundation confronted a major challenge facing its grantees and partners across the country: Certain ideas dominate the public conversation about what kind of country America is and what kind of people Americans are. These ideas often stand in the way of driving positive social change.

 

For example, programs and policies to help people lift themselves out of poverty run up against the idea that “Americans lift themselves up by their bootstraps and stand on their own two feet.” This is one idea in a “dominant narrative” about America that stands in the way of building public support for anti-poverty programs. 

 

Of course, that idea doesn’t tell the full story. America is also a place where public programs and infrastructure help create opportunity for people to get ahead. Like most half-truths, narratives that only tell part of the story can lead to polarization and stagnation. The foundation and its grantees aimed to drive narratives about America that could transcend divides and motivate people to support positive social change.

 

The foundation launched American Aspirations, an ambitious research effort to uncover narratives that speak to the aspirations that animate most Americans today. Motivational psychology tells us that people’s hopes for their lives shape their decision-making and behavior. So aspirations are powerful motivators of attitudes and actions—and a powerful place to begin exploring narratives that drive change. 

 

In Friday’s closing plenary, we’ll reveal insights from American Aspirations that can help you connect your cause to people’s hopes for their own lives. We’ll share stories of foundations, nonprofits and social movements driving new narratives by tapping into the motivating power of aspirational communications. 

 

One of those examples is a familiar success story: marriage equality for same-sex couples. In the mid-2000s, the issue of marriage equality for LGBT Americans was a political third rail—and few politicians dared to touch it. Today, the national conversation has completely changed. Marriage equality is the law of the land. A majority of Americans support it, and many politicians have embraced it.

 

A critical step in driving this change was driving a new narrative about marriage. When the movement talked about the issue in terms of legal rights and benefits denied to same-sex couples, marriage equality was losing in public opinion, at the ballot box, and in state legislatures. The civil rights frame wasn’t moving the needle—because acquiring legal rights isn’t the aspiration most people associate with marriage.

 

Creating a new narrative about marriage began with asking a simple question: “When it comes to marriage, what are your aspirations for your own life?” The answer was simple, but profound: Most Americans saw marriage as a lifelong commitment to someone they loved. Most didn’t see it in terms of the legal rights and responsibilities that come with a marriage license. 

 

LGBT Americans agreed. Most simply wanted to marry as part of honoring their commitments to each other, not just to get benefits. So the target audience for the movement—American voters—actually shared the same aspirations for marriage as the constituency directly affected by the debate.

 

This straightforward but powerful insight informed a new approach: LGBT organizations drove a new narrative by telling authentic stories of couples who loved each other, committed to each other, and stuck together through thick and thin. This “storytelling strategy” guided grassroots organizing and advocacy, along with advertising, digital, and earned media tactics. 

 

The new narrative wasn’t the only factor in winning hearts, minds and a Supreme Court victory—but it was a key ingredient. It shows the power of re-framing a controversial issue by finding the common ground that unites people, not just pushing political arguments that divide people. 

 

That’s why the American Aspirations project began by asking people three simple but powerful questions:

 

What kind of person do you want to be?
What are your hopes for your life?

What kind of country do you want to live in?

 

These questions get at people’s personal identity, aspirations for their lives, and ideas about the kind of society that makes it possible for them to be who they want and achieve their goals in life. 

 

American Aspirations is uncovering answers to these questions, and discovering ways to use the insights to help social organizations inspire and engage people in new ways. You can learn more at Friday’s closing plenary, where we’ll also talk about ways you can join forces with others around new narratives that drive change in America. 

 

 

 

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Detroit first and only American city to be named City of Design

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Detroit first and only American city to be named City of Design

from ModelMedia.com

Detroit has been named to the UNESCO Creative Cities Network as a City of Design. Of the 47 cities invited to join the UNESCO Creative Cities Network in 2015, just six, including Budapest and Singapore, were admitted under the City of Design designation. Detroit is the first and only American city to be designated as a City of Design.

The UNESCO Creative Cities Network was formed in 2004 in order to promote and connect cities that identify a creative field as an opportunity for sustainable urban development. In addition to the field of design, the other fields are crafts and folk art, film, gastronomy, literature, media arts, and music. Member cities collaborate with each other, promote each other, and share best practices with each other.

Not only a major validation of what Detroit's design industry has accomplished, the creative cities designation provides the city a unique platform for networking with other world-class design cities. Ellie Schneider, interim executive director at Detroit Creative Corridor Center (DC3) in the Argonaut building, says the city recently hosted a group of designers from Graz, Austria, and that the fellow City of Design will soon return the favor. That exchange of knowledge and experience can drive development.

Homegrown initiatives, like DC3's Drinks x Design and the Detroit Design Festival, further helped to improve the city's design profile both at home and abroad.

"Our work is so experimental and innovative that we have to look toward cities other than ones in the United States," says Schneider. "We have to look all over the world for benchmarks and inspiration."

Though the designation honors Detroit's design legacy and potential for growth throughout the city and region, it is the DC3 that is largely responsible for securing the City of Design title. The creative industries advocacy organization had the goal of obtaining the designation from UNESCO as part of a five-year strategy. DC3 was launched in collaboration between Business Leaders for Michigan and College for Creative Studies in 2010.

DC3 is planning a year-long celebration of the designation and will announce its plans once Olga Stella joins Detroit Creative Corridor Center as its next full-time executive director in January 2016.

Writer: MJ Galbraith

Read more at http://bit.ly/20mJ3fq

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Where to Eat around The Westin Book Cadillac Detroit

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Where to Eat around The Westin Book Cadillac Detroit

from Afar.com

Forget what you may have read or heard in the news, Detroit is the place to visit if you want a vibrant urban scene. Urban gardens, the oldest farmers' market in the U.S., galleries and boutiques, craft breweries, even a burgeoning bike scene—the Motor City has it all.

Read more at http://www.afar.com/travel-tips/where-to-eat-around-the-westin-book-cadillac-detroit. 

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The Tallest Building in the World and Lou Gerhig

from Wikipedia

The Westin Book Cadillac hotel was developed by the Book Brothers—J. Burgess, Frank, and Herbert. The brothers sought to turn Detroit's Washington Boulevard into the "Fifth Avenue of the West." Part of that vision was the creation of a flagship luxury hotel to compete against the Detroit Statler Hotel three blocks to the north. They commissioned architect Louis Kamper, who designed their Book Building in 1917, to design the building. In 1917, the brothers bought the old Cadillac Hotel at the northeast corner of Michigan and Washington Blvd., but World War I material shortages delayed the start of work on their new hotel. Construction finally began in 1923, and the building, which bore part of the name of the old structure, was the tallest in the city and the tallest hotel in the world when it opened in December 1924.[3]

The hotel cost $14 million to build and contained 1,136 guest rooms. Public spaces on the first five floors included three dining rooms, three ballrooms, a spacious lobby, and a ground floor retail arcade. On the hotel's top floor was radio station WCX, the predecessor to WJR. The hotel operated successfully until the Great Depression, when banks foreclosed and the Book brothers lost control in 1931. For much of the period after the Books lost ownership, the hotel was run by hotel industry pioneer Ralph Hitz's National Hotel Management Company.

On May 2, 1939, a meeting took place in the hotel lobby between New York Yankees first baseman Lou Gehrigand team manager Joe McCarthy in which Gehrig told McCarthy to leave him out of the starting line-up from that day's game, ending his 2,130 consecutive games streak.[4]

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