Each year Detroit hosts countless conferences, gatherings, and events that cover a wide array of topics and cater to variety of audiences.

However, in terms of scale, relevance, and local “star power” there is perhaps none bigger than the Detroit Policy Conference put on each year by the Detroit Regional Chamber.

The conference brings together more than 700 individuals from the business, government, and civic realms to inform and inspire the growing community of doers and change makers in the city.

In short, if you’re someone interested in learning about what’s going on and who’s making it happen in Detroit, this is the event to circle on your proverbial mental calendar each year.

This year’s iteration is less than a week away but there’s still time to check it out and get a first-hand seat to the action. It’s a day of conversation, inspiration, and oh so much networking. The agenda is jam packed with a who’s who of prominent Detroit voices as well as some of the unsung heroes who’s names you’ll soon be familiar with.

Here are some of the speakers and sessions I’m especially excited about this year:

Janette Sadik Khan: One of the keynotes this year, Jeanette brings a national perspective and some hefty credentials to the table, having previously served as the Commissioner of the New York Department of Transportation and currently the principal transportation consultant for Bloomberg Associates. If you want to hear about what Detroit can do to become a more pedestrian friendly city, this session is for you.

Power Perspectives: If you enjoy all of the TedX talks that are being shared and uploaded at alarming rates these days you will definitely appreciate these five minute powerhouse sessions delivered by four of the most impactful and interesting residents of Detroit. If you don’t know names like David Alade and Cornetta Lane as of reading this, you likely won’t forget them after this conference.

Public Safety: Safety is key to Detroit’s turnaround. Arguably the two biggest local names in Public Safety, Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy and Detroit Police Chief Jams Craig will each have their moment on the stage to highlight the progress that’s been made and the challenges ahead when it comes to keeping Detroiters safe.

Chris Ilitch: You saw it rise form the pylons and watched it take its glorious shape, Little Caesars arena and The District Detroit is on almost everyone’s mind these days and seemingly everybody thinks they’ve got the inside info on what it’s going to be and more importantly what it’s going to mean to the city. You can lay all your hearsay and speculation to rest by grabbing a seat at the Soundboard and listening to the man himself, Chris Ilitch tell you all about the most impactful and ambitious project in Detroit that my generation can remember.

The aforementioned individuals alone would make for an incredible conference but that’s really just the tip of the iceberg.

Check out the full agenda here and make sure you’re at Motor City Casino Hotel on March 2.

I may be a bit biased as I love talking policy and solutions, but from what I’ve heard, attendance almost assures you’ll be the unquestioned Detroit aficionado amongst your friends in 2017.

Editor’s Note: This is a guest column from Devon O’Reilly, who is the Manager of Entrepreneurship and Detroit Engagement for the Detroit Regional Chamber. Daily Detroit welcomes guest contributions as a platform for furthering the Detroit conversation. If you have one of your own, get in touch.

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