How does Michigan and metro Detroit turn the corner on being the place people want to choose to build their lives? On your Daily Detroit, we explore this pressing question with Khalilah Burt Gaston, the founding executive director of the Song Foundation.

From the Mackinac Policy Conference at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, the conversation dives deep into the holistic approaches and collaborative efforts necessary to revitalize the region.

Some of the topics we cover:

The Song Foundation: Publicly working for the last year, the foundation focuses on emergent youth leadership, tech ecosystem building, and supporting community organizations.

Economic Diversification: There's a critical need for Michigan to shift from its traditional reliance on the automotive industry to fostering tech startups and innovative companies. But some still don't see that - and how do we work with them, and move forward?

Investment in Founders: The importance of supporting tech founders and entrepreneurs who are committed to making a difference in their communities to help widen our economic base.

A Comprehensive Vision: There's a need for unified economic development strategy that includes investments in public education, higher education, transit, and affordable housing in the Metro Detroit region and the state of Michigan.

Cultural Shifts: Encouraging a mindset that values risk-taking and innovation, and fostering a culture of collaboration over competition.

Challenges and Opportunities: Addressing the high cost of living and lack of affordable childcare in Michigan, and learning from the successes of other states like Indiana and Ohio.

So have a listen to the full episode to understand how Michigan can create a high-growth, high-wage state that attracts and retains talent.

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