What's the big idea, Detroit? asks the PSFK salon

Big, bold ideas are the stuff of New York-based PSFK -- which publishes a web-magazine and serves as an "idea site" for the creative industries. They are bringing their big idea engine to Detroit for an event this Thursday (Aug. 12).

The event, a salon-style discussion PSFK is putting on in conjunction with the Syfy network, is targeted to creative metro Detroiters -- artists, designers, entrepreneurs, architects, ad people, marketing people, anyone doing something cool or dreaming of something cool.

The PSFK salon will be held from 8:30 a.m.-noon, Thursday, Aug. 12, at the Detroit Institute of Arts. The cost is $25 and you must register in advance at the PSFK site.

Piers Fawkes, founder of PSFK, says the goal isn't to swoop in and "fix Detroit." He says really they want to "bring together ideas and people. We want to find interesting people to talk about doing their thing in Detroit. And the panel will talk about what is exciting in Detroit, to an outsider -- tell me about what's really turning you on."

Fawkes says they've had large and small conferences of this sort across the country, including one in LA last week. He says the vibe is casual and relaxed.  He says PSFK aims to be a go-to resource for new ideas for creative professionals, but "we have a bigger mission to inspire people to make things better and do new projects, whether art or business."

The PSFK salon will present three change-makers that are inspiring the revitalization of Detroit:

* Sheryl Connelly, Head of Trends Forecasting at Ford, will explain what consumer trends outside the automotive industry are driving the refocus and rejuvenation of the motor company.
* Architect Catie Newell and Monica Ponce de Leon, Dean of Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning at University of Michigan, will discuss the Five Fellows: Full Scale project that re-interpreted abandoned houses to bring creative spirit back to communities.
* Milan Stevanovich and Jeremy Eckhous of Advanced Energy Group discuss hybrid geo-utilities, impact on energy expenditures, and the long-term benefits for cities.

Also, PSFK founder Piers Fawkes will lead a panel to talk about imagination and big idea trends in Detroit. Panelists will include Model D writer and news editor Terry Parris Jr.; Jerry Paffendorf, an artist that is buying property in Detroit to create community experiences; and Rebecca Powers, editor of Hour Detroit magazine.

Send feedback here. (Model D has given away all of passes. Winners will receive an e-mail directly from PSFK confirming their tickets.)

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