Michigan Future, Inc.
, in its 2006 report, A New Agenda for a New Michigan
, stated: "We have come to believe that Michigan's decline is caused, in large part, because Michigan—its citizens, enterprises, and communities—has been slow to adapt to a rapidly changing global economy – what Thomas Friedman calls the flat world
"The only reliable path to a high-prosperity Michigan is to be concentrated in knowledge-based enterprises. What most distinguishes successful communities is their concentration of talent, where talent is defined as a combination of knowledge, creativity, and entrepreneurship."
The report presents a number of strategic priorities that are critical in turning around the economic prospects of both the state and our region. The number one priority is to build a culture aligned with the flat world.
The report states: "What matters most are the attitudes and beliefs of citizens about getting ahead in a world of constant change. Our expectations about the economy and how an individual constructs a good-paying career are a big driver of how successful we will be in the future. The stories we tell each other and our children about how to succeed matter because they guide action.
"We need today's stories to be aligned with the realities of the flat world. Long-standing beliefs Michiganders hold about the economy are now impediments to our future success. We operate against a substantial headwind unless we change our expectations about:
• The ability to get a good job without post-secondary education
• Being entitled to a secure job with good pay and benefits, as long as you do a good job, whether your employer is successful or not.
"The evidence is clear that the most reliable path to economic success is post-secondary education."
Earlier this year, EPIC-MRA conducted a poll on behalf of Your Child, the Skillman Foundation and The Detroit News. United Way for Southeastern Michigan
received permission to replicate a number of the original questions in order to receive broader community input on education. Educational preparedness is a key component of United Way's new Agenda for Change, as well as one of the five core areas for One D, with both New Detroit and United Way serving as champions.
The survey allows both parents and non-parents to participate.
To take the survey, click here.
Friends School Photograph Copyright Dave Krieger