Partnering for transformation: Get ready, Detroit

Whether they are young artists renewing homes in BanglaTown, or entrepreneurs building small businesses in Southwest Detroit, residents are helping to forge a new identity for the city. While Detroit is becoming recognized as a hub for social innovation, this emerging movement remains nascent and inaccessible to many locally. 
The Detroit "Urban Innovation Exchange," launching March 28 at UIXDetroit, will report on these transformational, yet small-scale projects making a difference in Detroit, publish stories across a range of media outlets and foster a social network of innovators.

Data will be collected and analyzed to determine what’s working in the way Detroiters address local issues. Through online and offline forums, citizens will be able to learn and connect more productively with one another on social innovation.

Model D TV producer Tom Hendrickson created this special episode to introduce the project visually:

Model D's parent company, Issue Media Group, is leading the unique partnership of participating media and community organizations, with funding from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

"Detroiters are blending entrepreneurship, creative pursuit, and civic action in imaginative ways. But the growth and success of this social innovation movement is too often left to chance," says Rishi Jaitly, program director for Knight Foundation Detroit. "The Urban Innovation Exchange will provide Detroiters the information, learning and networks needed to engage in the city as part of this movement."  
Media partners who will help customize and publish the information include DETROIT LIVES!Detroit Free PressHuffington Post Huffington Post, Model D, New Michigan MediaThrive Detroit and I Am Young Detroit.
"The Urban Innovation Exchange provides the Detroit Free Press an opportunity to better understand where small-scale transformation and social change are happening," says Editorial Page Editor Stephen Henderson. "This insight will help inform our editorial efforts moving forward."
"I'm delighted that the Urban Innovation Exchange will be partnering with HuffPost Detroit to tell the story of transformation going on in Detroit at the moment," says Arianna Huffington, president and editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post Media Group. "There's no better time than now to double down on our coverage of those who are rising to meet Detroit's many challenges. The Urban Innovation Exchange will help those stories reach even more people -- not only those who live in Detroit, but all those who care deeply about this great city's future."
"Detroit’s transformation will not result from one or two significant events but from literally thousands of small-scale efforts," says Brian Boyle, co-founder of Issue Media Group. "Model D has been profiling these people and projects for the last half-decade, and we look forward to going one step further to create a network for learning and engagement."
All of the data and information captured as part of the program will be analyzed by Data Driven Detroit to study characteristics and trends about this small-scale movement. "This initiative represents an opportunity to better understand the little things and individual leaders that play an important role in our city’s future," says Kurt Metzger, Data Driven Detroit Executive Director.
The (Detroit) Urban Innovation Exchange will launch on Wednesday, March 28, 4-7 p.m. with our first UIX forum. The event will take place at the new Seva Restaurant in Midtown Detroit's Sugar Hill Arts District with introductions to emerging innovators by Phillip Cooley of Slow's Bar BQ and Ponyride, Susan Mosey of Midtown Detroit Inc., Rishi Jaitly of the Knight Foundation and more. Space is limited, so please register in advance here.

In the mean time, check out UIXDetroit on Facebook and Twitter.

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