Future of Michigan's Cities, Economy Among Key Issues to be Addressed At Fall Future Forum, Michigan Chamber Foundation Announces

The future of Michigan's cities and economy are among the key issues that will be addressed at the 4th Annual Michigan Legislative & Business Leaders Future Forum, which will be held September 12-13, 2002 at the Amway Grand Plaza in Grand Rapids. The Michigan Chamber Foundation is part of a coalition of local and regional chambers of commerce who are sponsoring the two-day event.

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The 2002 Future Forum will begin with a panel presentation on "The Future of Michigan Cities: Three Perspectives." Scheduled speakers include: Carol S. Weissert, Director, Institute for Public Policy & Social Research, Michigan State University; Kwame Kilpatrick, Mayor of Detroit (invited); and Paul Hillegonds, President of Detroit Renaissance and board member of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.

A second panel presentation will address "The Future of Michigan's Economy: Where Are We Headed?" Scheduled speakers for this panel include: Rick Kaglic, Regional Economist, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago; and George A. Erickcek, Regional Analyst, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.

Visionary architect William McDonough, FAIA, Principal and Co-Founder, McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry, will deliver the afternoon keynote address on opening day. An internationally renowned designer and one of the primary proponents and shapers of what he calls "The Next Industrial Revolution," McDonough will offer his perspectives on designing for the future.

A series of breakout sessions will round out the afternoon on opening day, followed by a legislative reception. The five breakout sessions, which will be offered again the following morning, will address:

  *  Managing Growth for a Sustainable Future
  *  Investing in Our Future: Michigan's Infrastructure Challenges
  *  Health Care: A System on the Brink?
  *  Great Lakes/Great Waters: Protecting Our Future
  *  The ABC's of School Finance: Charting Michigan's Future

The popular "Latte with Legislators," where state legislators and leaders from both political parties participate in regional roundtable discussions, will kickoff the second day of the Future Forum.

Following the "Latte with Legislators," Bruce Katz, Director of the Center on Urban and Metropolitan Policy, The Brookings Institution, will present the closing day keynote address. In his address, Katz will discuss the challenges and opportunities facing Michigan cities.

The Future Forum will close with a luncheon and wrap-up session.

For the first time in the four-year history of the conference, the Future Forum will be held in Grand Rapids. "I'm very excited to see the Future Forum come to Grand Rapids," said John Brown, Chairman of the Future Forum and President of the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce, one of the leading Future Forum developers. "The forum provides an excellent opportunity for business, community, and political leaders to discuss key economic and quality-of-life issues."

"The forum was developed in 1999 by businesspeople in recognition of the need for public discourse among business leaders, state lawmakers, and community leaders on issues pertaining to Michigan's economic growth," said Michigan Chamber President & CEO Jim Barrett. "The forum is based on the principle that the quality of life in Michigan is intrinsically related to sustainable economic prosperity."

"Our goal is to engage legislators and business leaders from across the state for a serious discussion that will lead to a viable plan for action," Barrett added.

Those invited to attend the forum include business owners from all industries, senior managers and human resource specialists, corporate government affairs personnel, state and local elected officials and other community leaders. Members of the media are encouraged to attend the forum.

Registration for the two-day conference is $279 per person. To register, or for more information, call 1-800-748-0344 or visit the Michigan Chamber's web site at http://www.michamber.com/ .


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SOURCE: Michigan Chamber of Commerce

CONTACT: Betty McNerney, Director of Communications of Michigan Chamber
of Commerce, +1-517-371-7663

Web site: http://www.michamber.com/