Blog: Matt Clayson and Rose Giffen

He said, she said. This week's guest bloggers are Matt Clayson and Rose Giffen. Matt works as a Promotion Manager with ePrize, serves the Chair of Leadership Next and is active on Detroit Renaissance's "Road to Renaissance" initiative. Rose is the Director of Fund Development for the Michigan Roundtable for Diversity & Inclusion. She also serves as Vice-Chair of Leadership Next. Rose and Matt will be writing about developing strong leadership in SE Michigan and engaging new talent.

Post No. 5


Matt: Well, looks like we'll conclude with one final adoption of a movie title.  

Rose: And we will wrap up these discussions with a view of where we would like to see the region in 20 years. It's the sort of vision that can be a reality if we hold each other accountable, demand results and expect greatness.

Matt: We chose the title "North By North Coast" for a variety of reasons. First, albeit of least importance, it keeps within the theme of referencing film. Second, it references the North Coast vision articulated by The Center for Michigan, the Brookings Institute, GLUE and other stakeholder initiatives focused on transforming Michigan's economy. Third, it reverses the current ideology that one must go south and west for personal/professional growth and opportunity.

Rose: Our vision for the future is most likely a vision shared by many. At its heart: community that can articulate and respect its values, its identity and its image just as much as it respects its economic resources. A region that see’s itself as integrated - meaning that it is a region comprised of engaged residents that have a deep sense of commitment to each other, regardless of racial, geographic, economic or political boundaries. 

We will recognize and appreciate that we are responsible for each other success and failures. We will be a place that is deeply committed to learning and values education. And we will be supported by leaders who are willingly to make tough choices to secure the resources necessary to build one Southeast Michigan.  

Matt: I like that, Rose. And, to add to that...

We'll have an infrastructure as progressive as our collective attitudes. Rather than arguing how we're going to fund, maintain and expand a 20th century network of roads and traffic clogged highways, we'll unite around the reality of a 21st century infrastructure of clean and efficient rapid transit. We'll unite around not only increasing funding commitments to existing universities, but around creating new universities and/or university programs geared towards the 21st century economy. Detroit will be a center of education, innovation and knowledge – just think what a 21st century version of Michigan Tech with specialized degrees in software engineering, software architecture, flash design and digital animation could do.

Rose: Yes, random thought. Where'd you get that idea about a University focused on degrees in software engineering and related fields?

Matt: I heard some stuff on WDET this morning that got me thinking…  Just had to spit that one out.

Rose: Well, I agree with the general intent behind your comments. Infrastructure and education will be the foundation of the region we desire. An educated society is a prosperous and open society. And a modern, 21st century infrastructure will give its users the tools necessary to maximize and leverage our regional assets. 

As emerging leaders, we look forward to working with existing stakeholders and other emerging leaders to build this 21st century infrastructure that values community, inclusion, innovation and education.

Matt:  I second that.