Blog: Peter Kageyama

Peter is a partner with Creative Cities Productions and the founder of the Creative Cities Summit, which will be held in Detroit, October 13-15th. He consults for the Creative Economy by focusing on entrepreneurs, arts & cultural organizations, cities and technologies... which is, oddly enough, what he'll be writing about.

Post 1: Post #1: Who the hell picked Detroit for this conference?

Well actually, I did. My name is Peter Kageyama and I am the founder and co-producer of the Creative Cities Summit 2.0, which is coming to Detroit October 12-15th

And why Detroit? That is a question that I get asked a lot when I talk about the conference to my friends and colleagues. And it is an answer that is at the very heart of what the conference is actually about.

If you are reading this publication, you most likely already know what I just learned last year. And that is that there is something really cool, really interesting going on here. I had not been to Detroit since college in the 80’s and it was just over a year ago that I came up from Florida to visit my friend Karen Gagnon from the Michigan Cool Cities program. Karen had been asking me to come up and see what was on in Michigan and I finally made the time to do it. And I am really glad I did.

The national media's portrayal of Detroit really does not do justice to the incredible things that are happening on the ground there. And that is shame, but it is also probably true of most places. The market for "good news" is limited and we all know the  "if it bleeds, it leads" mentality of local media. I found great projects going on in Detroit and I met some incredibly smart and passionate people who love this community. And that is what I have been telling people ever since. Don’t believe all the negative about Detroit – you really need to go and see how this city and its creative people are responding. I know people will be surprised.

Detroit is the psychic center of Michigan and symbolic of the American industrial economy. Its challenges are the challenges of all post-industrial cities. By addressing the issues and challenges Detroit and Michigan faces, we are addressing those issues for the world.

We need places like Detroit, Cleveland and Pittsburg to adapt, change and thrive in the 21st century. And that is the mission and hope of the Creative Cities Summit 2.0. To bring together the many thought leaders and change agents and let them be inspired and go on to discover their own solutions to these challenges. 

Check it out: