Partners in the Transforming Industrial Heartlands Initiative, University of Michigan Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy – Weiser Diplomacy Center and International Policy Center hosted an event in Ann Arbor, Michigan on November 11th, 2022.
Attendees took part in an exciting transatlantic discussion with other local and national leaders, practitioners, and experts in the community and economic development from North America, the UK and Europe, exchanging insights and ideas around effect place-focused economic development policies and approaches.
Discussions were centered on how leaders can succeed in staying connected to residents of industrial heartland regions, and successfully support them in building a locally-owned, newly vital economy. It featured remarks from:
- US Congressman Ro Khanna, author of “Dignity in a Digital Age”, a blueprint for building a vibrant, and inclusive Heartland tech economy
- National security expert Fiona Hill, whose book “There is Nothing For You Here” tells her own story of growing up in one of England’s “left-behind” places
- Julia Frohe, Chair of the Management Board of Business Metropole Ruhr, Germany
- Thomas Kralinski, State Secretary, Ministry of Economic Affairs, Labor & Transport, Saxony, East Germany
- Rachel Wolf, Founding Partner of Public First, and former Advisor to the British Prime Minister
- James Fallows, former National Correspondent for the Atlantic Magazine, and founder Our Towns Civic Foundation
The event also featured new research and insights about the attitudes, needs, and unique priorities of Heartland residents in the US, Germany and the UK–gathered through the work of the German think tank Das Progressive Zentrum, the UK’s Public First, the Eisenhower Institute at Gettysburg College, Monmouth College, Illinois, the University of Michigan, and Midwest journalist Robert Leonard.