It’s a funny thing about humans, our propensity to be natural-born problem solvers. We constantly want to fix things, to improve and make them better. This past year I’ve learned that’s why so many of the people moving to or staying in Detroit have intentionally done so. Detroit is a place full of problems that need solutions and, for the determined problem-solvers, it has become their home.
Over the course of the last year, I’ve also embraced a new word for these innate problem-solvers– entrepreneurs. Think about it. At their core, entrepreneurs identify needs or opportunities and try to respond to them with innovative solutions. I came to Detroit a problem-solver, but in short order, the city has turned me into an entrepreneur. It has invited me to conceive, prototype and test ideas that, prior to moving here, would have merely ignited and dwindled in the confines of my mind. I’ve been welcomed here by a supportive, conscientious group of changemakers collectively trying to make Detroit a better, more equitable place.
Take Challenge Detroit for example. It brings together a diversified group of highly-motivated young professionals places gives them a platform to positively affect a multitude of influential third-sector organizations across the city. Every Friday, an employee from General Motors, United Way, the Detroit Lions and DTE Energy sit in the same room and collaborate on game-changing initiatives. Where else does that potential for impact exist?!
Take it a step further and you have Detroit Revitalization Fellows. Instead of young professionals, focus on mid-career professionals; instead of working with the organizations dedicated to reimagining Detroit, work for and within them. Convene the talent poised to redefine this city, foster their growth and let the magic happen.
In recent years, Detroit has opened itself up to these entrepreneurs and these organizations. In Detroit, I have had opportunities that someone with my age and background would be hard-pressed to find in other cities. With the experiences and network I have fostered over the past year, I can start my own business; I can progress the work of others; I can do things that the rest of the world will witness, learn from and watch in awe. I’m staying in Detroit because of the limitless opportunity that exists for me here. I invite you to do the same.