Detroit Economic Club's Podcast

By Detroit Economic Club

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Formed in 1934 as a platform for the discussion and debate of important business, government and social issues. It is known internationally as a top speaking forum for prominent business, academic, and government officials, who address members and their guests at the Club's 35 meeting season. With more than 3,500 members, the DEC is a forum for vital issues. The DEC claims to have hosted every sitting U.S. President since Richard Nixon and is ranked among the top speaking platforms in the world. The DEC is one of the most valued podiums for CEO's in the world and one of the top five executive speaking forums in America.

Episode Date
America's Economic Revival
Jun 19, 2018
Global Security Means Local Problems: Security; Intelligence; Space; Cyber & Politics
Jun 13, 2018
The Patient is Waiting. . . For a Dose of Disruption
Jun 07, 2018
Israel Ambassador Ron Dermer

In a June 4th meeting exclusively for DEC members and their guests, Israel’s Ambassador to the United States Ron Dermer discussed his country’s economic transformation. Dermer described Israel’s journey from a formerly socialist country to a free-market, technology and innovation hotspot. “But I do know this, that socialism and genius do not go together. There is no greater straight jacket for genius than socialism,” Dermer said while commenting on Israel’s economic past.

Dermer went on to explain the secret to Israel’s current economic success. “This combination of genius, free markets and chutzpah creates enormous opportunities for Israel and everyone who partners with Israel like the state of Michigan.”

Jun 05, 2018
2018 Detroit Tigers - 5.25.18
May 25, 2018
Tony James - 5.24.18
May 25, 2018
Growing a Stronger Michigan

John Rakolta, Jr., Chairman & CEO of Walbridge, and Doug Rothwell, President & CEO of Business Leaders for Michigan, addressed the Detroit Economic Club on Tuesday, April 24, 2018,  and discussed what needs to be done to make Michigan a ‘Top Ten’ state.

“We are at a crossroads,” said Rothwell. “Michigan has come a long way since 2009 and the Great Recession, we were hit probably harder than any other state. The reality is that though we have come back a lot in these last 5-10 years, the fact is that we still are about average, or slightly below average, on a lot of the indicators that matter most.”

Rakolta stressed that in order to become a 'Top Ten' state, reforms need to be made to education, infrastructure and importantly, regional transit.

"Education is one, infrastructure is two and if you want to include that (regional transit) as part of infrastructure, then it is the number two issue that we have," said Rakolta.

Apr 26, 2018
Navigating the Gig Economy

Kelly Services President & CEO George Corona and EY Detroit Office Managing Partner George Lenyo addressed the Detroit Economic Club on March 28, 2018 and discussed the gig economy.

Because flexibility is important to today’s workforce, Corona urged employers to adapt accordingly. “If you want to bring in a younger workforce, you’re going to have to have more open environments, they like to collaborate, they like to work together. You also have to enable it with technology.”

Lenyo said EY experiments with new technological advances by utilizing contractors. “We may have a project where we want to start with a new technology but it is unproven, unsure so we would rather reach to the gig economy and use a contractor before we decide we are going to build that practice.”

Mar 29, 2018
Tim Sloan Discusses Innovation and Leadership

Wells Fargo CEO and President Tim Sloan addressed the Detroit Economic Club on Thursday, March 15, 2018, and discussed innovation and leadership.

In a fireside chat with News/Talk WJR Radio 760 Host Guy Gordon, Sloan mentioned Wells Fargo’s goal to bring innovation to their customers and stressed how difficult situations can make or break leaders.

“When things are tough, that is when you learn how good leaders can be. It is learning from your mistakes, learning your challenges, being more resilient,” said Sloan. “That is more important to me in terms of leadership skills. I don’t think leaders are born, I think leaders are made based upon the experience they face.”

Mar 16, 2018
Red Wings Find Their Balance

On Tuesday, February 27, 2018, the Detroit Economic Club hosted the Detroit Red Wings and discussed their current season and plans to rebuild for the future. Fresh off the NHL trading deadline, Red Wings General Manager Ken Holland says that they are still moving forward. “It’s a big push to get into the playoffs and we’ve got to make decisions based on upon where we were in the standings. You have got to be as good as you can now but always looking towards the future.”

Red Wings Captain Henrik Zetterberg says that even though they lost some good players to recent trades, their main focus is still on making the playoffs. “I think for us as players right now it is pretty simple, we gotta win games. We lost some good teammates, but we know that, whatever happens, we have a good enough team to play next year.”

With the upcoming road trip, Head Coach Jeff Blashill says the Red Wings need to focus on two things to win. “The competition level and work ethic have to be better than our opponents on each game basis. We do that and we win.” An entertaining audience Q&A session with players followed the round table.

Feb 28, 2018
Extending The U.S. Workforce and Economic Cycle

Fifth Third Investment Management Group Chief Investment Strategist and Senior Vice President Jeff Korzenik addressed the Detroit Economic Club on Tuesday, February 13, 2018, to discuss the labor shortage facing U.S. companies and its effect on our economy.  He argued that giving a second chance to ex-offenders can extend our workforce and economic cycle. “In an environment where we are running out of labor, this is where we see an opportunity,” said Korzenik.


Feb 14, 2018
Michigan’s Opportunity in Transformative Technologies

On Monday, February 5, 2018, U.S. Senator Gary Peters addressed the Detroit Economic Club on Michigan’s opportunity to become a hub for transformative technologies, including self-driving vehicles, artificial intelligence, and robotics, and the implications these technologies will have on our state’s economic future.

With these changes comes new responsibilities for both business and community leaders Peters says, “If we are going to keep Michigan at the forefront of the technological future, we must develop and retain highly skilled talent.”

Peters also argued that it is our responsibility as a nation that everyone benefits from increase in productivity that the AI revolution promises. “In my mind, change is only disruptive if it is happening to you. If you are leading the change, it becomes transformational.” 

Feb 06, 2018
Big Four Discuss Moving Southeast Michigan Forward

The Big Four discussed their plans to drive southeast Michigan forward at the annual Detroit Economic Club meeting on Tuesday, January 23, 2018. Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, Wayne County Executive Warren C. Evans, Macomb County Executive Mark A. Hackel and Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson touched on a variety of topics including regional transportation, infrastructure, education, and mobility. 

Jan 24, 2018
Education and Mobility: Key Topics for Michigan's Economic Outlook

On Thursday, January 11, 2018, CEO for Michigan Economic Development Corporation Jeff Mason and Interim Associate Director and Senior Economist for University of Michigan Energy Institute Ellen Hughes-Cromwick, Ph.D., discussed Michigan's 2018 economic outlook at the DEC.

Dr. Hughes-Cromwick commented on the economic outlook survey results that were unveiled at the meeting. “Education was the top cited by executives," Dr. Hughes-Cromwick said. "The second top topic was about diversity, youth, innovation, again intertwining with the education theme. We have an incredible opportunity if we take it with an incredible sense of urgency.”

In terms of where Michigan stands as a leader in autonomous vehicles, Mason said, “Legislature passed some of the most progressive legislation on testing autonomous vehicles on the highways in Michigan. I think we can respond this is where we are headed.”

Jan 12, 2018
Disrupting the Future - A Conversation with Bill Ford

In a fireside chat on Tuesday, October 31, 2017, at the Detroit Economic Club, Bill Ford, Executive Chairman of Ford Motor Company, discussed how rapidly accelerating advances in technology are disrupting industries and how his company is addressing the seismic change.

“To me it’s not who’s going to be first, it’s who can translate whatever it is into a way that people will value and feel like it’s personal to them,” said Ford. “And if we can do that, I think we will have done a great service to society and will have done a great thing for our business. You need the technology to do that, so I’m not suggesting that one should lag behind, but I also don’t think in many of these cases it’s who’s first to market, it’s who’s most thoughtful to market who I believe will win.”

Dec 12, 2017
A Third Century of Public Impact

University of Michigan President Dr. Mark Schlissel addressed the Detroit Economic Club Monday, December 11th, 2017, during the University’s Bicentennial Celebration and offered his insights on how public research institutions should be committed to improving the quality of life for everyone in their communities, especially in public education systems.

“My answer to questions about U of M’s value has three parts,” said Schlissel. “One, as a research university, we make the state and communities we serve more prosperous through innovations that drive economic growth and create jobs. Two, we prepare many of our state’s most talented students to succeed and to fully participate in a global society through top economic programs and opportunities unique to a public university of our breadth and our scale. And three, we make the quality of life better here. Not just for our graduates, but for everyone.”

Dec 12, 2017
The Imperative of Rebuilding Trust in American Business

Chairman & CEO of Cardinal Health George Barrett addressed the Detroit Economic Club on Thursday, November 30, 2017, and stressed the importance of businesses building, and maintaining, trust in their communities and with those they serve. 

“People are essentially saying to us that business has the platform, and the opportunity, to do things that are not only good for their business but are good for the society around them and the communities around them,” said Barrett. “Those are powerful builders of trust. So, I see this as a little bit of the light bulb. Essentially, we are being told we have the opportunity, if we are willing to take it, to lead. And I personally believe as business leaders we have not done as much as we could, but there are some wonderful examples, and maybe we will come back to that, of companies in recent years willing to do this.”

Dec 06, 2017
The Role of Innovation in Meeting 21st Century Housing Challenges

On Monday, Nov. 20, Fannie Mae President and CEO Timothy J. Mayopoulos addressed the Detroit Economic Club and talked about financial issues that affect affordable housing and how homeownership should still be a goal for Americans.

“That’s been a tried true method for a long time,” said Mayopoulos. “I think the crisis put a lot of that into doubt, so I think it is a big challenge. We have got to reinstall confidence in housing markets I think for people to come back into that market.”

Nov 21, 2017
A Deep Dive with Ed Bastian

On Wednesday, Nov. 15, Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian addressed the Detroit Economic Club and discussed Delta’s focus on customer experience, technology, mergers and international competition. On the subject of aligning partner airlines such as Aeroméxico and China Eastern, Bastian explained Delta's goal of consistent service and amenities.

“From a customer standpoint, we want to align the experiences so they can bring their technology and experiences for you, to try to bring that as aligned as possible in eliminating those seams and technology gaps,” said Bastian.

One of Bastian’s concerns for international expansion, is the enforcement of the Open Skies Agreement. According to Bastian, a few government-subsidized Middle East airlines are violating the agreement which negatively impacts U.S. airlines. “If this continues on, this expansion by the Middle East carriers, the industry – not just Delta – will continue to lose a majority of their international flights because they will continue to expand and grow and drop prices,” Bastian stated.

Nov 21, 2017
Strengthening Our Urban Communities by Creating Opportunities for Minorities in Business

John W. Rogers, Jr., Chairman, CEO & Chief Investment Officer of Ariel Investments, addressed the Detroit Economic Club on Monday, November 6, 2017, and focused on the issues of opportunity and wealth gaps facing minority communities and how businesses can help make a change.

“As a leader now, I am trying to figure out not only how we can stay focused, but how to bring others into the fold and join this cause around how do we solve this wealth gap and opportunity gap in this country because you can’t do it yourself,” said Rogers. “So, it’s another way I understand that I am growing as a leader I can’t just sit and bellyache about it, hopefully have some solutions, share those solutions with others, try to bring others into the fold again and try to make a difference.”

Nov 16, 2017