Detroit: From Decay to Opportunity

Josh Linkner

The story of Detroit (my home town) is an unfinished book.

In Chapter One, our city was born with the DNA of creativity, innovation, and a passion for change.  Creators like Henry Ford put our city on the map by imagining a better tomorrow and then making it happen through entrepreneurial fire.  And with this passion, our city prospered.  Chapter One was all about original thinking, fresh ideas, and innovation.

Chapter Two, also known as the dark ages, came next.  We left our entrepreneurial roots and shifted to a mindset of entitlement.  Our arrogance and hubris changed us from creators to protecting hoarders.  We felt unbeatable.  We built stifling bureaucracies. We stopped inventing and dreaming.  We stopped creating.  And we stopped winning.

As the evil forces of bureaucracy, finger-pointing blame, and protectionism emerged – our city crumbled.  We ended Chapter Two as a national punch line.  The rest of the country gave up on us, and we were spinning with hopelessness and despair.

Now we enter Chapter Three. It’s the beginning of this chapter, and we all have a choice.  We can continue to point fingers, cry in our soup, and long for the days gone by.  Or we can DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.  We can own it, fix it, and rebuild it. This is our time.  This is our defining moment.

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