Detroit 15

Sep 15, 2015 ET

The impact of tech on the American economy, its cities and the transformation of the urban ecosystem shaped the agenda for our fourth annual one-day Techonomy Detroit conference. The social and economic evolution of our cities is being impacted every day by tech-driven change in every aspect of how we live and work. Be it advances in transportation, education, healthcare or government, tech is enabling new tools to address the challenges and opportunities that will drive the business and social structures of our interconnected, urbanized future.

Our conference program integrates a number of different formats, allowing for interactive, engaging dialogue and discussion throughout. From our main-stage plenary sessions focused on the strategic implications of big, overarching challenges and opportunities, to our Techonomy Labs designed to run longer and dive deeper into some of the more pressing topics of the day, to one-on-one interviews and short presentations, we’ll be looking at what cities mean today and the evolving role they’ll have tomorrow for citizens, businesses and institutions, for work, play and learning, for jobs, culture and community.

This year’s opening reception featured the first Autodesk Design Night hosted outside of San Francisco. And we were pleased to partner with Venture for America on Wednesday, September 16th to help them kick off City as a Startup, their annual conference focused on the intersection of entrepreneurship, urban development and emerging technology.

All Sessions

Play all 16 sessions


5:30 - 7:30 pm

Opening Reception

Design Night Detroit hosted by Autodesk

Fast Lane to the Future

Technology is transforming not just how we drive, but how cars are designed and manufactured. Picture a car built from a lightweight biological material that’s grown from a seed, or a customized car that can be 3D printed in a little over a day. It’s coming faster than you think. Hear a talk by Elizabeth Baron of Ford, make your own dashboard accoutrements, and more!

7:45 am

Registration Opens

Wayne State University Law School Lobby

7:45 - 8:30 am


Hosted by Detroit Venture Partners

Startup Showcase

8:30 - 8:45 am
9:30 - 9:55 am

Craftsmanship, Work & the Future of Business

What a personal touch means for products, our economy and the ecosystem of cities.

Carl Bass

President and CEO, Autodesk

David Kirkpatrick

Founder and Editor-in-Chief, Techonomy

10:05 - 10:15 am

A Maker City is A Jazz City

Like jazz, a maker city is about the interconnectivity of ideas, innovation and improvisation.

10:35 - 11:00 am


12:20 - 1:00 pm

Scale Means Nothing in The Internet of Manufacturing

Jerry Foster

Chief Technology Officer, Plex Systems

Mike Whitens

Director for Vehicle & Enterprise Sciences, Research and Advanced Engineering, Ford Motor Company

Michael Chui

Partner, McKinsey Global Institute, McKinsey & Company

1:00 - 2:00 pm


Hosted by Ford

2:00 - 2:15 pm


2:15 - 3:15 pm

Techonomy Labs

Mapping Detroit’s Information Ecosystem

Garlin Gilchrist II

Deputy Technology Director for Civic Community Engagement, City of Detroit

Amanda Noonan

Director for Research, Design & Learning, Internews Center for Innovation & Learning

John Webb

User Experience Researcher, Google Civic Innovation

Daniel Hewett

Executive Director of Research and Partnered Projects, Rhode Island School of Design

William Hoffman

Head of Data-Driven Development, World Economic Forum

Tech and the Organization of Work

Mohammad Hamid

Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer, two.42.solutions

Jess Kutch

Co-Founder and Co-Director, Coworker.org

Sarah Ann Lewis

Senior Lead Researcher, Policy, AFL-CIO

Andrew Keen

Author, "The Internet Is Not the Answer", Digital Vertigo

Movements, Cities and Economic Development

Steve Glickman

Co-founder and Executive Director, Economic Innovation Group (EIG)

John Hagel

Author, The Journey Beyond Fear

John Lettieri

Co-founder and Senior Director for Policy & Strategy, Economic Innovation Group (EIG)

Developing and Retaining Diverse Talent

Julie Samuels

Executive Director, Tech:NYC

Marlin Page

Diversity and Inclusion Officer, FCA Fiat Chrysler Automobiles

3:15 - 3:30 pm


3:30 - 3:35 pm

Welcome Back

David Kirkpatrick

Founder and Editor-in-Chief, Techonomy

3:35 - 4:20 pm

Get Engaged! Our Technologized Civic Life

Jennifer Crozier

Vice President, Global Citizenship Initiatives, IBM

Annmarie Levins

General Manager, Technology & Civic Engagement, Microsoft

John Webb

User Experience Researcher, Google Civic Innovation

James Fallows

National Correspondent, The Atlantic

4:20 - 4:35 pm

Techonomy Lab Reports

Presented by McKinsey & Company

Encapsulation and report back from the Techonomy Labs.

4:35 - 4:50 pm

What Connected Mobility Really Means

Erica Klampfl

Global Future Mobility Manager, Ford Motor Company

Andrew Keen

Author, "The Internet Is Not the Answer", Digital Vertigo

4:50 - 5:05 pm
5:55 - 6:00 pm

Closing Remarks

6:00 pm


Hosted by Quicken Loans

Startup Showcase

8:30 am - 7:00 pm

City as a Startup (CaaS)

In its second year, City as a Startup (CaaS) is a conference that brings together leaders from startups, the public sector, and beyond, for a conversation on the intersection of urban development and emerging technology. During CaaS: Detroit, the Venture for America community will learn firsthand from presentations and working sessions lead by thought leaders and on-the-ground doers, share insights, and strengthen collaborative networks across industry and geographic borders. Fellows and stakeholders will emerge from the conference equipped to be better practitioners of VFA’s mission: to build companies and revitalize cities through entrepreneurship.


Presenting Partners

Knowledge Partner

Supporting Partners


Supporting Organization

Scroll to Top