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Economy

Issues & Ale: Competition and collaboration in Michigan's regional economy

Panelists from left to right: Joe Linstroth, Jeff DeGraff, Eric Thomas, Lauren Bigelow, and Nate Lutz.
April Van Buren
/
Michigan Radio
Panelists from left to right: Joe Linstroth, Jeff DeGraff, Eric Thomas, Lauren Bigelow, and Nate Lutz.

Joe Linstroth and Jeff Degraff
Credit April Van Buren / Michigan Radio
Michigan Radio's Joe Linstroth and Ross Business School professor Jeff DeGraff co-hosted the discussion.

For more than three years, The Next Idea has been talking to people who took their creative ideas and turned them into something tangible — a business, an invention, social change. 

Those out of the box ideas are essential to keep moving Michigan’s economy forward. But creative ideas often get stuck in their own regional bubbles.

As a send-off for The Next Idea, Michigan Radio got together to discuss how that regional isolation affects the state’s economic growth, why it matters, and what can be done about it.

Michigan Radio’s Joe Linstroth and University of Michigan Ross School of Business professor and “Dean of Innovation”Jeff DeGraff were joined by a panel of business leaders and thinkers from across the state.

  • Lauren Bigelow, CEO of Growth Capital Network in Ann Arbor
  • Eric Thomas, founder and senior partner at Saga MKTG in Detroit
  • Nate Lutz, senior counsel at Meijer in Grand Rapids

Listen above to hear the panelists talk about how stereotypes of Michigan’s three largest cities get in the way of collaboration, why Michigan has a tough time retaining homegrown talent, and what the state would look like if we could pool our resources and innovation.

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