Inner City Economic Summit

Our next Inner City Economic Summit will be held in 2021

We are currently in the planning process for our next Inner City Economic Summit to be held in Spring 2021.

Learn more about our 2015 Summit:

On September 15 and 16, 2015, thought leaders, policy makers and business leaders convened in Detroit, an epicenter of economic development and revitalization innovation, for our 11th Inner City Economic Summit to discuss leading edge research and practice on inner city economic development. This Summit, Revisiting the Promise and Problems of Inner City Economic Development, included keynote addresses by ICIC’s founder and chairman, Harvard University Professor Michael E. Porter, and Rock Ventures’ President and CEO, Matthew Cullen.

Our partners for the 2015 Summit were:

  • The W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research
  • The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago
  • Economic Development Quarterly and Sage Publications

The conference kicked off with a bus tour of some of the projects reshaping Detroit’s inner city followed by an evening reception celebrating the release of a special edition of Economic Development Quarterly that will revisit a set of articles published by EDQ in 1997 on a conversation with Michael Porter about his groundbreaking research on the competitive advantages of inner cities.

Summit Recap Materials

Keynote Speaker Michael E. Porter
Presentation (PDF)

Keynote Speaker Matthew Cullen
Videorecording pt. 1 (via YouTube)
Videorecording pt. 2 (via YouTube)
Videorecording pt. 3 (via YouTube)
Videorecording pt. 4 (via YouTube)
Videorecording pt. 5 (via YouTube)

Pre-Tour Discussion with William Sander, William Testa & Martin Lavelle

Panel 1: New Thinking on the Competitiveness of Inner Cities: Evidence from Research & Practice

Mercedes Delgado, Assistant Professor, TIES Group, MIT Sloan School of Management

William Lester, Assistant Professor, Department of City and Regional Planning, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill

Scott Mosley, Director of Investment Strategies, The Water Council

Paul Riser, Jr., Managing Director, Technology-Based Entrepreneurship, TechTown Detroit

Panel 2: Opportunities for Business in the Inner City: Evidence from Research & Practice

Kevin Stolarick, Director, India Institute for Competitiveness, Toronto, ON

Timothy Bates, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Wayne State University, Detroit

Ray Leach, Chief Executive Officer, JumpStart, Inc., Cleveland, OH

Rashida Thomas, Director of Education and Workforce Development, Focus: HOPE, Detroit


ICIC drives inclusive economic prosperity in under-resourced communities though innovative research and programs to create jobs, income, and wealth for local residents.


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