Inaugural fellow, 2012–2013
Featured in major news outlets such as the BBC, USA Today, The Atlantic, and Bloomberg Business Week, Challenge Detroit is a leadership and professional development program that invites approximately 30 of tomorrow's leaders to live, work, play, and give in and around the greater Detroit area for one year.
The application is a four-phase process. Through the Community Vote, my video helped secure my place in the interview round for one of the 30 positions offered to a group of more than 900 worldwide applicants.
The "Challenges" are the heart of the program. In partnership with area non-profits, they are designed to positively impact the city and region. Once a week, participants worked in teams organized to generate innovative and impactful solutions to pressing needs faced by our partner non-profit organizations. Challenge topics included entrepreneurship, arts & culture, community enterprise and environmental sustainability.
By uniting a group of innovative, entrepreneurial thinkers, Challenge Detroit takes a significant step toward energizing Detroit's creative and professional core. The goals of Challenge Detroit are simple but ambitious. By bringing tomorrow's leaders together to experience Detroit for a year, it jump starts a very important initiative: to attract and retain a creative and professional class in the city.
My video slideshow of my first 122 days in Detroit, featured on the Challenge Detroit blog, was just one of many social media outreach to showcase the beauty of this urban landscape and combat the negative perceptions of the city.
View the First Year Report to learn more about the Challenges.