Networks Northwest began work in 2009 to acclimate the region's leaders to changes expected in the knowledge economy. Networks Northwest convened Northwest Michigan's Transition to the Knowledge Economy Workshop in Traverse City where over 130 people gathered to better understand how Northwest Michigan can compete in the new, global economy.
The workshop provided a Knowledge Economy orientation and introduced two new indicator projects that are in process for the region.
Participants heard from leaders in three categories: agriculture, energy, and manufacturing, about the opportunities and challenges each industry faces in the knowledge economy.
Tim Nelson, Northwestern Michigan College, spoke about the background, perspectives, and considerations of the knowledge economy.
Ken Corey, Michigan State University, presented strategies and practice of the knowledge economy. He particularly focused on getting the audience members to think about how to adopt and adapt good ideas from outstanding examples in other locales.
Jaclyn Sanborn, Networks Northwest, presented information on the development of the Knowledge Economy Index.
The Agriculture Industry Panel included Patty Cantrell, Michigan Land Use Institute; Don Coe, State Agricultural Commission; and Wendy Wieland, Northern Lakes Economic Alliance.
The Energy Industry Panel included Bob Gluszewski, Consumers Energy; Mike Hess, Mariah Power; and Steve Rawlings, DTE Energy.
The Manufacturing Industry Panel included Dan Dorn, Opti Temp; Mike Hess, Mariah Power; and John McLeod, Classic Instruments.
An electronic survey was taken at the workshop. Nearly 75 percent of the audience expected the region to make noticeable progress in the Knowledge Economy over the next 5 years and 95% said that they were hopeful about the region's economy, which caused the audience to erupt in applause.
The Knowledge Economy - Video
Networks Northwest CEO Elaine Wood talks about the Knowledge Economy and what it means to workers and businesses. Watch the the video to find out about the job skills needed to find a job in the Knowledge Economy.