A world-trotting aunt told me once if you want to have the best time of your life when you travel, “go where the people go.”
The same advice holds true if your quest is to make the best of life’s opportunities, explore new interests, or seek to make a difference using your professional abilities: where you go matters.
So it is interesting to note that, for the most part, locations and destinations drawing America’s best and brightest have not always included places like Detroit, Michigan.
Some travelers always stay in the same chain hotel, preferring the hotel’s restaurant to more adventurous venues. Others eschew hotels for bread and breakfast stays, preferring to go local at every opportunity.
Meet Eric Weisberg, a New Yorker who recently announced to friends and family that he was moving to Detroit after 15 years at a top Madison Avenue ad agency.
“Many thought I had a momentary lapse of consciousness. The first response is one word (delivered with a whiff of disdain) – “DETROIT?!” It’s no wonder “Detroit vs. Everybody” has become a cultural movement.
But like most things in our culture today, things are not as they appear.
As Eric explains, Detriot is undergoing an epic transformation, many years in the making, which makes it not just a hot destination, but also a hot topic when it comes to global issues of technology trade and investment.
In Detroit, Eric has found people who matter, and an authentic “culture where technology leaders drive pickups, social experts are soccer moms and designers keep a hunting calendar next to their Pantone books.”
“Equally exciting is how the spirit of Motor City ingenuity lives in our other offices around the world. As a micro-network, we’re not just adding dots on a map; we’re adding talent hubs where technology is erasing barriers and where time zones melt away to allow us to be an always on spigot of content and ideas.”
Today the sparks of inspiration in music, technology, art, and science aren’t born in NYC, “although it’s still a pretty great place to raise capital for them,” he writes. Instead, “Eureka moments are constantly being hatched in Detroit, Tel Aviv, Las Vegas, London, Atlanta, Stockholm, Marina del Ray, Austin,” and a host of other so-called “second cities.”
“And now more than ever, Middle America is having its moment,” this Detroit-based ad exec proclaims.
The Motor City’s comeback, boosters say, is a transformation enabled by corporate commitment in the form of job creation within the city; investment in critical projects; creative, entrepreneurial growth;
growth and attraction of IT firms; strategy for a local food economy; community neighborhood developments; collaborative efforts for downtown safety and development of critical infrastructure.
The future belongs to those who invent it, in places like Detroit, and in an expanding list of so-called second cities, worldwide. And to pioneers like Eric Weisberg
By the way, when ever, where ever possible, I took my aunt’s advice; it’s made all the difference.