Friday, March 26, 2010

The Future of Michigan: Vision, Purpose and Strategy

I often teach our up and coming urban conservatives how we need to always keep our foundation as conservatives intact. This includes one's understanding of marriage, family, spiritual values, financial values and culture. However, in a 21st century framework our methods and strategies must be executed differently. Our vision must me higher than what it is already.

I have also stated often how urban areas in Michigan are emerging markets waiting to be born. This includes places like Detroit, Saginaw, Muskegon, Benton Harbor and Pontiac. People here in Michigan has written off these urban communities as Democratic strongholds. Of course they are Democratic strongholds because most conservatives gave up the ghost and moved to the suburbs.

But these same urban communities can be re-created with innovation in a silver rights framework and perspective. Presently, most of our urban leadership in urban communities in Michigan are using an outdated civil rights framework that is working AGAINST the interests of the people instead of working FOR the people.

Innovation can only come from real education. Its our responsibility to eradicate poverty through education. Then we must connect our vision with strategies that will create legacies.

In the 21st century we, as urban conservatives, must begin to think out the box. The old policies of leadership is gone. We are living in a global society. Therefore, our way of thinking must be elevated.

Our vision includes how we are going to deal with the food shortages in the coming years domestically. Food shortages are happening globally as we speak. Therefore, we know that the world is entering a new food era. It will be marked by higher food prices, rapidly growing numbers of hungry people, and an intensifying competition for land and water resources that crosses both national and international boundaries when food-importing countries buy or lease vast tracts of land in other countries. Because some of the countries where land is being acquired do not have enough land to adequately feed their own people, the stage is being set for future conflicts.

How do you solve this problem?

Another thing to look at is how researchers have developed an artificial-intelligence program that could help reduce invasive diagnostic testing on patients suspected of having cardiac infections. The software is an artificial neural network that responds to unique situations based on accumulated knowledge, just as doctors do.

The program underwent three separate trainings to learn how to evaluate symptoms of endocarditis--infection of the heart's valves and chambers. Diagnosis typically involves an invasive and risky procedure, with a probe inserted into the patient's esophagus.

The program was tested retrospectively on known cases, and made correct diagnoses "most of the time," with 99% confidence levels.

If we could build that technology right here in Detroit it would help revitalize both the education, the economics and diversity of the city.

What about the City if Kalamazoo developing a portable, ultrasensitive virus detector could perceive a virus within just five minutes, using samples of an individual's saliva, blood, or other body fluid. Currently, this device is being developed at the University of Twente in the Netherlands, contains an array of receptors such as antibodies that will bind to microorganisms in the sample, thus creating a detectable interference pattern, like a fingerprint.

The ability to detect viruses almost instantly in clinics or other places without access to laboratories and trained personnel could be a boon to preventing future epidemics. The device can also detect bacteria, proteins, and DNA molecules. The university's spin-off company, Ostendum, plans to introduce the first detector to market in late 2010.

How come Kalamazoo cannot manufacture such technology and generate revenue?

How about Grand Rapids and Pontiac be part of the race for biomedical and genetic enhancement? Humanity is ready to pursue biomedical and genetic enhancements, says UCLA professor Gregory Stock. The money is already being invested, but, he says, "We'll also fret about these things-because we're human, and it's what we do.

To bring this level of knowledge into urban communities in Michigan would put our economy back on track.

Let's not forget about Saginaw, who could lead in the design economy technology of the future that will allow people to download and print their own products, including auto parts, jewelry, and even the kitchen sink. Rapid prototyping, or 3-D printing, and devices like the RepRap self-reproducing printer are allowing people to design, customize, and print objects from their home computers. In the future, cheaper versions of these devices could disrupt manufacturing business models, resulting in far cheaper products individually tailored to every customer’s desire.

Again, a vision for Michigan takes innovation to place it on the global balance sheet.

Will places like Detroit Diesel flip over to making ammonia as a fuel? Ammonia may become the fuel of choice for cars by 2020. As a candidate source for hydrogen used in fuel cells, ammonia (comprising one nitrogen and three hydrogen atoms) is plentiful, easier to liquefy than methane, and emits nitrogen rather than carbon, thus having fewer negative impacts on the climate.

And while Michigan is tapping into the green market how about making algae the new oil? According to researchers at a Department of Energy plant in New Mexico, single-celled microalgae, grown in pond water, produce a biofuel that is lead-free and biodegradable, emits two-thirds less carbon dioxide and other pollutants than gasoline, and can run any modern diesel engine. Even better, algae require only a fraction of the land area of biofuel-producing crops. Building a plant that convert algae into oil can be built right off the shore of Benton Harbor.

The State of Michigan must begin to utilize its resources and brain power to become an emerging market through our urban core centers. This is critical as China will most likely become the world's largest economy within 15 years. The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace believes China's economy will surpass that of the United States by 2035 but I say this will happen sooner than later. There are debates about whether India's economic development will ultimately surpass China's, but it is clear that Asia's economies are growing. Overall, workers in Asia are becoming more skilled and educated.

With the The United States headed for a "demographic singularity."at a pace of change so fast that the American identity as we know it will be irreversibly altered where do the American politics fit into this category? By 2015 minorities will make up 40% of the U.S. population and will begin to alter politics as a whole.

Urban conservatives must begin to think global as well as domestic. Our skills are needed globally. For example, electrification has expanded around the world, from 40% connected in 1970 to 73% in 2000, and may reach 83% of the world's people by 2030. Electricity is fundamental to raising living standards and access to the world's products and services. Impoverished areas such as sub-Saharan Africa still have low rates of electrification; Uganda is just 3.7% electrified.

Now how come Ypsilanti is not leading in this effort to create power grid technology since Willow Run Airport is part of the Aerotropolis?

Recently, MIT researchers have created a system of floor blocks that generate power when the blocks rub against one another as people walk over them. A crowd of 30,000 moving to and fro could create enough power to run a small electrical system or perhaps bring a subway train safely to a platform in the event of a blackout.

How come the City of Detroit is not using its brain power to duplicate such technology here?

Urban conservatives have been discussing bringing an Michigan State University Experiment Station to Southeast Michigan for years as well as taking the urban agriculture discussion higher such as buying houses and turning them into greenhouses for experimentation. This is real urban agriculture that will result in addressing food shortages, as well as improving vegetation and developing cost effective models that will help develop better agricultural technology both domestically and internationally. Revenue can be generated from such projects right here in Detroit.

What about the city of Inkster leading the way for developing televisions in 3-D. Mathematicians in Finland have produced a blueprint for instruments that would project floating 3-D images by means of nanomaterials that bend light around objects. How about allowing students in 9-12 from Inkster High School and Wayne County Community College to work on technology like this to create a way for the future.

Urban Michigan also must be prepared for mass migration. This level of migration will redistribute the world’s population. There are about 80 million international migrant workers in the world today, and the widespread movement of people from poor countries to richer ones is exacerbating social and economic problems in the host regions. Immigrant workers who perform poorly become a strain on social security systems, while those who do well often divert their financial resources back to their home countries, creating resentment among their new neighbors. Michigan will need to have a system in place to help balance the financial health of the state with a new influx of migrants settling to work and live here in the next 20 years.

Urban Michigan must also become a new hub for education globally. Studies show how more students will migrate for their education. The number of students who will journey abroad to take college courses will triple from 2 million to 6 million a year by 2020. Those students who cannot afford to physically travel to other countries will increasingly look toward online educational opportunities. Demand for transnational education delivered online, via satellite, or though videoconferencing systems will outstrip demand for onshore learning by 6% before 2020.

Meanwhile, urban school districts will build classrooms with no walls, no clocks, and no age segregation. More and more high-school students are leaving the classroom in favor of age-diverse workshops and seminars that focus on their specific interests. Additionally, the traditional 9-to-3 school day will fade as more students learn to take advantage of real-time technology and the availability of distance education to schedule their “class” sessions on their own terms.

Instant messaging and e-mail will bring kids to the head of the class. Cell phones and personal digital assistants might be considered distractions to some teachers, but in one trial at Kansas State University, such devices helped some students become more actively engaged with teachers and classmates. In digitally enhanced classrooms, instructors will be able to give real-time quizzes and get instant feedback so they can adjust their lesson plans.

We have a choice as urban conservatives. Either we can use our foundation to create a new reality or we can stay here and be morally and educationally bankrupt with outdated methods of training, learning and executing our vision in a 21st century framework.

All we need are visionaries who are serious about making Michigan a global emerging market. To constantly lie and talk about politics when nothing will get done is a waste of time and resources. Its time to start electing people who have a 21st century vision and plan. Its time to HIRE people who are global minded and understand the affects of education on a world wide scale.

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