Transatlantic City Leaders to Tackle Global Challenges with Local Solutions at GMF’s BUILD Conference in Detroit
DETROIT - Tomorrow, The German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF) will gather over 160 leaders from 60 cities in 15 countries in Detroit, Michigan, for BUILD, GMF’s flagship urban policy conference. From November 15-18, BUILD participants will delve into how transatlantic cities can rise above disruptive, unpredictable global dynamics to play a prominent role on the international stage by advancing sustainability, economic inclusion, security and democracy while serving local agendas.
“At BUILD, we really try to focus on using substantive dialogue to move ideas into action,” said Geraldine Gardner, director of GMF’s Urban and Regional Policy program. “Over the past three years, we have seen our participants return to their local communities after BUILD and directly apply what they learned to ignite positive change. We look forward to building on this momentum this week in Detroit.”
The city of Detroit exemplifies the challenges faced by postindustrial cities on both sides of the Atlantic, and that is why the city was selected for BUILD 2017 — the first edition to take place outside its namesake city of Bilbao — thanks to its commitment to finding innovative solutions to these challenges.
“Detroit is establishing a strong reputation for developing innovative ways to rebuild our city in a sustainable, inclusive way,” said Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan. “I am so pleased to welcome BUILD to Detroit and I look forward to the dialogue among some of our smartest leaders from around the world.”
The BUILD 2017 agenda will feature key discussions with city leaders from the United States and Europe, including Mayor Emil Boc of Cluj-Napoca, Romania, as well as city officials from Akron, Athens, Bilbao, Copenhagen, Denver, Detroit, Essen, Turin, and elsewhere. More broadly, BUILD participants include a diverse cross section of GMF’s wider transatlantic network with leaders in elected office, from local governments, private corporations, non-profit organizations, philanthropic institutions, academia, and think tanks.
“Cities are on the frontlines of addressing many of the big challenges we face today. The solutions developed at the city and regional levels often serve as models and inspirations for solutions at the national and international level. That is why BUILD is such a critical component of GMF’s mission to strengthen transatlantic cooperation,” said GMF President Karen Donfried.
GMF first organized the “Bilbao Urban Innovation and Leadership Dialogues” known as BUILD in Bilbao, Spain, in 2014, as a unique forum for transatlantic policy discussion focused on advancing change at a local level. Over three editions of BUILD, a transatlantic cohort of participants explored the policy and leadership tools for leading equitable and sustainable urban transformation and developing leaders and civic ecosystems to support a city’s global engagement.
GMF is working directly with local businesses in Detroit and venues for BUILD are spread across the city, including the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Garden Theater, Jam Handy, Conner’s Creek Powerplant, Techstars Mobility, the Skillman Foundation, NextEnergy, the Fisher Building, the College for Creative Studies, and Shinola. A full list of partners and local businesses involved in BUILD 2017 can be found here.
Select sessions are open to the press upon request. Please direct media inquiries to GMF’s Director of Communications Andrew Kolb at firstname.lastname@example.org or +1.202.378.6061.