SBN Detroit is Building the Platform to Solve for Change Collectively in Detroit

Detroitisit, in partnership with the Consulate General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Chicago and the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Washington DC, will host the Sustainable Urban Design Summit to develop creative solutions through a global but hyperlocal virtual program in partnership with and throughout the world recognized Dutch Design Week.

Terry Barclay, President & CEO of Inforum and a member of the Sustainable Business Network of the Detroit leadership team, which works to connect global leaders with startups and community members to create change. Her focus is on leading and promoting healthy and insightful communication in order to get to the heart of the big problems and challenges.

Join us for a new discussion between progressive executives from the Netherlands and Michigan who are working to apply and rethink sustainable urban design and circular economy applications in architecture, design, politics, development, mobility, material procurement, how cities, citizens in them, their social Environment cohesion, and the buildings that occupy the space coexist.

Special thanks go to the Sustainable Business Network Detroit for supporting the mission of the Sustainable Urban Design Summit 2021.

The Sustainable Urban Design Summit will take place virtually via Zoom on October 21 at 9:30 a.m. EST and 3:30 p.m. CET at the same time.

Sign up for your FREE space to attend the Summit on Zoom here:

Regarding Detroit’s Sustainable Action Agenda, Terry Barclay, President & CEO of Inforum and a member of the Sustainable Business Network of Detroit executive team, points out collaboration – solving change together – as a critical and urgent element. And that is the mission of SBN.

Background information on Detroit’s Sustainable Business Network; In 2020, the Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Family Foundation conducted an interview-based study to assess the status of sustainable business efforts in southeast Michigan. The study found that while many local businesses have activated sustainability initiatives, there is an urgent need for collaboration. In light of the acceleration of global climate change and the decline in equity among marginalized populations, the Erb Family Foundation has put together a coordinating leadership team to partner in a network: the Erb Institute at the University of Michigan, Southeast Michigan Sustainable Business Forum (SMSBF) , TechTown Detroit, Wayne State University, and Inforum. The group’s goal is to create a sustainable business ecosystem through a network that serves as a hub for exchanging ideas, programming, content and mentoring.

In the run-up to tomorrow’s summit, we had a short interview with Barclay to find out more about the vision and goals of the SBN as well as actionable points.

There is a global standard for UN sustainability goals, Detroit has a Sustainable Action Agenda – these can all be words on paper or actionable elements that really hold us accountable. How do you want to bring about change?

TB: It’s important to focus on that we have an incredible opportunity here. The current investments in infrastructure provide incentives, support and a means to manage the big change that we need. The key is we need to move quickly – and that takes relationships. One organization or group is not enough.

SBN believes there is an urgent need to bring companies together to build these relationships that are essential to solving great challenges.

We focus on using our member organizations to bring broader and deeper networks together to educate and open up more opportunities. Ultimately, in this way we hope to contribute to change.

With regard to sustainable urban approaches and the circular economy, how can we future-proof the steps we are taking to rethink the way we live and work?, play, get involved in the cities we call home.

TB: Future security is at the heart of what SBN Detroit is all about. We want to start with the goal, and that means really listening to a wider range of stakeholders with many important viewpoints for a sustainable and just future.

By genuinely listening and consciously engaging with this wider circle of stakeholders, we begin to create the conditions for sustainable change.

This is our guide and a way of thinking that shapes our daily actions.

Community can and should be a supporting pillar of sustainability strategies. Looking at the BLM, Me Too movements in terms of the The built environment, especially in cities, can create more social cohesion. How do we bring inclusivity into the design process? and integrate deeper?

TB: This topic is very important to us at Inforum.

Traditionally, when it comes to sustainability and a circular economy, social stability, equity and justice are given much less consideration than the environment. Now is the time to change that. George Floyd, BLM, Me Too movements were exciting moments for people, communities and the world.

The question then is how do we maintain this focus? It’s work. In order to bring about change, it takes continuous commitment to work. Listening and working together for positive and continuous joint action are the key to a new normal that is just, fair and healthy.

What are some interesting Community solutions that you see when it comes to sustainability issues?

TB: There are some really impressive groups doing an amazing job in the city.

One example is the Green Light Fund Detroit, which is completely community-based in terms of needs and uses collaborative solutions to address social challenges. They bring in a fresh vision and ideas – from within the community – towards more innovative efforts towards social sustainability.

We need to work to find ways to support and highlight those in the community who are innovative and successful. We need to highlight and celebrate these examples of collaborative solutions to create momentum and further progress towards change.

In your opinion, what is a “Game Changer” initiative in relation to sustainable urban design or the circular economy?

TB: SBN Detroit is designed to bring businesses of all sizes – from startups to Fortune 500 companies – together with community stakeholders to listen, learn, and act together.

We focus on creating this platform for collaboration between businesses that are usually isolated. Bridging the gap between business and society is essential.

The good news is we’re not starting from scratch. Much work and effort has been made to lay the groundwork for this joint action. We must now accelerate our efforts to make the region and our business ecosystem a success. This is the game changer.

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