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2008 Annual Convention

The Word from the Island!

Thursday, October 2

A Whole New Mind – Daniel Pink, Author
Best-selling author Daniel Pink gave an informative, inspirational, and oftentimes humorous talk describing that what led to successful economies in the past will not alone lead to prosperity in the future.  Traditionally, fields such as accounting, engineering, computer programming, and law have provided the largest number of jobs.  Left-brain skills or more logical, sequential, and linear ways of thinking characterized by these fields have dominated the job market.  While these skills and fields remain important, right-brain thinking will provide the most opportunities and job growth in the years to come.  Right-brain thinkers are people who are artistic, inventive, able to see the big picture, and able to identify patterns.  The challenge is to acknowledge this shift and provide an environment in which this type of thinking and innovation can thrive.

He explained that the causes of this change are due to the incredible abundance we enjoy, the emergence of Asia as a major participant in the global economy and the prevalence of automation.  Many more people today have more products than ever, from automobiles and cell phones to televisions and iPods.  Consumption spreads so quickly today and to so many more people that we must continue to innovate with new ideas or we will fall behind economically.  The huge populations of Asia present a challenge because even if just a small percentage of their populations, say 15 percent, is educated and skilled, that is still a large number of people who do the same job we do here for less money, thus jobs can easily be outsourced.  The rise of automation requires that we encourage innovation because software is replacing brainpower.  Certain types of accounting, engineering, programming, and law are routine and anything that is routine can be automated and done by a computer; think of TurboTax and websites designed to facilitate non-contested divorces, for example. 

Pink mentioned a number of abilities that individuals and organizations must possess in order to prosper in this new world.  Individuals and organizations must be empathetic and not just logical for example.  Whether you are a business owner or municipal official, the ability to put yourself in your customer’s or constituent’s shoes will allow for a more happy and satisfied customer or constituent.  He also discussed the importance of design—it’s not just making something pretty but solving problems. 

Pink concluded by saying he was very optimistic for all of us because of what he saw during the Community Excellence Award presentations.  The accomplishments of those seven communities are examples of this new emphasis on problem solving and seeing the big picture, and demonstrate where providing for art, fostering creativity, and allowing for inventiveness led to success.   

Annual Business Meeting
Delegates from 115 Michigan municipalities participated in the Annual Business Meeting on Thursday, October 2, 2008.

They elected six new Board of Trustees for three-year terms expiring in 2011.  The new trustees are Karen Majewski Mayor, Hamtramck; Lynn Markland, City Manager, Fenton; Virg Bernero, Mayor, Lansing; Dale Kerbyson, City Manager, Lapeer; Ray Anderson, City Manager, Norway; and Patricia Bureau, Councilmember, Ishpeming.  Congratulations and welcome to the newest members of the Board of Trustees!

In addition, the delegates adopted the League’s new Core Legislative Principles.

 

Wednesday, October 1

Friday, October 3

Saturday, October 4

 

 

 

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