Unique economic planning conference to be held Oct. 21

 A high-energy planning conference driven by the participation of business and community leaders in the Capital region (Clinton, Eaton, and Ingham counties) is slated for Tuesday, Oct. 21 from 8–4:30 at the Lansing Center, 333 E. Michigan Ave. 

The CATALYST event is a unique one-day opportunity for mid-Michigan entrepreneurs and business leaders to collaboratively imagine a new economic future for the region. In addition to hearing from visionaries and exploring current data and trends, event participants will work together to brainstorm specific action items to do immediately. 
“CATALYST is the first event of its kind here in Lansing,” said Tim Daman of the Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce. “It’s not a ‘sit and get’ kind of conference. Instead, CATALYST participants will actively collaborate, plan, and develop a specific agenda for future economic action.” 
The event is co-hosted by a coalition of partners including the Lansing Regional Chamber, the Tri-County Regional Planning Commission, the Lansing Economic Area Partnership, Capital Area Michigan Works!, Lansing Community College and Michigan State University. It is the next step in development of a consensus-driven blueprint, called a Regional Prosperity Plan, for the Clinton, Eaton and Ingham county region. 
“In today’s global economy, it’s more important than ever that we develop a strong competitive agenda for mid-Michigan,” said Terry Terry of MessageMakers, the conference producer. “Our summit design centers on five focus areas—our place-making, growth potential, talent pipeline, downtown core, and global context.” 
During the conference, state and local leaders will share their aspirations for mid-Michigan and charge event participants to take up their own capacity to catalyze change. Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero will speak at the beginning of the day, and Governor Rick Snyder will speak following lunch. George Franklin, former vice president of government relations for Kellogg Company, will be the closing speaker. 
“This effort builds on the planning work of the past to create something new,” said Susan Pigg of the Tri-County Regional Planning Commission. “We believe this event will live up to its name and be a mobilizing spark for mid-Michigan’s future. CATALYST will mark a new era of change for our region.” 
Characterized by small group idea generation, the event will include a lunchtime exploration of downtown Lansing restaurants and businesses. 
Registration is $49 per person and can be accessed at www.catalystcapitalproject.org.

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