DETROIT — The Detroit Regional Chamber and Detroit Public Television Thursday announced a continued collaboration for the chamber’s Mackinac Policy Conference, scheduled for May 29-31 at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island.

The chamber also announced that the 2012 conference schedule is now online.

In 2011, the first year that the Chamber and DPTV worked together to significantly broaden access to the event, DPTV broadcast 23 hours of conference sessions and related content, including interviews with participants and issue analysis from leading journalists and experts.

Approximately 45,000 unique audience members watched at least some part of DPTV’s coverage via computers and tablets during and immediately after the conference.

Building on 2011’s success, DPTV will broadcast, Webcast and produce other content from the conference and make it available via its multiple television channels and Web platforms, so the public can experience the significant discussion of the most important issues facing Michigan.

All content will also be offered, at no cost, to any public or commercial broadcast outlet, as well as all other news organizations, in Michigan, to continue to make coverage of the conference as accessible as possible.

Both the chamber and DPTV plan social media campaigns to drive more viewership of the broadcasts and webcasts.

DPTV plans to broadcast and/or webcast:
* Coverage of Conference sessions, featuring speakers and panel discussions
* A daily half-hour recap of conference activity
* Live and recorded interviews with speakers, conference participants and analysts
* Its weekly programs American Black Journal and MiWeek, from Mackinac Island.

“In order to continue Michigan’s momentum, the entire state must come together and embrace the realities of the 21st century global market,” said Sandy K. Baruah, president and CEO of the Detroit Regional Chamber. “This collaboration with Detroit Public Television helps the 2012 Mackinac Policy Conference serve as a platform for citizens across Michigan to have access to what leaders are saying about the steps we should take to make our state more globally and financially competitive.”

“We invite citizens across Michigan to participate in the most important annual gathering to discuss the state’s future,” said Rich Homberg, president and general manager of Detroit Public Television. “The power of public media, along with social media, will bring the discussion closer to citizens than ever before. This event has the potential to have the greatest impact in its history with viewers watching TV, following the Conference on-line and expressing their voices via Facebook and Twitter.”

Through its project, Detroit Public Television is seeking to engage more citizens in meaningful discussions about Michigan’s future.

DPTV’s coverage of the 2012 Mackinac Policy Conference is made possible with the support of the Masco Corporation Foundation, the University of  Michigan-Dearborn and the Center For Michigan.

More at

As for the agenda, the event kicks off with a panel on entrepreneurship at 3:45 p.m. Tuesday, May 29 featuring Chris Rizik, CEO and fund amnager of Renaissance Venture Capital Fund, Dave Zilko, chairman of Garden Fresh Salsa Inc., and Angel Gambino, senior vice president for digital innovations at Westfield Shoppingtowns, moderated by Josh Linkner, CEO and managing partner at Detroit Venture Partners.

At 4:45 p.m., a keynote will be delivered by Fareed Zakaria of Time Magazine and the Washington Post.

On Wednesday, May 30, it’s a health care keynote from Michael Leavitt, former Secretary of Health and Human Services, followed by panel discussions on corporate investment in communities and moving urban areas forward. At 7 p.m., there’s a special 2012 election overview from Democratic National Committee vice chair Donna Brazile, former George W. Bush administration communications direector Tucker Eskew, and former U.S. Sen. Harold Ford Jr.

The final day of the event, Thursday, May 31, has a blockbuster schedule: It opens with a presentation on the future of mobility from Ford Motor Co. executive chairman William C. Ford Jr., followed by a Business Leaders for Michigan event,  featuring Ford, University of Michigan president Mary Sue Coleman, former Perrigo Corp. chairman and CEO Mike Jandernoa, and McKinsey & Co. director Hans-Werner Kaas. After that it’s Gov. Rick Snyder’s keynote address, followed by a keynote from New York Times corrrespondenet and best-selling author Thomas Friedman. As if that wasn’t enough, then it’s time for the Fab Five — Detroit Mayor Dave Bing, Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson, Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel, Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano, and Conan Smith, chairman of the Washtenaw County Board — followed by Michigan’s Big Debate, an interactive, moderated discussion on Michigan’s most debated issues.

For a closer look at the up-to-date conference agenda and the list of speakers, visit And you can follow the conference on Twitter @MackinacConf and on Facebook.


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