While economic developers have relied upon post-secondary institutions to attract the right students to perform earth shattering research, Dr. Richard Florida, states, “there is a great deal of creative potential going untapped in so-called underclass communities.”
When I embarked on my path as educational activist, pulling my children from a private school, my intent was to create social disruption as I ushered my children through 6 years of fulltime art to see them embark on careers in Advertising/
As President of Uplift, Inc. and an University of Michigan trained economist, I believe economic revival for urban cities begins with “bottom –up” , not “trickle down” economics. “Historically, such technological empowerment promoted the economic and political climate that gave rise to today’s developed economics. Water Mills, eye glasses, clocks and other productivity enhancing tools put the power in the hands of [residents], entrepreneurs and merchants in medieval Europe creating a counter economic force against coercive authorities, ” as printed Harvard Business Review 2003 article Bottom-Up Economics. In response, these Medieval European residents created companies, jobs, economic growth and improved governance. Bottom-Up Economics created the economic revival of Europe, turbo boosted the Indian outsourcing markets, shall it do the same for Detroit?
Uplift, Inc. devised Fluke Tournaments TM to implement the idea that everyone has the creativity to solve problems and create billion dollar inventions -Flukes - while looking to solve their personal problems and dilemma. Fluke Tournaments TM utilizes Fluke – the wealth building game of accidental inventions where players experience thrilling scientific research, wacky inventions, stock explosions, gigantic wealth and legal duels in the wild, wild world of intellectual property, known as Corporate America. Players build a portfolio of cash, patents and research corporations as they maneuver through the Risk and Rewards in the world of intellectual property. This idea destroys the myth that invention is the activity of mad scientist employed by corporate Research & Development (R & D) departments alone, but that each one of us has a hidden mad scientist within our souls that when unlocked unleashes creativity, inventions, innovations, new products, new services, new corporations and new jobs.
Fluke Tournaments TM seeks to move invention out of the R & D lab and into the broader world view that is exhilarating, thrilling, wacky and wealthy with the hopes it inspires urban residents to move into the wild, wild world of Intellectual Property by embracing Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM). Detroit, the Automotive Capital of the World and home of Motown Records unleashed this creativity for decades, both inside and outside of a laboratory, but somehow retrenched to the internal lab grooming the creative potential of those that had access to formal labs.
Urban cities, like Detroit, can STEAM forward into prosperity as an economic engine if the creative potential of every resident is tapped.
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Ida Byrd-Hill is President of Uplift, Inc., a 501 (c ) 3 nonprofit Idea Incubator whose mission is reconstructing communities one idea at a time Utilizing Property (Intellectual, Real Estate and Technology) to Lift Individuals From Tragedy. She launched Fluke – the Wealth Building Game of Accidental Inventions December 3 at the WinterCon at Oakland University. http://www.upliftinc.org/