Mapping Collaboration in Detroit By Julia Gluesing and Ken Riopelle
It is quite common these days to walk down the street and hear people talking about social networking, or to see people using social network tools in a whole variety of ways in work and in their personal lives. However, the idea of social networks has been around for almost a hundred years, since anthropologists first started mapping kinship systems. These days, scientists in many disciplines from physics to sociology to information science are mapping social networks, especially those that can be located by tapping into the information technology infrastructure and content that the internet serves up to us all so conveniently.
We decided to take a quick look at collaboration in Detroit by doing a simple network search to see what websites and stories connect to the key words “Detroit” and “collaboration”. The map we show here visualizes a sample of the major websites, blogs, and personal pages that contain stories about how collaboration is taking place in Detroit.
First Degree Web Links to “Detroit” and “Collaboration”
Click here to see the chart: collab.chart
It is easy to see from this map that there is quite a bit of collaboration happening in Detroit in a whole variety of sectors. This is a good thing for the future of Detroit. There is as one might expect, collaboration happening in the business sector, in government, in community development, in the improvement of infrastructure, including housing, food and transportation, in music, film, design, the media. Best of all, there are many umbrella organizations emerging to bring different sectors and disciplines together to work on Detroit’s revitalization. Here is a quick look at just a few of the websites linked to Detroit collaboration in the map:
• http://collaborativegroup.org — An organization that brings together entrepreneurs, philanthropic organizations, community leaders, to maximize resources and expertise and take advantage of diversity to tackle pressing regional issues. Challenge Detroit is a current program targeted at attracting and retaining young talent to Detroit to strengthen and grow the urban center.
• http://detroitlives.org/projects/ffp-partnership/ — Fashion Fights Poverty (FFP) has the mission to raise awareness and create support for partnerships between development organizations civic groups and the fashion community, mostly through trade and skill building.
• http://www.detroitcreativecorridorcenter.com/ — Focused on the creative community and the growth of the creative economy (of course!).
• http://www.michigancorps.org — The “Make in Detroit” goal is a first-of-its-kind initiative specifically designed for the manufacturing sector to inspire creators, doers and entrepreneurs to network with the goal of using manufacturing resources.
• http://letsmove.gov — This collaboration is about improving nutrition, increasing accessibility to healthier foods, and increasing activity among Detroit’s youth.
And there are many more collaborations to learn about and get involved in than just these few. We encourage you to peruse this map and to explore more. At the heart of these collaborations is the realization that Detroit is a diverse community with lots of intellectual and creative resources who, if brought together to effectively collaborate, can really make an impact on the city. Now, our challenge is to connect the connectors!