One of the major manufacturing challenges facing our nation is a tech transfer literacy gap facing individuals from traditionally under-represented low wealth communities and white communities. To close this gap, the Manufacturing Diversity Institute has developed an Innovation Café collaborative "strategic action" format that utilizes outside expertise in partnership with regional talent, knowledge, and know-how to establish underserved communities as hotbeds of innovation, talent, and manufacturing entrepreneurship.
The Innovation Café is an annual "strategic action" planning gathering for community residents to interact and chat with national thought leaders and experts around varied innovation issues important in the new innovation economy, especially manufacturing diversity. As designed, the Innovation Café is an on-ramp platform for diverse manufacturing entrepreneurial grassroots efforts to access innovative and creative ideas, insights, and policy perspectives that are important to creating jobs, wealth, and shared prosperity in the manufacturing industry. Innovation Café attendees engage in a strategic process that will lead to problem solving manufacturing diversity issues through a planning cycle that will be catalytic to economic change in the community.
Participants will hear presentations from some of the nation’s most thought-provoking Innovation experts whose insights will position leaders at the grassroots levels to think and act more creatively and innovatively. Information shared by Innovation Café’s experts help attendees brainstorm ways to build sustainable and cost effective approaches to solving manufacturing diversity issues. Most importantly, attendees learn about cutting edge innovation initiatives that have benefitted cities and regions that are recognized benchmarks of gravitational pull of talent, investments, and global economic attention.