Friday, May 4, 2012


1.     Transformation.   This section is about a project in a small community near St. Austell, Cornwall, England called the Eden Project.  In only 10 years, a clay china mine, a quarry 200 feet deep the size of 35 football fields with no soil was transformed into a beautiful garden with plants and nature systems unique around the world.  This waste area, doomed and extinct now hosts over 2 million visitors a year and features the largest indoor rainforest in captivity.  The Eden project has created 520 permanent jobs, changed the economic status of the immediate area, and used sustainable construction to create 2 huge domes and an educational center all supplied with renewable energy.

Further, what began as a dream to transform a clay pit into a nature center with 83,000 tons of soil supporting thousands of plants, has now been transformed again into an international catalyst for change and call for creativity and hope for the future.  Today, the Eden Center is a place for inspiration exploring ways to live within the 21st century.  Today, it is a the demonstration of what is possible…of what creativity and enterprise can produce no matter what the obstacles. 

The leaders at the Eden Center want to explore, collaboratively, what kind of human beings we want to be…what kind of society do we want for all people…what kind of talent and skills can we harness to build a future we cannot see.


1.     In a recent book, Abundance by Peter Diamandis, a case is made that the future brings billions of people to the creative table.  Much of the following data is from the book Abundance.  ( .)

By 2020, three billion more people will have access to cell phones and the internet.  Three billion more minds to contribute to the world’s knowledge.

Technology will allow new ideas to emerge from every corner of the globe.  From every garage in the world, a new generation of people like Steve Jobs will have access to the world’s knowledge through technology. In the continent of Africa, for example, only 2% of the residents had cell phones in the year 2000, but 28% had them by 2009, and by next year over 70% of the people of Africa will have a cell phone.  And if they have access to the new world wide “cloud,” they will have access to all the information the world has very produced – right in their own village in the most remote of places.

Creative robotic technology in health care will cause a future of good health. A new medical device, the LOC (lab on a chip) is being developed so that a simple hand held device can deliver all the most critical lab tests with a single drop of blood and send that data electronically to the best minds of the medical world.  Because of the instant analysis, remediation can be accomplished in a short period of time.  Meanwhile, the world’s best minds will analyze real-time data from every continent, every country, and every village monitoring the trends and needs for creating a healthy world free of disease.

Creative people are nearing a solution on the issue of water.  Universities around the world are creating simple and inexpensive ways to change salt water into safe drinking water.  Instead of living with a scarcity, the future can bring us an abundance of water by using the great oceans which cover 70% of the earth’s surface.  The world can look forward to the day where 1.8 billion children don’t have to die from disease resulting from poor sanitation and the lack of fresh water.

 Although history is heavily influenced by the fight over resources such as coal, oil, and other energy resources, the world’s future fight is over the sun which currently supplies 5000 times the energy needs for the world.  Creative plans are being made around the world to better harness our most limitless supply of energy thereby making energy affordable to every world resident.
Some see the future as a challenge to divide the pie into smaller pieces.  According to Peter Diamandis in Abundance, creative, innovative teams of people are working collaboratively around the world through technology to create whole new pies in order to meet the needs of every human being on our planet.

It's about the Money!

You are invited to a Clio Area Town Hall Meeting on Thursday, May 17th at Carter Middle School in the Media Cener beginning at 6:30 PM in order to hear about a new VISION for the year 2020 and to begin to plan implementation of policies and programs.

The Clio Area Regional Planning Board will introduce a vision they adopted at the end of March in order to start the conversation in the community about the year 2020.  Notice that this has a very heavy emphasis on the economy:


When we think about the past in the Clio Area, we remember that GM provided us the work - making us a bedroom community for the Flint Area plants.  We are no longer a bedroom community for GM, so now we have to reinvent ourselves as a economic entity. 

Not that we turn our back on Flint or Saginaw...just the opposite.  We will have to build new partnerships in Flint - and in Saginaw - and in Birch Run - and in Chesaning - and in the Lakeville District - and maybe even across the state and nation!

Who knows what 2020 will bring.  With the pace of change moving so quickly, when a two year contract on a cell phone is way too long, the future is hard to predict.

VISION 2020 - MAY 17 AT 6:30 AT CARTER M.S.

What is the future?  How can we plan for it?  As we embark on a new process for planning the future, please let me remind us of the success that I remember about our community and the planning process:

·       In the 1970’s, a few of the people from the young Jaycees figured that someday, we would be in the 1980’s and we better get ready for it.  Project 80’s resulted in a plan for a bike path, a revitalization of the Clio park, and even a small bandshell.  We see now a million dollar amphitheater, art center and preschool building; a seven mile bike path, and a park that is used all summer by local residents and community organizations.

·       In the 80’s we planned the “We Care” campaign which impacted the schools, created the community council and the July 4th festival, the community calendar and the Christmas parade among other things.

·       In the 90’s, the We are Family campaign resulted in the Character Counts program in the schools and a new attempt to help families and children.

·       In 2000, over 150 people came together at the media center of Carter Middle School to create eight committees.  These committees created the downtown clock tower and the brick welcome signs as you enter Clio.  The intergovernmental relations committee created the Regional Planning Board, and the entire community sent a message to Mott Community College that we would support a Northern Tier campus.

·       In 2008, over a hundred people came together to create a vision for a healthy community, again creating eight committees to implement safety measures, health fairs, sports and family events, and other quality of life measures – most of which have been accomplished by now.

We have been successful planners during each decade since the 1970’s, and now in 2011, we will create eight committees again to envision a future that may be beyond our current comprehension that includes a self-sustaining global economy with and world-class educational system.  I know we can do it.  We have done it in the past, and we can do it again.  I’m optimistic.