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Ann Arbor Spark

Ann Arbor SPARK Annual Meeting


Ann Arbor SPARK annual meeting & regional economic forum

The Ann Arbor SPARK Annual Meeting is attended by business, government, and academic leaders from across the Ann Arbor region and provides a unique networking opportunity. Business leaders will highlight the region’s accomplishments over the past year with the annual chair awards and preview new projects and initiatives for the coming year.

Early Bird Tickets: $75  |  General Tickets: $100
Early Bird registration ends March 1

Program: 10:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Welcoming Remarks
Chair Awards
Closing Remarks

Keynote Speaker

Julie Wagner, President
The Global Institute on Innovation Districts

Julie is president of The Global Institute on Innovation Districts, where she leads efforts to drive cutting-edge research, manage a global network of innovation districts, and provide evidence-based strategies to advance the practice.  She also serves as president of Urban Insight, a boutique consulting practice dedicated to the advancement of innovation districts. She is a prolific urban researcher and is co-author of the papers, The rise of innovation districts: A new geography of innovation in America and The evolution of innovation districts: The new geography of global innovation.

Julie has over 25 years of experience in advancing cities and urban areas. She is a nonresident senior fellow at The Brookings Institution, an independent think tank based in Washington, D.C., where she designed and led numerous global research initiatives, including the Bass Initiative for Innovation and Placemaking. She is also a visiting scholar for the Esade Business School’s Center for Global Economy and Geopolitics. Julie has co-authored several papers on the changing role of innovation and place, including Innovation spaces: The new design of work and Advancing a new wave of economic competitiveness: The role of mayors in the rise of innovation districts.

Living in Europe, she continues to help advance the competitiveness of cities and regions globally, including Amsterdam, Copenhagen, London, Milan, Silicon Valley, Sheffield, Sydney, and Turin. Julie is supporting the development of innovation districts in cities across Israel in her capacity as strategic advisor to Israel’s National Economic Council.

A trained city planner, Julie served as a deputy planning director for the District of Columbia, where she developed the city’s long-range plan. She earned a master’s degree in city planning from MIT and holds a bachelor’s degree in organizational communication from Northeastern University. Julie has received several planning awards from MIT and the American Planning Association for her work.

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