A Look In The Mirror: 5 Smart People On Detroit’s Amazon HQ2 Disappointment

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Detroit’s failure to make the list of 20 finalists for Amazon’s $5 billion HQ2 project and its 50,000 jobs has been the talk of the town. Especially after the all-hands-on-deck effort to produce a joint Detroit-Windsor bid that had many people believing the Motor City, once considered strictly a longshot, had a serious chance.

We talk to five local experts from a variety of backgrounds for their perspectives on what the failure says about our region and where we go from here.

  • Justin Robinson, vice president of business attraction with the Detroit Regional Chamber, who was part of the team that helped put together the HQ2 proposal
  • John Mogk, a law professor at Wayne State University and expert on urban policy and economic development
  • Kurt Metzger, a longtime population demographer who is currently mayor of Pleasant Ridge
  • Tom Lawrence, founder and CEO of Lawrence Technology Systems and host of a popular tech vlog and YouTube channel
  • And Nuri Gocay, a co-host of the IT in the D podcast and technology veteran who has worked for companies including Google and Expedia in cities around the world.

Our experts differ on their reactions — Robinson and Mogk were surprised we were left off the list, while Gocay and Lawrence, less so. But they all raised interesting points about Detroit’s image and quality of life, our technology scene, and shortcomings around transit and education.

58 episodes available. A new episode about every 9 days averaging 31 mins duration .