wealth inequality

Duggan, business leaders use summit to tout public-private initiatives


Detroit this week played host to the World Economic Forum’s inaugural summit on cities, as the Switzerland-based non-governmental organization ramps up its new global Centre for Urban Transformation that will be headquartered in the city.

The invitation-only event convened participants from business, government and civil society for a series of virtual and in-person events Monday through Wednesday. The focus on cities, Jeff Merritt, the forum’s head of urban transformation, told The Detroit News, was “a no-brainer. … The majority of the world’s population is moving more in that direction and that’s the hub of the global economy.”

Jeff Merritt, head of urban transformation for the World Economic Forum

“Our city governments in particular are having to bear an unrealistic burden of that responsibility, in terms of the expectations for solving these problems,” he said. “And so the World Economic Forum’s an international organization for public-private collaboration, and our work is really about advancing public-private collaboration to make more sustainable, inclusive cities.”

Public-private partnerships were touted by city business, government and nonprofit leaders as the driver of some of Detroit’s progress and as a possible solution for many of the thorny issues it continues to face, such as poverty and wealth inequality.


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