Making a better future for the next generation in Michigan.

Our Foresight Infrastructure – The Future Makers of Michigan

Jan 30, 2024 | Featured, Future, Future Maker, Michigan | 0 comments

Who is thinking about the Michigan our children and grandchildren will inherit? Who is taking action to create the future we want for them? It turns out that more than 50 state-wide organizations, state government agencies, and legislative committees are studying trends in the state, doing creative thinking about them, and advocating policies to make Michigan “a more perfect union.” I look at these groups as the infrastructure for foresight in our state.

Here is a list of the organizations I have found that 1) work on policies for the entire state of Michigan, 2) have a perspective of ten years or more, and 3) focus –at least some of the time — on the general interests of the people of the state.

Many of these organizations have conflicting visions for what Michigan should be in 2040. Their political orientations vary widely. Their common belief, though, is that research, education, and advocacy can make a better future. They provide all of us with opportunities to get involved with future making.

I will be profiling many of these in upcoming posts. For now, I have just picked out text from their websites about their missions and goals.

Hope you find some you can volunteer with or support financially. Please let me know if I have overlooked any worthy ones.

ACLU of Michigan


Freedom, Equality, and Justice

The Bill of Rights declared that we have rights and liberties that the government shouldn’t interfere with. Rights like the freedom of speech and our right to a speedy trial that are the cornerstone of our democracy and define what makes us American.

Protecting these liberties and pushing for more freedom and equality in our lives is our job.

The ACLU of Michigan’s mission remains realizing the promise of the Bill of Rights for all and expanding the reach of its guarantees to new areas through all the tools at our disposal: public education, advocacy, organizing, and litigation. 

The mission of the ACLU of Michigan is to enforce the Bill of Rights and advance its principles. Through a variety of public education programs, our legislative program, based in Lansing, and our litigation program, supported almost entirely by volunteer attorneys, the ACLU is the premier civil rights organization in the country. The ACLU has earned widespread respect and love for its consistent defense of constitutionally based principles.

Bridge – Michigan Economic Dashboard


Provides a long-term perspective on Michigan’s economic progress through statistics and graphs.

Center for Health and Research Transformation


The Center for Health and Research Transformation (CHRT) is a non-profit impact organization. We work to transform data and research into useful information that improves the health of people and communities. Our center at the University of Michigan provides health research, analyses, surveys, demonstration projects, backbone support, and consulting to government agencies, nonprofits, foundations, health systems, and health care providers and payers. Key focus areas include affordable careMedicaid policy, health care issues, coronaviruslong term carecare transitionsmental health, and substance use.


  • Publicly available issue briefs on timely health issues
  • Survey research exploring key issues for consumers, physicians, and hospitals
  • Training for health services researchers to enhance their impact on practice and policy
  • Clinically-informed analyses to support data-driven policy decisions
  • Demonstration projects with community partners that test new approaches for improving the cost-effectiveness, quality, and accessibility of health services
  • Program evaluations

Center for Michigan & Bridge Michigan


Making Michigan better through high-quality, nonpartisan journalism & engagement.


Excellence & Effectiveness

Inclusivity & Accessibility

Trust & Reliability

A work environment where people thrive

Citizen’s Research Council of Michigan

Who we are:

The Citizens Research Council of Michigan is a privately funded, not-for-profit public affairs research organization that was founded in 1916.

Since then, the objective of the Research Council has been to provide factual, unbiased, independent information on significant issues concerning state and local government organization and finance. The Research Council believes that the use of this information by policymakers will lead to sound, rational public policy formation in Michigan.

The Citizens Research Council of Michigan is noted for the accuracy and objectivity of its research. Over the years, the Research Council has made significant contributions to the ongoing debate over the appropriate role of government and has gained vast experience in virtually every facet of state and local government.

Clean Water Action Michigan


Clean Water Action works in Michigan to protect the Great Lakes and all the waters in-between, from groundwater to the water tap. We empower people to take action to protect the health of Michigan’s waters, our communities, our environment, and our democracy.

Environment Michigan Research and Policy Center


…to protect our natural world


…a better greener Michigan: one that protects and restores more places where all life can thrive and offers us and our children the opportunity to live healthier, more enriching lives.

For Our Future MI


For Michigan’s Future connects issues and elections, because the two go hand-in-hand. Strong issue advocacy leads to better campaigns, better campaigns lead to better elections, and better elections lead to stronger outcomes on the issues that we care about in Michigan. Our mission is to mobilize and empower people and community-based organizations to drive real change and advance our shared agenda – this is community organizing to win!

Fundamental to our core are progressive values, like creating shared economic prosperity, building strong public schools, addressing climate change, and supporting racial justice. What sets us apart in this hyper-political circus-like atmosphere is our ability to listen to and talk with people, not at people, and work with people, not around people.


Our model is to respect, empower, and include – because we are more powerful working together. Through a robust field and digital organizing program, earned media, and expansive partnerships that empower local leaders and organizations, For Michigan’s Future will cut through all of the noise this election cycle as we educate and engage voters on local, state, and national issues and local, state, and federal elections.



Since our beginning in 1995 as the Michigan Land Use Institute, we’ve been giving people an opportunity to create the Michigan they want to see. Your involvement has allowed the transformational work we do to protect the environment, strengthen the economy, and build thriving communities.

Today changes are taking place that will define the future of our communities for decades to come. We can either accept what heads our way or be intentional by engaging with innovative, principled ideas, and inspired work. We can trust our hope and create optimistic solutions that shape a bright tomorrow for our people, communities, and environment. At Groundwork, we feel that we—all of us as a community—have no choice but to take action, from the ground up.

Institute for Public Policy and Social Research (IPPSR), Michigan State University


The Institute for Public Policy and Social Research applies research to pressing public policy issues and builds problem-solving relationships between the academic and policymaker communities. The Institute:

  • promotes and conducts research on issues of public policy.
  • provides survey research services.
  • produces public policy education and training programs.
  • initiates discussion of society’s most pressing needs among diverse audiences.



Our mission is to protect the 20,000 breaths each person takes every day. We put air quality data into the hands of communities to increase well-being and drive positive, locally-led change. We do this by building trusted partnerships, providing accessible air quality insights, fostering community-led action, and growing a team that puts our values into practice every day. 


We envision a world where clean air is a universal standard. With our partners, we are changing the narrative on how people organize, collect data, and collaborate to ensure everyone has access to clean, healthy air.

Mackinac Center for Public Policy


The Mackinac Center for Public Policy is a nonprofit research and educational institute that advances the principles of free markets and limited government. Through our research and education programs, we challenge government overreach and advocate for free-market approaches to public policy that free people to realize their potential and their dreams.


Government doesn’t create prosperity. People do. We all benefit when people are free to use their skills, knowledge and resources in the best way possible.

To that end, the Mackinac Center rejects the idea that government is the solution to all problems. In our research and educational programs, we consider:

  1. All People. Our research recognizes the diversity of all people and treats them as individuals with unique backgrounds, situations and goals. People know how to allocate their resources better than government ever could.
  2. All Institutions. Voluntary associations, businesses, communities and families all play important roles in a prosperous state and nation, as well as government.
  3. All Disciplines. Mackinac Center research incorporates the best understanding of economics, science, law, history and morality — moving beyond mere cost/benefit analyses.
  4. All Times. We evaluate long-term consequences of policy decisions on all people, not simply short-term impact on a few.

Michigan Campaign Finance Network


The Michigan Campaign Finance Network (MCFN) is anonpartisan nonprofit organization that seeks to shine the brightest light possible on the role of money in Michigan politics.

MCFN started in 1996 as a project of the nonprofit Michigan Prospect. In 2000, the MCFN became an independent nonprofit corporation. From the beginning, the organization has focused on public education regarding the impact of money on politics in Michigan. MCFN’s work to assist the public in understanding the role that contributions to politicians play is critical to the healthy operation of a democratic system of governance. The primary tools of this effort are transparent, timely and fact-based research and analysis made available to the general public, voters, policy makers and those people and organizations who are attempting to shape public policy.

MCFN’s board of directors, staff and supporters are motivated by the belief that intelligent citizen participation in democracy requires access to trustworthy and credible knowledge about how ever-increasing campaign dollars are being raised and spent. Positive democratic reforms require that political spending be widely understood and not hidden from public view.

Michigan Chamber of Commerce


As the Great Lakes State’s leading statewide business advocacy organization, the Michigan Chamber of Commerce is on the job every day, standing up for job providers in the legislative, political and legal arenas while working to build a stronger Michigan for all. We are the unified voice of approximately 5,000 member businesses of every size and industry in all 83 counties as well as trade associations and local chambers of commerce, collectively employing over a million Michiganders.

Michigan Economic Development Corporation


The Michigan Economic Development Corporation, in collaboration with more than 100 economic development partners, markets Michigan as the place to do business, assists businesses in their growth strategies, and fosters the growth of vibrant communities across the state.

MEDC delivers tailored assistance to invest and expand your operations and workforce in Michigan communities. Through collaboration with more than 100 partners, we have tools and resources to support businesses at any stage of growth. No matter your business size, industry, or your community needs, the MEDC’s many programs and local and regional partners have resources to help you.

Michigan Environmental Council (MEC)


Our mission is to champion lasting protections for Michigan’s air, our water, and the places we love.


In our vision, Michigan is a national environmental policy leader where a powerful network of advocates has built a track record of enacting enduring and equitable policies that protect the health of our communities and offer unparalleled stewardship of our land, air, and water in the face of climate change.

Michigan Executive Branch – All Departments

Michigan Future Inc.


Michigan Future, Inc. is a non-partisan, non-profit organization. Our mission is to be a source of new ideas on how Michigan can succeed as a world class community in a knowledge-driven economy. Its work is funded by Michigan foundations.

Our goal is to be a catalyst for recreating a high prosperity Michigan. A place with a per capita income above the national average in both national expansions and contractions. Its a status we enjoyed for most of the last century and now have entirely lost. In 2015 we were eleven percent below the national average in per capita income.

Our basic conclusion: What most distinguishes successful areas from Michigan is their concentrations of talent, where talent is defined as a combination of knowledge, creativity and entrepreneurship. In a flattening world where work can increasingly be done anyplace by anybody, the places with the greatest concentrations of talent win.

Michigan Future’s work is focused on:

Michigan Economy:  providing information and ideas on Michigan’s transition to a knowledge-based economy

Attracting and Retaining Talent: providing information and ideas on how Michigan can better retain and attract recent college graduates

Preparing Talent:  providing information and ideas on how Michigan can build the skills in all Michigan children that are needed for success in a forty year career in an economy where jobs, occupations and industries are constantly changing.

Michigan League for Public Policy (MLPP)

Who we are:

Since 1912, we’ve put the people of Michigan at the forefront of our mission.

We remain dedicated to building equity and opportunity for all.

What we do:

Kids Count

Racial equity




Economic security


Jobs & economy

Michigan Legislature – House Committees

Michigan Legislature – Senate Committees

Michigan Recycling Coalition (MRC)


The Michigan Recycling Coalition fosters sustainability by leading, educating, and mobilizing business, government, nonprofit, and individuals to advance their own and collective resource use and recovery initiatives in Michigan.


Michigan supports its unique natural environment and prosperity with a robust circular economy.

Michigan’s Children


Through PROVEN PLAYS for Strong Families, Ready Learners, Thriving Students, and Successful Transitions, Michigan’s Children works tirelessly toward our core policy principles:

  • Close equity gaps
  • Grow healthy minds
  • Listen to youth and families
  • Make government work
  • Support professionals
  • Build on progress

How we work:

Michigan’s Children is the only statewide independent voice working to ensure that public policies are made in the best interest of children from cradle to career.  We focus on influencing public policies that can reduce disparities in child outcomes such as the academic achievement gap – disparities that are caused by economic hardships coupled with structural barriers by race or ethnicity. Our goals are to catalyze support from elected and appointed public officials to prioritize the needs of children, youth and families with the most challenges in their lives – children of color, children from low-income families, and children served by the foster and juvenile justice systems – and to ensure that their decision-making reflects that; and to build public will and influence public action.

Monitoring the Future, The University of Michigan


Monitoring the Future is an ongoing study of the behaviors, attitudes, and values of Americans from adolescence through adulthood. Each year, a total of approximately 50,000 8th, 10th and 12th grade students are surveyed as part of the Main study (12th graders since 1975, and 8th and 10th graders since 1991). The Monitoring the Future Panel study conducts annual follow up surveys with a subsample of each graduating class, who complete a follow up every two years from ages 19–30 and every five years from age 35 onward. The Monitoring the Future Study has been funded under a series of investigator-initiated competing research grants from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, a part of the National Institutes of Health. MTF is conducted at the Survey Research Center in the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan.

Poverty Solutions, The University of Michigan


… is to cultivate action-based research partnerships with community stakeholders and policymakers to find what works in confronting poverty and use that evidence to be a part of positive change in communities.

Pillars that guide their work:

A data-driven approach

Action-based research

Mutually respectful dynamic, solution-focused partnerships

A highly interdisciplinary approach

A commitment to an anti-racist approach

Dedication to training the next generation of thought leaders

Ongoing and open communication

Progress Michigan


Our mission is to provide a strong credible voice that holds public officials and government accountable, assists in the promotion of progressive ideas and uses state-of-the-art web based new media to creatively build grassroots support for progressive ideas.

But we don’t do it alone. Progress Michigan works as a communications team and media hub for the entire progressive community. We’re a marketing department for progressive ideas – a campaign that never stops. We work year round to challenge conservative propaganda in the media and make sure that progressive perspectives are heard.


To work with communities to build a more inclusive, equitable, and sustainable Michigan.

Public Interest Group in Michigan (PIRGIM)


PIRGIM is an advocate for the public interest. We speak out for the public and stand up to special interests on problems that affect the public’s health, safety and wellbeing.

Public Policy Associates

We believe that policies and programs should be informed by many voices, especially the people most affected. It is our goal to combine academic rigor with authentic community engagement to provide as complete a picture as possible.


To provide clients with the evaluation, research, and strategic consultation they need to make smart public policy decisions that improve lives, enrich communities, and strengthen institutions.


Better Public Policy for a Better World

We believe that policies and programs should be informed by many voices, especially the people most affected. It is our goal to combine academic rigor with authentic community engagement to provide as complete a picture as possible.

Public Sector Consultants


Our mission is to improve the quality of life for residents of Michigan and beyond through the development and implementation of innovative, actionable public policies.


We believe in the power of good public policy shaped by thoughtful discourse and rigorous research for the benefit of all. We are committed to an intentional and ongoing understanding of systemic inequities, their causes, and their cures, ensuring our work is culturally responsive and inclusive. Our objective, nonpartisan approach delivers enduring outcomes for Michigan and beyond because we work alongside our clients as one team with a shared aim to develop and implement actionable public policies.

Safe & Just Michigan

Who we are:

Safe & Just Michigan works to advance policies that end Michigan’s over-use of incarceration and promote community safety and healing. We envision a Michigan in which all are safe in their communities and everyone is responsible for creating accountability, safety and justice.

Upjohn Institute for Employment Research


Institute research focuses on labor markets, addressing several core areas: the causes of unemployment and the effectiveness of social safety net programs in mitigating its effects; education and training systems to improve workers’ employability and earnings; and the influence of state and local economic development policies on local labor markets. The Institute also assesses emerging trends affecting workers and labor marketsin its core research areas.

The Institute carries out its mission by disseminating its research and through direct services. The communications team makes sure Institute insight reaches the researchers, policymakers, advocates and practitioners who can put it to use. The Center for Workforce Innovation and Solutions administers federal and state-funded employment and training programs for disadvantaged and dislocated workers in Southwest Michigan.




Become a Future Maker

Future makers are those who care about what we are leaving for our future generations. They are informed people who would like to share their knowledge in order to help create a future where our children and grand children can thrive. If you have something to say and would like to contribute to this site as a writer, follow the link below.


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