Making a better future for the next generation in Michigan.

The Values of Michigan’s Foresight Infrastructure

Apr 26, 2024 | Artificial Intelligence, Foresight, Future, Future Maker, Michigan, Organizations, Well-being | 0 comments

Not long ago, I did a Google search for organizations in Michigan that were concerned for the well-being of the next generation. I listed the think-tanks, advocacy organizations, and government departments I found — along with their mission and vision statements — in my post Our Foresight Infrastructure – The Future Makers of Michigan.

In the last couple weeks, I heard about the capabilities of an artificial intelligence service called Claude 3 and decided to see how many organizations it could find that were concerned with the well-being of the next generation. It came up with a shorter list than I did, but named some I had overlooked. I have edited my original post to include the additional organizations it found.

In this post, I thought it would be interesting to let Claude 3 summarize the organizational values it found in my earlier post. I think it did a pretty good job! Here is Claude 3’s summary about the expressed values of these forward-looking organizations —

Claude 3’s first response

Based on the information provided about these Michigan organizations, there are some common values and principles that emerge:

  1. Protecting the environment, natural resources, and promoting sustainability. Groups like Michigan Environmental Council, Michigan Climate Action Network, and Groundwork focus on environmental protection and addressing climate change.
  2. Advancing social and racial equity, justice and inclusion. Organizations such as the ACLU of Michigan, Michigan Environmental Justice Coalition, and Safe & Just Michigan work to protect civil rights, reform the justice system, and ensure policies are equitable.
  3. Improving the lives of children, families and communities through better education, health, and economic security. This is a focus for Michigan’s Children, the Michigan League for Public Policy, and others.
  4. Fostering citizen participation in the democratic process and holding government accountable. Groups like Progress Michigan, the Michigan Campaign Finance Network and Citizens Research Council aim to inform and engage the public.
  5. Promoting a strong and fair economy with opportunity for all. Business groups like the Michigan Chamber of Commerce advocate for job providers, while others like Michigan Future Inc. focus on growing a knowledge-based economy.
  6. Grounding policy in data, research and community input. The Upjohn Institute, Public Policy Associates, and U-M’s Poverty Solutions emphasize research informing smart policies.
  7. Working in a non-partisan manner and bringing diverse stakeholders together to solve problems. Many groups express a commitment to being objective and inclusive in their approach.

So in summary, while the groups have differing ideological leanings and specific issue focuses, common threads include a desire to create a more prosperous, equitable, sustainable and civically engaged Michigan. Evidence-based policymaking with broad input is a shared value.

Is there more?

I have read that you can sometime push these AI models to give you more, so I asked, “Is there anything else?” This is what Claude replied:

A few other common values and principles that stand out among these Michigan organizations:

  1. Empowering and amplifying the voices of communities most impacted by policy decisions. Groups like the Michigan Environmental Justice Coalition and Michigan Alliance for Families emphasize listening to and elevating perspectives of affected populations.
  2. Providing accessible, reliable information and education to the public. Many organizations, such as Bridge Michigan, Public Sector Consultants, and the Citizens Research Council, aim to be trusted sources of nonpartisan facts and analysis.
  3. Advocating for policies through legislative and legal action as well as grassroots organizing. The ACLU, Clean Water Action, and others use a range of strategies to influence decision-makers and build public support.
  4. Fostering innovation and an entrepreneurial spirit, especially in growing the state’s economy. This is reflected in the work of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council.
  5. Building collaborative partnerships across sectors to have collective impact. Many groups express an interest in bringing together nonprofits, businesses, government and philanthropy to make positive change.
  6. Planning and preparing for the long-term future of Michigan. Organizations like Groundwork, Michigan Future Inc., and the Michigan Association of Planning take a forward-looking approach.

So while each organization has a distinct mission, there are some overarching values around civic participation, equity, sustainability, and looking ahead that connect their efforts to improve Michigan. A spirit of collaboration, reliable information, and listening to diverse voices also emerge as common principles guiding their work.

What’s important to you?

It was fun to get some help from Claude, but the bigger message is that there are many groups concerned with the well-being of Michigan’s next generation. Each of us can find groups that are expressing values we believe are important. Whether they are true to their stated values and effective in promoting them is another matter, of course. If we do want the best possible future for our kids and grandkids in Michigan, it seems worthwhile to check these groups out, make our own judgements about which ones are getting the job done, and give them a hand.

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