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About UIX

The Urban Innovation Exchange is an initiative to inform, engage and advance Detroit's growing innovation movement. Led by Issue Media Group with Data Driven Detroit, The Civic Commons and a coalition of media and community partners, UIX is made possible thanks to funding from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.
For more information, visit us on Facebook, Twitter and Vimeo. To tell us about an urban innovator in your community, click here.



Claire Nelson is the Director of Urban Innovation Exchange. As a founder of Open City, Declare DetroitMind the Gap, Bureau of Urban Living and Shop Midtown, she is a passionate advocate for civic engagement and innovation to improve the public realm. She studied Architecture & Urbanism at Smith College and Columbia University, and has lived and worked in Chicago, New York, Washington D.C., Detroit and New Orleans. At Van Alen Institute in NYC, she helped produce the first Creative Cities convening in October 2001, and contributed to post-9/11 programs to reimagine the future of Lower Manhattan. As publisher of Model D in Detroit, she led the monthly Speaker Series and the "On the Ground" neighborhood reporting initiative. Claire has served on the boards of Hatch Detroit, D:hive and Invest Detroit's Urban Retail Loan Fund. She is a recipient of the 2010 Vanguard Award, and her work was featured in For the Love of Cities and Lemonade: Detroit. In 2014, she was a Visiting Scholar at the American Academy in Rome.

Nicole Rupersburg is a freelance journalist who covers cities for several different local and national publications and is the Managing Editor of UIX. She is also the "HBIC" of Eat It Detroit and serves on the advisory board for Detroit Passport to the Arts. Nicole earned a Bachelor's in Liberal Arts from University of Detroit Mercy and also owns her own event production and PR/marketing company. 

Kat Hartman is a communicator and research analyst at Data Driven Detroit (D3).  She received her MFA from the University of Michigan School of Art & Design with concentrations in data visualization, illustration and health information design. She has designed billboards in Ethiopia, nutrition posters in Botswana and web interfaces in Ann Arbor, and has conducted research for everything from start-ups to international aid organizations. A resident of Hamtramck, Kat is collecting & analyzing impact data for UIX.

Marvin Shaouni is the Managing Photographer for Model D and the owner of Marvin Shaouni Photography. Based in Detroit and serving both editorial and commercial clients, Marvin's aim is to seize culture through the photography of people, food and the everyday. Marvin particularly enjoys the challenge of finding new ways to show Detroit, to help readers rethink how we can all live and interact with our city and neighborhoods. Marvin is photographing innovators for his 2012 Daily Portrait Project and UIX.

Philip Lauri & Steven Oliver are the film production team behind DETROIT LIVES!, a creative agency that develops engaging multimedia projects that push a new image of the City of Detroit. Their innovative approach includes a combination of social branding, marketing and community engagement. Production credits include After the Factory and the DC3 Speakers Bureau. Residents of Woodbridge, Philip & Steven are producing video profiles of urban innovators for UIX.



"Urban Innovation Exchange Connects Detroit's Social Innovators"
(Huffington Post, March 6, 2012)
"New project highlights Detroit innovators"
(Detroit Free Press, March 6, 2012)
"Partnering for Transformation"
(Model D, March 6, 2012)

"New Effort to Help More Detroiters Learn and Lead As Innovators"
(Knight Foundation, March 6, 2012)
"Championing Urban Innovation"
(Knight Foundation, March 6, 2012)
"At SXSW, Rishi Jaitly shares insights as to what makes community philanthropy work" (Knight Foundation, March 13, 2012)


Detroit Free Press
The Huffington Post
Model D
New Michigan Media
Curbed Detroit
Detroit Regional News Hub
I Am Young Detroit
The People of Detroit
Thrive Detroit
Awesome News Taskforce Detroit
BME Challenge
Community Development Advocates of Detroit
Declare Detroit
Detroit Big F Deal
Detroit Creative Corridor Center
Detroit SOUP
Hatch Detroit
Kiva Detroit
The MORE Program
Nonprofit Enterprise At Work (NEW)
Open City
Revitalization & Business Initiative
Revitalization Fellows Program
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