The Craig Fahle Show

Former Wayne State University President Reid on FOCIS conference

Monday, September 12, 2011

Irvin D. Reid joins Craig to talk about FOCIS.

On September 15 and 16, 2011, the Forum on Contemporary Issues in Society (FOCIS) at Wayne State University will present “Retirement in Transition: Work, Relax or Reboot?” The two-day symposium, which takes place on our Detroit campus, seeks to explore the changing work cycle of Americans and how the emerging “new normal” affects the way people think about retirement.

Since being inaugurated fall 2007, FOCIS has led several broad discussions on the dramatic changes in our regional, state and national economies and their consequent impact on the lives on Americans. Alice Rivlin visited Wayne State spring 2010 and gave her national perspective as keynote speaker during a conference on the Michigan economy. Others on that program included William Testa, vice president and director of regional research at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago; and James Duderstadt, former president of the University of Michigan. The program on Michigan’s economy was followed by three keynote speakers for fall 2010. Diane Ravitch, researcher and educator; Arianna Huffington, syndicated columnist; and Daniel Pink, futurist and author, each addressed the “new normal” of American society. Daniel Pink was the featured presenter during a half-day conference on job creation and workforce development in Southeast Michigan and discussed the transforming landscape for jobs and employment. The conference was held in partnership with Crain’s Detroit Business.

The next logical step in our examination of economic issues is to focus more intently on workers’ transitions. This fall, FOCIS will present a two-day examination of jobs, retirement, encore careers and other transitions for American workers, Sept. 15 and 16 of this year. The conference will feature such national speakers as Robert Reich, former secretary of labor; Marc Freedman, author and social entrepeneur; and Roger Ferguson, president and CEO of TIAA-CREF. We soon will announce the third speaker in a FOCIS series, “Lectures by Former Heads of State,” spring 2012. Previous speakers in the series include former president of Republic of Mexico, Vicente Fox (2008), and former president of the Republic of Mozambique, Joaquim Chissano (2010).

For nearly 140 years, Wayne State University has been committed to the economic, social and cultural well-being of Detroit and Michigan. FOCIS exemplifies Wayne State’s continuing leadership and service in these areas. FOCIS events bringnationally and internationally celebrated speakers to our campus, stimulating discussion at the university and throughout the community on critical topics.

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