Keynote Address: Doris Kearns Goodwin
Doris Kearns Goodwin, speaking at the Mackinac Policy Conference, said public-private partnerships have been the key to American success.
As she opened her remarks, Goodwin said she has been “mesmerized” by the public-private partnership that resulted in the Grand Bargain as part of Detroit’s bankruptcy process. She described the process as “miraculous” that could only have been achieved by a focus on outcomes.
She focused her remarks at the Mackinac Policy Conference on the public-private partnership that resulted in Detroit’s amazing productivity during World War II. She said when President Roosevelt realized by 1940 that the country would need a partnership of business to create the Arsenal of Democracy and win the coming war.
According to Goodwin, World War II brought about a host of stories about the social revolution taking place and launching the middle class. And she says she hopes the story of Detroit’s recovery will be a similar tale that is shared for generations to come.
In a question and answer session with Tom Howes of The Detroit News, Goodwin said there is no doubt that a major crisis helps pull together the kinds of public-private partnerships that she described, but she said she hopes that such partnerships can be formed at any time. Pointing to Teddy Roosevelt as an example, she said identifying a key issue that needs addressed can help keep momentum going. She suggested that focusing on education and housing as issues that could help keep energy going in Detroit.