After a very brief respite in the hotel, we were hustled over to TechShop Detroit, a membership-based DIY workshop featuring state of the art equipment to create almost anything you can dream up. Ford has partnered with TechShop in the hopes of giving innovators at any stage of life the platform and tools to create the technology of the future. Our bus driver couldn't find the place so we missed the introductory remarks but I wriggled my way into the auditorium just in time to see Ford CEO Alan Mulally speak.
He wants Ford to lead the way in innovative thought and mentorship, as well as being at the top of the American automaker continuum. I didn't realize Mulally was a Kansan but his down to earth quality and tendency to use "neat" as a modifier was kind of a tip-off. He seemed genuinely enthusiastic about the company's global position and his confidence was infectious. Also, he was rocking kind of a Bing Crosby look that was totally endearing.
I loved the variety of food stations and cocktails that represented different Detroit cuisine. I chowed down with the lovely Lori of Well Connected Mom and of course we had to photograph our food.
In the three times I've been to Ford, I've never managed to get a photo with Scott Monty, so I grabbed the chance! Even without a tie, the guy shows everyone up…
TechShop was nothing if not inspiring. They had everything from laser cutters to industrial sewing machines, including a huge and super clean wood shop, screen printing stations, sandblasting, 3D printers… I took a zillion photos to show its amazingness to my husband, who would actually do wonders with a maker space. In fact, Wichita would be a great community to have a satellite TechShop due to our predominantly aircraft engineering/manufacturing industry.
Outside, we were treated to gourmet ice cream floats (I spiked mine with rum from the more traditional bar!) and a performance from Portland-based band Blind Pilot, courtesy of Ford SYNC, Microsoft, Gracenote, HD Radio and Pandora. A good time.
See more about Go Further with Ford: Day One, Day Two and Day Three.
In accordance to the FTC Guidelines and the WOMMA Code of Ethics, I am disclosing that Ford paid for my travel and lodging.. No other compensation was provided. All opinions are, as usual, entirely my own.