Jeanette Pierce is a social entrepreneur and lifelong city resident who grew up in the Morningside neighborhood of Detroit. She has a bachelor’s of arts degree in communication from Aquinas College, and is the mother of triplets.

In 2006, she founded a grassroots nonprofit that used tours and experiences to take people beyond the headlines and educate them about Detroit’s history, culture and community. Today that organization has evolved into the Detroit Experience Factory which engages people in Detroit’s stories - helping them understand its complex history and connecting them to Detroit’s people, places and projects. Over 115,000 people have taken a tour in the last 13 years to learn about Detroit’s assets, small businesses, historic neighborhoods, city planning & development policies and innovative solutions to the challenges the city faces.


As clients approached her seeking even more in-depth learning and the opportunity to leverage the knowledge and expertise built since she began this work in 2006 she saw a need for a new project that would share lessons learned from Detroit to inspire individuals, organizations and cities to innovate for a better future for all. So in 2018, Jeanette launched The City Institute to do just that. The City Institute offers learning journeys, city experience consulting, speaking engagements, and workshops. Early City Institute clients included Harvard Loeb Institute, State of Oregon, City of Akron, City of Graz and Salesforce Leadership.

She has presented at more than 100 events including Atlantic Magazine’s CityLab Conference, Governor’s Economic Summit, Downtown Las Vegas Annual Meeting and the Oregon Heritage Conference. She was honored by Crain’s Detroit Business as one of the Top Forty under 40, by DBusiness Magazine as a Thirty in their 30’s, was awarded the Shining Light Future Leader Award from the Detroit Free Press as well as receiving many other recognitions and awards.


Interested in having Jeanette speak at your event or conference? Contact us below!