Conversations With Sven Gustafson

This is Detroit’s dinner party conversation, with multiple segments with local tastemakers, artists and entrepreneurs. They don’t call it the Paris of the Midwest for nothing! Host Sven Gustafson is a former journalist and bartender, and a fan of tasty food and drink — and Swedish pancakes. He hosts a smart and engaging conversation about Detroit’s fast-changing restaurant, arts and entertainment scene each week with a variety of fascinating guests and quick-hit segments. Join us as we explore the city through a fun and insightful lens.
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Conversations With Sven Gustafson




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Apr 20, 2017

Dave Phillips and Bob Waltenspiel are two of the folks behind IT in the D, the networking group / podcast / now helping with job training in Michigan.

Our host Sven Gustafson sat down and talked with them about their newest project and how exactly they got there. 

The group, founded as DetroitNet.Org, has grown into it's various forms through doing something rather straightforward - helping connect people to jobs and making sure people have fun while they do it.

Along the way, the pair of tech professionals (one a sales guy, one a tech guy) authored a series of wildly popular posts called "Don't Be That Guy," appeared on WDIV's Flashpoint, been honored by CNN Money, and now have Detroit's largest tech podcast that records on a Monday night (although they are modest about it, they do get hundreds of thousands of listens every week).

Now they have a podcast network in Podcast Detroit (which, full disclosure, The Daily Detroit Happy Hour is a small part of), and they're working with the MEDC (Michigan Economic Development Corporation) to roll out technology job training first in Flint and then in areas around the state.

It's an interesting and entertaining interview with two Detroit change makers. Enjoy!

Apr 13, 2017

For $500, you could buy a house in Detroit. Or so how the story goes. Today our guest is Drew Philp, author, writer and house rehabber who joined us for a great conversation at Queens bar in Downtown Detroit about his new book, released by Scribner, A $500 House in Detroit: Rebuilding an Abandoned Home.

Philp inked the book deal after his viral Buzzfeed hit about his $500 house journey. Spoiler: It cost a lot more money and time than $500. But along the way, he learned just how amazing of a community Detroit can be.

So pull up a chair and take a listen to our best Daily Detroit Happy Hour yet.

Of course, thanks to our network, Podcast Detroit and to the readers of Daily Detroit who make this possible. 

You can Drew's book on Amazon here:

And you can subscribe to the Daily Detroit Happy Hour on iTunes here:

Apr 4, 2017

If you've been around Metro Detroit, the way you probably know Robin Schwartz is through her years on the air at Fox 2 News. A storyteller at heart, she's embarked on a new chapter of her career after a stint working for Dan Gilbert's Bedrock Real Estate Services.

Her PR venture has some very interesting clients like Mama Shu and the Avalon Village, the Downtown Boxing Gym and many more. She's helped get national attention and national stories placed with her prowess at knowing what a good story is. 

So enjoy as Sven Gustafson sits down with Robin Schwartz at the Urban Bean in downtown Detroit. 

Mar 31, 2017

Maybe the Motor City wasn't front of mind as a travel destination, but more and more it's turning out to be one. Our host Sven sat down with the Interactive Marketing Manager for Visit Detroit, Dan Fuoco, to talk about how exactly do you market Detroit as the place where you want to put your conference or spend your spare time.

It turns out most people when they get here, they end up underestimating how much Detroit has to offer and want to do even more. 

You can find out more about Visit Detroit at their website,

Mar 10, 2017

There's a lot of myth around Detroit's 8 Mile. From being featured in Eminem's movie of the same name, to being a "border street" between the city and suburbs, there's more nuance and more going on than people might assume along the 27 mile stretch that the 8 Mile Boulevard Association works with.

To get a better idea, we talked to Cindy Thomas, Executive Director of the 8 Mile Boulevard Association, as well as Anna Schroen, their Director of Programs at the historic Baker's Keyboard Lounge.

To learn more about the association, you can visit them at

Feb 21, 2017

"If they don't fix the schools, the rest will be meaningless." It's a powerful quote from within this podcast about the state of Detroit's schools and the state of the city's revitalization. 

But resources from traditional newsrooms are stretched. Enter Chalkbeat, a national network of education-focused sites. Recently, thanks to the efforts of Erin Einhorn, the site opened up a bureau to cover Detroit.

Our Sven Gustafson sat down with Erin Einhorn and Julie Topping, both veteran journalists with previous experience in Detroit including the major newspapers, to talk about what's happening with Detroit's schools, what the big stories are, and what to watch for in the coming year.

Thanks to Baker's Keyboard lounge, the legendary jazz and live music venue, for hosting us. 

Note: Daily Detroit does syndicate content from Chalkbeat Detroit from time to time on our website.

Feb 7, 2017

What role does openly available, good data play in the comeback of a city? What are the ways good data can actually spread between administrations and become institutionally useful? This might sound boring at first, but it turns out to be a really interesting conversation with an interesting Detroiter.

Garlin Gilchrist II is the City of Detroit's Director of Innovation and Emerging Technology. He has an interesting backstory.

He most recently served as the National Campaign Director at, where he focused on mobilizing MoveOn's seven million members on issues of civil rights, education, and technology policy advocacy through community organizing and online action. Garlin also coordinated MoveOn's 2012 election mobilization program, Voters Rising. Gilchrist also the founded Detroit Diaspora, a network for native Detroiters living elsewhere to connect with one another as well as people doing positive work in the city of Detroit.

During the 2008 Presidential Election season, Gilchrist served as the Social Media Manager for the Barack Obama campaign in Washington. In this capacity, Gilchrist used social networking and text messaging to engage more online volunteers during the final month of the campaign than any other state.

Feb 3, 2017

This week Sven sits down with Calvin Moore, the owner of Seven Point Two tours and host of the podcast "Leading Questions with Calvin Moore."

Calvin has an interesting perspective in that some of his work is showing Detroit to non-Detroiters looking to come here for a job, as companies downtown are actively recruiting talent from all over the nation. Also, as the host of the podcast Leading Questions with Calvin Moore, he brings together people with widely different opinions to hopefully learn from each other. 

The show was recorded this time at a very busy Queen's Bar in downtown Detroit. 

Dec 19, 2016

For this episode of the Daily Detroit Happy Hour, Sven interviews Khali Sweeney of the Downtown Boxing Gym. But there's way more than boxing happening at this former book bindery. The lives of kids are changing not just by hitting the ring, but by hitting the books.

Oct 23, 2016

For our inaugural episode of the Daily Detroit Happy Hour, we're with David Lingholm, proud Detroiter who is also the author of the "Adopting Fatherhood" blog. He is part of a mixed-race household in the city, with a Puerto Rican wife and an adopted African-American young child. 

We talk about the experiences of adoption, raising a kid in the city, and what his favorite cigar is. It's a touching story you won't want to miss. 

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