Emergence of locally-owned food business in Detroit
Classic Cube ($60K)
Cities: Infrastructure, History, Culture
We are proposing this MCubed project on the emergence of locally-owned food businesses in Detroit, as well as their connection to urban farming activities, city revitalization, and community wellness. We developed this project based on experiences shared by activists during a panel about Detroit’s emerging food scene, “Building a good food business ecosystem: Real-life entrepreneurs riff on relationships and movement-building in Detroit's local food scene” that was hosted by the Interdisciplinary Committee on Organizational Studies at the University of Michigan on October 19.
We will study the juxtaposition of collaboration and capitalism and the roles of support networks and resource-sharing in effectively building this local-food movement. This project will combine our shared interests in social movements and markets; and connect to Sara Soderstrom’s expertise in sustainability and Kate Heinze’s expertise in wellness and entrepreneurship. We envision using the MCubed funds to hire and train undergraduate (and potentially graduate) students to spend the summer of 2013 working in the Detroit food scene as participant-observers. This would be followed by academic year 2013-2014 work by the undergrads in transcribing and coding data from their summer experience. The faculty who participate in this MCubed project would also engage in observations and interviews, as well as collect archival data and media content about this movement.
We feel this project would benefit from a third faculty member with expertise and/or interests in organizational theory, social movements, urban revitalization, and/or community activism.
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