The Elements of Business Sustainability Series: Cultivating Detroit: Mobilizing Diverse Entrepreneurs for Good Food
Asst. Professor Sara Soderstrom
In promoting social change, organizations benefit from diverse membership, yet diversity is difficult to achieve. Using data collected over a 15-month field study, Professors Sara Soderstrom and Kate Heinze examined how a social movement organization (SMO), FoodLab, mobilized a diverse collective of entrepreneurs, aligned with the good food movement. FoodLab articulated a vision for an imagined future of a diverse good food economy in Detroit that aligned movement goals and entrepreneurs’ livelihoods. This vision supported diverse recruitment, and the organization facilitated dialogue among participants. These structured interactions with norms of questions, stories, and respectful interaction, helped build collective identity and foster diverse collective action. FoodLab’s substantive commitment to diversity enabled growth of the diverse collective through social networks.
Contact Event Organizers: Erb Institute / Ross Business School and School for Environment & Sustainability
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