My Flint is a series of orientation events that provides UM-Flint students with information about recreation, food, transportation, volunteer opportunities, and daily necessities needed for life in the City of Flint. These attractions are sure to add to their educational experience at UM-Flint! For those who are new to our campus and/or our community and for those who need or want to rediscover the city, we offer this series of events and resources to assist you in making Flint a great place to live, work, play, and go to school!

Taste of Downtown is one of our most popular My Flint events. On Wednesday, August 31 approximately 250 students had the opportunity to explore Flint’s amazing downtown eateries! Stops included Tina’s Sweet Delites, The Lunch Studio, Soyla’s Mexican Cuisine, Rolls-R-Ready Pastries and Things, Witherbee’s Market and Deli, Hoffman’s Deco Deli and Cafe, Jilly’s Pizza, Blendz, Subway, Oriental Express, Churchill’s, Wize Guys Pizza, 501 Bar and Grill and Blackstone’s Grill. This guided walking tour featured free food and free gifts! Students were able to discover their community; meet new students, faculty, staff and community members; make new friends; and have some fun! It was a great way to explore the city in a new way and learn fun facts about Flint. University Outreach staff also spoke with students regarding all the opportunities we provide for them to get involved with our community. Students were especially interested in Commitment to Service, Alternative Spring Break and Flint Corps.

Want more information? Visit the My Flint website!

The University of Michigan-Flint has created a promotional video highlighting the array of community partnerships our students, faculty and staff have cultivated over the past year. Much of Outreach’s work is featured in the video including the Cass River Greenway project.

Outreach staff and community partners Bill Zehnder and Bob Zeilinger, were interviewed on location along the Cass River at Beyer Road. Our community partners were asked to share their story on what it means to be a partner with the University, and the importance of partnering to achieve a common goal.

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Imagine two worlds: one in which everyone wanted to get rich, the other a world in which everyone wanted to do good. It is likely the images that come to mind under each scenario look very different to you.

In the world where everyone wants to get rich, you might envision individuals and the leadership of organizations assessing the environment in an attempt to find ways to shape it and operate within it to create a competitive advantage leading to higher than normal profits being earned. In this world the accumulation of wealth would stand as a strong incentive and as an interest as important and powerful as the very individuals and organizations pursuing the wealth.

wordleIn the world in which everyone wants to do “good”, individuals and organizational leaders would act with the interests of others, including the broader society, in mind. In this world concepts such as individual rights and self-interest are balanced with the collective well-being, and issues such as equal access, social justice.

Now imagine the real world of social entrepreneurship, which is in fact, the true Third Way. Borrowing from the world in which everyone wants to gets rich, innovation and creativity is rewarded, excellence in organizational structure and processes is achieved through professional application of best practices in finance, marketing, organizational behavior, operations and strategic management. Beyond efficiency, effectiveness and creativity, social entrepreneurship is loosely-coupled, it’s viral; it’s one thousand individuals whose interests have aligned all acting independently yet in parallel, or one thousand individuals joining to form a single organization to address just one issue. Social entrepreneurship is change, the application of the change-making potential in each of us to shape the outcomes of issues played out in the institutional arenas that exist at the intersection of market and nonmarket environments.

As different as they may have seemed at first, our two imaginary worlds need one another, are complimentary to each other. As Randy Slikkers, Executive Director of Goodwill Industries, Michigan, will note during his Key Note Speech at the upcoming Inspire Conference on Social Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Creativity, if you have “No Money” then you have “No Mission”.

Come spend a day with us on Friday October 14, 2011 in the William S. White Building on the University of Michigan-Flint campus for the 2011 [in]spire conference. The conference is free and will commence with a panel session in which social entrepreneurship is defined. From there a group of local and regional talent will branch off into five tracks including: Health & Community, Engaging Youth, Going Green, Creativity and Commerce, and Getting it Done.