While you’re studying for exams, you might as well have a good time doing it!

Come over to the Innovation Incubator [IN] at Northbank Center 207 from 9 am-5 pm on Study Day December 13. You can build a fort with our giant foam blocks or arrange the furniture any way you like to study alone or in groups.  Free pizza and beverages will be available.

In the Winter semester Study Day, about 20 students discovered the Innovation Incubator in our Study [IN] Style Open House. They said they liked the fun, colorful and creative atmosphere. Some took breaks from studying to check out the services available to students at the incubator.

They were surprised to learn that there were five student-run businesses that have free offices right on campus. That number is now up to seven, and there is room for a few more. UM-Flint students like you have started businesses in web hosting, business coaching, publishing, graphic design, software development, and a physical therapy free clinic. Dozens of other student businesses also use the services and space of the incubator to collaborate, plan their businesses and make social connections – and so can you.

We will have staff on hand all day to describe the benefits of using our free services during the Tuesday December 13 Study [IN] Style Day. Come to the Northbank Center, take the elevator to the second floor — and follow the vibe of creativity to the Innovation Incubator!

University Outreach staff are always looking for new, fun ways to approach life. Our Innovation Incubator is all about helping people change the world and make it better. A great place to start is right where you are, right now. An upcoming leadership development workshop will help you examine your circumstances and look at them from a slightly different perspective – the place where all change begins.

Wendy Shepherd wants to help you restore your energy and increase your productivity. In her workshop Light the Fuse and Spark Workplace Creativity, she presents studies that show Americans are suffering from a “creativity deficit” due in part to increased workload and pressure. Encouraging creativity is a way to diminish burnout, she says. When you can invigorate your own morale, you’ll help yourself and others work to their best potential. In this free workshop, you will learn to re-ignite your creative flame to restore your drive and increase your productivity!

Join us Friday Nov. 11, 2011: (12:30 – 4:30) for the second in the fall series of Professional Development workshops by University of Michigan’s Human Resource Development. It is another way the UM-Flint University Outreach Innovation Incubator [IN] fosters creativity and innovation on our campus and throughout our community.

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!

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.


Kentucky farmer and poet Wendell Berry formulated these principles for a sustainable economy, one which focuses on community and the common good. A community economy is not an economy in which well-placed persons can make a “killing.” It is an economy whose aim is generosity and a well-distributed and safeguarded abundance.

Wendell Berry is a strong defender of family, rural communities, and traditional family farms. These underlying principles could be described as “the preservation of ecological diversity and integrity, and the renewal, on sound cultural and ecological principles, of local economies and local communities.

  1. Always ask of any proposed change or innovation: What will this do to our community? How will this affect our common wealth.
  2. Always include local nature – the land, the water, the air, the native creatures – within the membership of the community.
  3. Always ask how local needs might be supplied from local sources, including the mutual help of neighbors.
  4. Always supply local needs first (and only then think of exporting products – first to nearby cities, then to others).
  5. Understand the ultimate unsoundness of the industrial doctrine of ‘labor saving’ if that implies poor work, unemployment, or any kind of pollution or contamination.
  6. Develop properly scaled value-adding industries for local products to ensure that the community does not become merely a colony of national or global economy.
  7. Develop small-scale industries and businesses to support the local farm and/or forest economy.
  8. Strive to supply as much of the community’s own energy as possible.
  9. Strive to increase earnings (in whatever form) within the community for as long as possible before they are paid out.
  10. Make sure that money paid into the local economy circulates within the community and decrease expenditures outside the community.
  11. Make the community able to invest in itself by maintaining its properties, keeping itself clean (without dirtying some other place), caring for its old people, and teaching its children.
  12. See that the old and young take care of one another. The young must learn from the old, not necessarily, and not always in school. There must be no institutionalised childcare and no homes for the aged. The community knows and remembers itself by the association of old and young.
  13. Account for costs now conventionally hidden or externalised. Whenever possible, these must be debited against monetary income.
  14. Look into the possible uses of local currency, community-funded loan programs, systems of barter, and the like.
  15. Always be aware of the economic value of neighborly acts. In our time, the costs of living are greatly increased by the loss of neighborhood, which leaves people to face their calamities alone.
  16. A rural community should always be acquainted and interconnected with community-minded people in nearby towns and cities.
  17. A sustainable rural economy will depend on urban consumers loyal to local products. Therefore, we are talking about an economy that will always be more cooperative than competitive.