Winter 2013

National Development of Food Sol Community Table Model

Babson College »

The Babson Social Innovation Lab has developed an original and successful form of collaborative convening called the Food Sol Community Table.  It brings together entrepreneurial students and various community members who are all oriented toward food and food systems as a social challenge.  Each time a table is convened there is a spontaneous and unique constellation of voices, perspectives and resources.  Students who are working on potential business or social projects get help from other attendess in identifying the bite sized actions that will help move their visions and ventures forward.  It is a way of transforming entrepreneurial ideas into practical and effective action in the world, and has so far met with some meaningful outcome.  

Blackstone Ranch Institute has provided a grant that will allow the Social Innovation Lab to demonstrate its model of engineering action and change to other interested universities, with the anticipation that the model will be replicated on campuses around the country. Four schools have expressed interest in learning how to adapt the prototype to their academic environments -- the University of Maryland, the University of Texas in Austin, Middlebury College in Vermont, and the School of Visual Design in New York City.  It is hoped that universities will integrate the model into their programs, and that future efforts by the Babson Social Innovation Lab to include more universities in the program will be underwritten by some of the businesses that participate in the community tables.

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