Co-Creating Lesson Plans with FoodLab
The Work Department is excited to partner with FoodLab, a community of food entrepreneurs committed to making the possibility of good food in Detroit a sustainable reality. We’re helping to increase their impact by using design thinking to co-create lesson plans for the curriculum they offer to budding food entrepreneurs. FoodLab’s nearly 20 sessions are split into three series that we’ve titled Plant, Grow, and Nurture. The curriculum guides food entrepreneurs from basic information about how to start a food business to in-depth planning to incorporating the “triple bottom line” in their company’s practices. Triple bottom line (3BL) businesses place equal emphasis on people, planet, and profit, and FoodLab is committed to growing a diverse ecosystem of 3BL businesses in Detroit.
We collaborated with FoodLab to brainstorm and develop creative, design thinking activities for facilitators to implement during the Plant, Grow, and Nurture workshops. The activities are designed to be versatile; they can be tailored to use in any session. Our favorites include Get Out your Mittens, a mapping activity that helps draw connections between location and food businesses, employees, and supply chains. Another interactive activity, Around the Bonfire, provides participants an opportunity to bond over shared experiences while making a paper quilt together. Where Do I Slice? encourages participants to consider the past, present and future of their businesses from the lens of 3BL. Fork In the Road makes participants aware of their privileges to spark honest conversations in a safe, judgement-free space. When Life Give You Lemons helps participants identify challenges and brainstorms ways to morph them into opportunities.
Together, The Work Department and FoodLab, created prototypes for the sessions, built out a full curriculum for one 3BL session, designed a business canvas, and developed a guide with tips to be the best presenter. We expanded on FoodLab’s existing brand typography and colors, adding visual icons and images to convey the content. We hope to continue to work with FoodLab to build out all their curriculum sessions and help foster the growth of healthy food businesses in Detroit!