The Fall 2020 edition of the Urban Entrepreneurship course is a wrap! In the course, students learn what it takes to build an “urban-focused” business, i.e., an enterprise that addresses an important urban community need. The Covid-19 pandemic presented unique challenges, but thanks to great entrepreneur partners and hard-working students, we turned those challenges into opportunities.
My urban entrepreneurship course prepares students to deliver game changing business innovation and solutions for urban communities. The course pairs teams of talented students with entrepreneurs who have developed or are developing an urban-focused business. Urban Entrepreneur Partners benefit by having enthusiastic, talented U-M students helping to document, evaluate and improve their business model.
August 3, 2005 was a very special night in Red Bank, New Jersey, and it was honestly one of the best evenings of my life. That was the night when Karen Smith of Montego Bay, Jamaica brought her enormous talent, transcendent spirit, and warm personality to the stage of the sparkling new Two River Theater.
I try to publish an e-mail newsletter regularly as a means of sharing and discussing current events with friends and colleagues. I haven’t published one lately because I haven’t known where to begin. As soon as I decide to write about one travesty occurring in our world, an even greater one seems to rear its ugly head. Viral pandemic. Economic collapse. Police brutality. Climate destruction. Racial subjugation. Military misapplication. Voter suppression. Tribal politics. Failing alliances. Following the rate of real and potential disasters is like drinking from a fire hose – it’s just too much.
The Covid-19 pandemic is causing us to retreat to our cocoons as we try to stay safe and “bend the curve” of the viruses’ spread. It is also providing us the opportunity to think and reflect on the lessons we may be able to take away from this experience. One of the most prominent lessons reverberating inside my head is one I found quite awhile ago in a book called Quality is Free.
Well, I finally did it. All it took was a coronavirus pandemic spawning a global stay-at-home movement, but I did it. I finally read the David Foster Wallace novel Infinite Jest. It was a worthwhile experience.
Nine years ago (May 2011), just after Aaron’s graduation from University of Michigan School of Business, he and I took a father/son trip to Africa. Aaron and I learned and experienced a lot on this trip. Now, in the midst of the Covid-19 timeout, I have finally found the time to share a bit of our adventure.
I don’t attend a lot of funerals, but when I do, I’m often struck by the same thing: even if I’ve known the departed for a long time, I’m amazed by the amount of new information I gain from the obituary. And when I receive this new information, a lot of what I have experienced with the person suddenly falls into place, and I find myself wishing that we’d had deeper conversations while they were alive. “I wish I had known…”
As Mother’s Day 2020 draws to a close, I’m filled with love and gratitude while remembering my mother, Claudia Louise Tarver. She left this earth on August 11, 2014, and the world has not been quite right since.
Most of us are spending a lot more time indoors these days, and the Tarver family is no exception. It’s hard to stay focused and productive during this Covid-19 pandemic. Fortunately, I have a retreat where I can go to focus and create, recreate, and produce. I thought you might enjoy a tour of the sometimes-cold, sometimes spider-infested place I call David’s Dungeon.