To ensure that revitalization efforts in Detroit, Hamtramck, and Highland Park are just and inclusive, it is necessary to support social entrepreneurs who are already advancing ideas and projects to improve the health, safety, and economic vitality of their communities.

The New Economy Initiative, an entrepreneurial development strategy of the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, is working to support social innovators in Detroit, Hamtramck, and Highland Park through storytelling efforts and a fellowship program.


The New Economy Initiative and Issue Media Group (publisher of Model D) convene a group of community leaders and resident innovators on a quarterly basis to hear from them about people and projects who are making change in their communities. After these meetings, reporters from Issue Media Group follow the leads and write stories about resident-led innovation in Detroit, Hamtramck, and Highland Park. Those stories are published on Model D, then collected on

Want to attend our next community listening session? Click here.

Detroit Innovation Fellowship

The Detroit Innovation Fellowship (DIF) is a talent development program that connects, promotes, and invests in social entrepreneurs who are leading projects to transform their communities in the cities of Detroit, Hamtramck, and Highland Park. Social innovators are identified through the listening sessions and storytelling process detailed above and invited by NEI to participate in DIF.

The Urban Consulate assists NEI in coordinating fellow cohort meetings and professional development opportunities.

To learn more about DIF, click here.