Join Our Local Living Economy Tours
of Grand Rapids and Detroit
Your BALLE Conference experience wouldn’t be complete without one of our acclaimed Local Living Economy Tours.
Pre- and post conference tours are available that showcase the transformative work to rebuild the Rust Belt in Michigan. Read on and register now!
Sustainable Manufacturing in the 'Furniture Capital of the World'
Being the ‘Furniture Capital of the World’ gave West Michigan its strong economic start over a century ago. This tour will visit Herman Miller, a world leader in the sustainable furniture industry, and a company that uses 100% renewable energy. We’ll also visit the Haworth company and explore their company that focuses on zero waste emission and social responsibility. And the tour will end the day at beautiful Lake Michigan.
Building a Closed Loop Recycling Program
Grand Rapids has decreased its refuse and increased its resident recycling by 50% in the past year alone, using an innovative all-local, closed loop recycling incentive program. You’ll have the opportunity to see and hear firsthand from the Kent County Recycling Facility on how this program has impacted their production. We’ll then visit Cascade Engineering - the B Corp, family owned, triple bottom line manufacturing company that creates the single stream recycling bins for the city of Grand Rapids.
The Phoenix Thriving - Building Local Business Ecosystems
Join us Saturday for a day to explore some real stories of the ways in which Detroit's local business community participates from day to day in reimagining and actually building a new city, by building (and re-building) relationships with one another and with community members. Tour highlights will include Brightmoor Community Gardens and D-Town Farms, the Green Garage urban sustainability laboratory and business incubator, independent retail in the Cass Corridor, and thriving Latino community businesses in SW Detroit.
Visit our website for more details and to register. If you are already registered and want to add a tour, follow these instructions.
(Note: Separate registration is required for the full conference and all other conference events.)
See you in Grand Rapids!
P.S. BALLE has a new scholarship fund sponsored by the Kellogg Foundation for Michigan Social Entrepreneurs. Recipients will receive free registration to the main conference, including all meals for Wednesday night, May 16 through Friday night, May 18, and a travel and lodging stipend. Learn more and apply now - the application deadline is April 26!