Agrowtopia: Cultivating Community, Consciousness and Capital on Campus
Richard Peters, Mark Quinn
June 1, 2018
Ethics & Social Justice
social innovation, Social enterprise, ethics
GJCS / SCR
Mark Quinn had big dreams for Agrowtopia. What started out as a class project had slowly evolved into a small university urban farm. In Quinn’s mind, it was going to change things on campus and off. It was going to give university students an opportunity to practice business skills. It was also going to bring a steady stream of revenue. And importantly, it was going to improve the lives of a community that had grown unaccustomed to nutrition and healthy eating. Big dreams indeed but only a few years after its first harvest, Quinn was finding these goals difficult to manage. Not only had Agrowtopia failed to fiscally break-even, but Quinn was finding his social and educational agendas equally thwarted by forces unsupportive of this ‘constructive’ change. This uncertain past left him pondering whether Agrowtopia could be ‘fixed’ or if its future would be better managed by new ownership.