Transformation and Resilience through Entrepreneurial Ecosystems (TREE) is the latest project at the Resilient Institutions & Sustainable Environments (RISE) Lab, at Wayne State University’s Department of Communication. This applied research project examines how entrepreneurial ecosystems can facilitate inclusive and long-term socioeconomic development in the urban environment (i.e., urban sustainability). We are especially interested in building resilient grassroots and institutional systems in post-industrial cities that have often been dismissed as out-of-touch with 21st century organizing.


Detroit is the “natural laboratory” for our project, which uses immersive and  ethnographic methods to trace meaning-making around entrepreneurship and the urban environment. Our eventual goal is to build a predictive framework to help design interventions, with grassroots inputs, for urban sustainability.

The goal of this website is to share some of our findings with larger audiences, especially community members and others involved with the Detroit entrepreneurial ecosystem, tell you about our methods and research processes, and invite your feedback.

Learn more about our team members HERE.