Press for our Grand Rapids Ripe for Discussion session

Part innovation lab. Part think tank. Through an action-oriented approach, Ruminate combines the science of quantitative data and measurable impact with the qualitative wisdom of the food community and lived experiences. We break down tough problems to find effective solutions through in-person engagements, social innovation, and digital interactions.

Building connections between producers and plates

Our Ripe for Discussion sessions offer a chance to join other food leaders to discuss, debate, and ideate how to increase distribution and access to good food in local communities. Our inaugural session took place in Western Michigan. Together, we diagnose the barriers to expanding access to value-focused, local food in restaurants, schools, and grocery and brainstorm solutions to these obstacles. They give a chance to leave with renewed and new networks and concepts that we will move forward together.

It goes a bit like this...

Our Ripe for Discussion series consists of micro-think tanks where everyday leaders roll their sleeves up and build change we can start making tomorrow through discussions and design-thinking inspired brainstorming sessions.

  • First, we start with a contextual framework—an introduction of empirical data and evidence-based context for the session.

  • Next, we hear from community and subject matter experts, learning from their lived and worked experience and expertise.

  • Finally, we break out into groups and concept inventive solutions—participants bring their own knowledge and synthesize the content of the session.

  • Afterward, attendees head home with new insights and Ruminate digs in deeper—the work products are made publicly available and the innovation process continues.

Learn more about our Grand Rapids session

"The unique part of what we’re doing at Ruminate with Ripe for Discussion is that we’re co-creating with food communities to concept solutions that are built off of all of our expertise and lived experience, not just how that experience is viewed through the lens of the researcher," she says. Their main goal of the nonprofit is to start and facilitate conversations among local food leaders in organized settings that eventually lead to tangible solutions and changed minds.”

Lauren Fay Carlson of Rapid Growth covered our first session. Check her article to read more about about what we did:

New nonprofit Ruminate gathers food leaders around the table