Olaf Kuhlke

Olaf Kuhlke

University of Minnesota

DULUTH, The United States

I am the founder - and faculty member - of the B.A. Program in Cultural Entrepreneurship(CUE) at the University of Minnesota Duluth. I am also an entrepreneur, and president of Integrative Re-Sources LLC, a company offering customized resiliency training.

@UMDCLA_Kuhlke LinkedIn cla.d.umn.edu/geography-and-philosophy/faculty-staff/olaf-kuhlke


I am an educator and entrepreneur with a passion for promoting the creative and cultural economy as an economic development tool. For as long as I can remember, I have been interested in human mobility. I study why and how people walk, dance, and move from place to place, over short distances and across countries and continents. Most importantly, I look at the cultural, social and economic contexts and impacts of such moves. At UMD, I have called the Department of Geography and Philosophy my home since 2002. I have taught courses in both the geography and cultural entrepreneurship programs, and I continue to do research in geography and entrepreneurship.
As a cultural geographer, I have written about international migration, large-scale dance festivals and their place in national and local discourse, the representation of national identity in Canadian popular music, the global diffusion of dance practices, and the places of Freemasonry in the United States. Most recently, I have been a passionate advocate for the establishment of cultural entrepreneurship as an academic discipline and practice, and have written about the theoretical foundations of this new form of entrepreneurship emerging out of the liberal arts.
As Founding Director of the B.A. Program in Cultural Entrepreneurship at UMD, I have been instrumental in leading the curriculum design for this new degree. In addition, I am currently engaged in establishing international research, teaching and student exchange connections for this program. I teach introductory courses on Creative Industries that focus on lean start-up methodology, development of business model canvases for creative industries, and creative problem solving techniques, along with story telling and value discovery in the cultural industries. I conduct research on the role and potential of cultural and creative products and services in promoting economic development, specifically in rural and remote regions of North America.

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