Cultural Entrepreneurship

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Meet the Faculty!


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Aparna Katre
University of Minnesota, Duluth


Hi I am Aparna Katre and I am the Director and Assistant Professor of Cultural Entrepreneurship for the newly started B.A. in Cultural Entrepreneurship degree program at the University of Minnesota in Duluth. I am responsible for curriculum design and instruction, as well as to foster relationships with local institutions to support the program in the form of student mentors and by providing project based internship opportunities. My research interests include startup stages of social, cultural and environmental mission-based entrepreneurship with a focus on entrepreneurial strategies and behaviors. I have publications in academic journals and regularly present at academic and practitioner conferences.

With my Information Technology Management experience, I provided leadership in the areas of strategy, organizational change management, business process improvement, and program management at Global IT consulting firms. As Capgemini’s Continental Business Unit Leader I was responsible for building the Global Delivery Model for strategic financial services clients in Europe. Prior to this I served in the roles of Chief Innovation Officer, Chief Process Officer and held P&L responsibility.  I also led a technology based nonprofit organization and was a small business owner prior to taking the current position at the University.

I earned my Ph.D. in Management (Designing Sustainable Systems) from Case Western Reserve University and a Master of Statistics from Indian Statistical Institute. I associated with various academic and practitioner groups such as the Academy of Management, Association for Nonprofit and Voluntary Associations, Social Enterprise Alliance, Minnesota Social Impact Center, and Social Venture Network.

Feel free to stop by Humantities 468B to chat or give me a call at 218-726-8306.

Olaf Kuhlke

Dr. Olaf Kuhlke

German-born, GER/US/CAN - educated, Geographer by Profession, University Administrator by Choice, Cultural Entrepreneur by Accident, Historian of All Things Masonic by Conviction.


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.

Currently, I am the Associate Dean of the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Minnesota Duluth, where I also serve as a tenured Associate Professor of Geography. 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.

I enjoy the many outdoor activities that Duluth has to offer, and try to spend a lot of family time outside (with my wife Kari, son Kiel and daughter Anja) biking, hiking, walking the dogs and running. This city has become my home, but I have to admit that I will never (I’ll say it again – NEVER –) get used to, or love, Duluth winters. I simply have learned to tolerate them, and hope for an early Spring every year.

Bragging rights

1- I came up with the idea to start the first Cultural Entrepreneurship B.A. degree in the US, and actually helped make it happen. 2- I am a bad dancer but have now published three books on dancing.  3- I am a proud member of one of the world’s oldest and largest fraternities, the Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, and I am not afraid to answer any questions about my membership 4- I was born in Germany and have visited 45 US states and territories as well as 8 Canadian Provinces and Territories. 5- My FJ Cruiser has (literally) the coolest license plates in the state. 6- I am the biggest German fan of the (now defunct) Canadian rock band The Rheostatics. If you know me, you know at least one of their songs….