Slawinski wins Fogo Island fellowship


Dr. Natalie Slawinski has won a Fogo Island Fellowship

Nov. 10, 2015

Dr. Natalie Slawinski has been awarded one of Memorial University’s inaugural Fogo Island Fellowships.

The fellowships, launched this year in partnership with Fogo Island’s Shorefast Foundation, provide up to 10 faculty members with the opportunity to spend four weeks on the island, undertaking research-related writing or creating an artistic work. The Shorefast Foundation, founded by Memorial alumna Zita Cobb, is a not-for-profit organization that operates as a social enterprise, using business-minded means to achieve social goals and promote the island’s cultural, economic and social resiliency. Memorial and Shorefast signed a memorandum of understanding in 2013 that lays the foundation for partnership development between the two organizations.

Shorefast’s mandate ties in to Dr. Slawinski’s own research, which focuses on the interrelationship between business and social goals. In particular, she has been studying Shorefast’s novel approach to social entrepreneurship.

“I feel honoured to be associated with the Shorefast Foundation, which is doing such groundbreaking and important work in Newfoundland and Labrador that will have global impact,” said Dr. Slawinski. “Shorefast is an excellent example of the power of social entrepreneurship to challenge the assumptions we hold about the role of business in society. It’s providing examples of how business can serve society rather than the other way around.”

Dr. Slawinski is an associate professor of strategy at Memorial’s Faculty of Business Administration. She will use the fellowship’s residency period to finish a research project that examines the role of social enterprise in building resilient rural communities.

She says that the opportunity to complete her project in a rural setting that has itself benefitted from social enterprise will “allow me to step back and think through what about my research is truly innovative and impactful.”

The Fogo Island Fellowship Program grew out of recommendations outlined in Memorial’s Strategic Research Intensity Plan, which aims to strengthen all aspects of research at Memorial.

“This joint initiative between the university and a community partner shows that Memorial has innovative programs that support its researchers, and that we are really leading the way when it comes to university-community partnerships,” Dr. Slawinski said. “Opportunities like this help us as researchers truly understand the importance of the work we are doing, and inspire us to do even more relevant research that can improve the lives of people and communities in this province.”

Dr. Natalie Slawinski received her doctor of philosophy in strategic management from the Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario in 2010, where she was awarded the Governor General’s Gold Medal.

Her articles have appeared in such journals as Organization Science, Journal of Business Ethics and Organization Studies and her research has appeared in the Globe and Mail, the Financial Post, and Canadian Business magazine.

Susan White