Phil Cooley is a bit like the Keyser Söze of Detroit. For people who marveled at Detroit’s renewal and reinvention from the outside, his name was one of the most frequent to surface. He’s a deeply passionate social entrepreneur with an artistic heart whose major ventures include Slow’s BBQ, a Detroit institution, as well as Ponyride, a 28,000 sq/ft. space for makers, inventors, entrepreneurs and social entrepreneurs.

We first met Phil and his black sheep brethren on our 2015 Black Sheep Bus Tour. They put us up at Ponyride, and we parked our bus there then, and again in 2018 when we returned to Detroit on the second tour. We hope you will enjoy this conversation with one of our heroes on the front lines of American renewal.