Thursday, July 21, 2011

Accepting Applications: 2011 Minneapolis-St. Paul InterCity Leadership Visit

I've been fortunate to take part in a couple of short-term international study delegations in the past; one for a week focused on international health policy in Haiti and another for two weeks focused on business and entrepreneurship in Abuja and Lagos, Nigeria. Both were fascinating studies into different cultures and foreign policies, as well as useful in providing insight and provoking thought about the way in which we do things at home in the good ole U.S. of A.

You may have seen the 50 Most Inspiring Travel Quotes Of All Time, of which I've got a few favorites:
  • "All travel has its advantages. If the passenger visits better countries, he may learn to improve his own." - Samuel Johnson
  • "One's destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things." -Henry Miller
Both aptly illuminate the value of a trip such as the Minneapolis/St. Paul Inter-City Leadership Delegation. In its 10th anniversary year, the program is heading to Portland, OR in order to engage in experiential learning via site visits, hearing from local leaders, and learning about regional and city best practices. More details below!

Minneapolis-St. Paul InterCity Leadership Visit Overview

Portland has been selected as the 10th destination for our annual InterCity Leadership Visit: Sunday, October 2 to Tuesday, October 4, 2011.

The leadership of Minneapolis and Saint Paul, will be traveling to Portland with a delegation of 75 community and regional representatives for their tenth Intercity Leadership Visit. This initiative was launched in 2001 by traveling to Denver in 2001 and has since traveled to Seattle, Boston, Dallas, San Diego, Toronto, Atlanta, Charlotte and Austin, TX to learn about city and regional best practices. Each year there is a strong delegation of regional representation. Business, Government, Chamber and Foundation leadership have all committed to their participation.

There are three themes for our visit to Portland: regional economic development, education and urban issues (transportation, downtown development, etc.). The agenda will show case innovative initiatives and regional collaboration around these issues.

Delegates: Trip attendance is by invitation only. A sample of past delegates include: Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak; St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman; Susan Haigh, Metropolitan Council Chair; Jon Campbell, President, Wells Fargo; Sean Kershaw, President, Citizen’s League; Lester Bagley, Vice President, Minnesota Vikings; David Olson, Minnesota Chamber of Commerce; and many more.


The purpose of this program is two-fold. First is to introduce the delegation to innovative ideas, programs and initiatives, which may be adapted to our community and implemented. The second purpose, is building cross sector relationships within our community. This shared experience results in a more cohesive team working on behalf of our region. Upon returning home, the dynamics of problem solving and community visioning will be enhanced.


This conference does not follow a typical meeting format. We will take the opportunity to see, experience, and explore as much of Portland as possible. By moving the delegation around the region, changing venues to support and enhance the presentations, we'll create a unique and stimulating program. We intend to create the environment to foster networking, creative thinking and discussion among the delegates.

Additional Information

For questions and to request a registration form, contact:

Wendy Helgeson
(612) 501-0377
Ellen Watters
(651) 208-1480

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