Wednesday, March 21, 2012

We have seen the future and it includes Minnesota Rising!

The "Our Minnesota" Cascading Conversations Tour is well underway, engaging young Minnesotans from across the state in dialogue about their values and visions for the future of our state! We invite you to join in the cascade by downloading the Blueprint yourself as a tool to better connect with your friends or requesting that a member of the Advance Team contact you to schedule a cascading conversation to further grow your own network.

While we're just at the start of building the network for what's next, we wanted to share some our strategic intentions and ideas about how Minnesota Rising can contribute to the livelihood now, and in 30 years, of Minnesota. See below for the start of our ideating and please share your own insights and suggestions in the comments. We hope you'll join in the effort to shape and support our Minnesota!

Short-Term: 2 Years

At the end of the Cascading Conversations Tour, Minnesota Rising will have traveled throughout the state to hear directly from emerging leaders regarding their interest in taking the lead in their communities and their visions for how Minnesota Rising can support and enable their civic contributions. Armed with this knowledge and insight, Minnesota Rising will be able to begin developing its next iteration of collaborative programming, training curricula, and its strategic intentions to endorse and advance the generational theme or operating principles resulting from the Statewide Tour.

As more emerging leaders and organizations come on board, we will be able to engage those with a demonstrated interest in leading Minnesota Rising at a higher level to share in the work and design of the initiative. Gaining a sense for the potential future leaders and leadership styles of Minnesota Rising will also inform what type of governance model may be most effective to develop for its management and stewardship, thus allowing us to also begin preliminary strategizing in the vein of mentorship and leadership transition.

Mid-Term: 5 Years

In projecting five years ahead, we imagine that Minnesota Rising will have a clearer sense of its identity and potential. It will have gained insight from the voices of established and newly emerging leaders across Minnesota, have cultivated relationships with organizations and emerging leaders statewide, and will be actively implementing its strategic intentions.

Emerging leaders and their organizations will have come to know each other via events and joint efforts, and will have had the opportunity to work together on wide-ranging initiatives, thus allowing for trust and relationships to be built. These emerging leaders and their respective groups will be more networked. Friendships, partnerships, and collaborations will have arisen out of Minnesota Rising gatherings. Emerging leaders will feel a deeper connection to the people and successes associated with collegial organizations as well as a commitment to the potential and responsibility that this diversity of people and groups holds for the state of Minnesota.

These groups will understand what they have in common – a shared appreciation for Minnesota and a sense that they will be able to influence and impact change for the betterment of our communities – as well as the things that make us distinct – different stories of coming to civic engagement and unique histories and vantage points – and to start to develop common ground. Whether that looks like a generational theme or operating principles for how we work together and communicate with each other, that which we agree upon will be posited in such a way as to demonstrate that we are committed to each other, Minnesota Rising’s vision, and the well-being of our communities as part of our collective success.

Minnesota Rising will have identified a structure for governance and participation that allows for long-term sustainability by allowing people to exit gracefully when they have moved on to the next stage of their lives and for bringing on board new people, energized by the vision and activity.

Those currently engaged with Minnesota Rising and existing emerging leader groups will continue to rise to new and greater positions of leadership after an additional two years. These transitions will allow for learning and growth, as we practice how to hand off power, even within our own generation, but also learn how to effectively mentor those who are just beginning to emerge.

Long-Term: 30 Years

In 30 years, the passionate, diverse, and highly engaged leadership of society, who were initially connected to each other through Minnesota Rising's network, will be actively handing off leadership of the state to an even more talented, committed, and multi-faceted generation. Because of our association with Minnesota Rising, we will have built relationships encompassing the types of interactions that characterize a healthy community. We will know each other’s families, support and utilize the public institutions and resources that benefit our community at-large, and feel a responsibility to each other and the success of our communities.

Because of Minnesota Rising, civic efforts and successes will be raised up as examples of the potential of individual changemakers as well as the power of the collective to organize for change for the better. This knowledge of a civic tradition is a predictor of continued civic engagement, so will help to inspire civic regeneration.

Minnesota will be vibrant, having adjusted to a variety demographic, technological, and economic changes, and being adequately prepared to manage additional future changes. The ever-present generational theme or operating principles will be a shared point of thought for those in leadership in society and amongst the general public. We will have a unifying understanding of that which we want to accomplish, that which we want to leave behind as our legacies, and our code of conduct for getting there. Most importantly, we will have built our network of peers and a community of support.

Our conversations will be less polarizing, and more focused on consensus or common ground at the State Capitol. Typically siloed sectors will be convinced of the need to work across sectors, will have the relationships and familiarity to engender comfort in doing so, and will thus see more of the innovation that is created at the intersection of disciplines. Stakeholder groups will come together in standard practice to engage in the tabletop demonstrations so common in emergency preparedness discussions. They will understand the value of coming together to form relationships, know the roles and ways in which they or their group contributes to the community, and be compelled to act in accordance as necessary.

Our hope is that we look at each other years from now and remember when we began this work. We will trust each other, have found our individual and collective ways to contribute to the common good in Minnesota, and have continued to pass along those values and training to the younger generation.

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