[#mnrising Dispatch] July 2012
The 2012 Olympics and Paralympics are well underway, as is the excitement for fans cheering on those who have overcome adversity and dedicated their lives to excellence in their sport. At Minnesota Rising, we take inspiration from those athletes that, at such young ages, set their sights on a future Olympics still far off. Despite an uncertain future, and the doubtless challenges that lay ahead, they nevertheless pursue the path toward their vision.
While the date and venue are pending final confirmation, Minnesota Rising is excited to announce the theme of our 3rd annual Un/Conference this Fall: "Leveraging Expansive Leadership for Our Minnesota." While the journey ahead for our efforts to engage young leaders to build trust, relationships, and a shared vision for the future of our state is still emerging, we acknowledge the need for the definition of leadership to be as inclusive and as broad as possible if we are to tackle all the challenges that lie ahead. As more emerging leaders enter the fold and bring their talents and ideas to bear, there's no doubt we'll achieve historic victories together and carry the torch of leadership for Minnesota.
Conversations that Count: Appreciative inquiry and cascading conversations
Diane Tran, YNPN-TC Guest Blogger One of my favorite theoretical concepts is that of linguistic determinism, or the idea that language and its structures limit and determine human knowledge or thought. Our classic Minnesota example is the various types of condensation we encounter in the winter, being able to refer to the white stuff as slush, wintry mix, and sleet, whereas others in warmer climates might only be able to name it snow. The idea that we can only understand the purposes or capacities of items insofar as we have been introduced to them should urge us to dream up new ways to relate to and interact with everything around us. It matters not only to our ability to repurpose vases as drinkware when the rest of the dirty cups are in the sink, but also to the creativity and vision we can have for our lives and the communities we call home.
I have recently been in multigenerational conversations where it's been posited that the rising generation may lack the ability to envision a better future. In 1973, former Governor Wendell Anderson graced the cover of Time Magazinewith the tagline, "The Good Life in Minnesota." It was a time when Minnesota was known as "the state that works," where institutions of all kinds were strong and lasted, government worked and was trusted, and people bowled together. Nowadays we have seen longstanding institutions crumble, increased mistrust of government and political parties, and the collapse of our physical infrastructure. Because Millennials haven't personally seen or experienced that kind of societal success, will we be less imaginative? Inquiring minds want to know: how can Generation Y possibly envision something they themselves have not witnessed firsthand? [Read more.]
Heidi Smith, Minnesota Rising BloggerMinnesota Rising's Cascading Conversation Tour: "Our Minnesota," has revealed many different and interesting ideas about "What's next for Our Minnesota." In efforts to dig a little deeper into some of the emerging values and visions, Minnesota Rising hosted a World Cafe, entitled Different by Design, to further explore Millennial leadership and potentially classify some of the characteristics that define Millennials. Since our purpose in hosting the World Cafe was to discuss how Millennials are different by design, we wanted to ensure that the dialogues were varied and that the emergent themes were captured in the same way.
Millennial Leadership: "Different by Design" World Cafe
We were lucky enough to have four table hosts guide our World Cafe sessions. Each hosted three breakout session rounds throughout the evening. Participants were invited to sit at any one of the four hosted tables, which allowed for both the participants and hosts to see and hear fresh perspectives as they rotated to new tables with each discussion round. To begin conversation with a shared focus on Millennial leadership, all four tables kicked off with the question, "What's at the intersection of Minnesota & the world's deepest needs and the rising generation's greatest desires & potential?" At the close of every discussion round, each group collectively generated a new question for the next group. [Read more.]
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