Rise with the Guys: Motivational Conference

IMG_6881 2I attended the “Rise with the Guys,” annual motivational conference hosted in Eden Prairie Minnesota.   This conference had over 4000 people in attendance, including over 1000 youth and was streamed live to a wide number of other remote locations.

The event featured a number of professional sports athletes who shared their life stories around their career successes and challenges.   These athletes had risen to the tops of their professionals and yet hit major life obstacles throughout their career that could have derailed the rest of their lives.   The stories of determination, faith and residency were fantastic learnings for all.

See more images of the event in the gallery

 

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Minnesota Global: Growing MN Internationally

 

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Elements group attended the Global Minnesota event hosted at the Roseville Library.  The focus of the event was to discuss the future of Minnesota and how it could grow to be on the global stage in terms of brand, business and overall attraction.   A broad range of diplomatic, government, business and education speakers addressed the group to talk about both the challenges and opportunities facing Minnesota.   The event then broke into work group with audience members collaborating to work on a set of exploratory questions and reconvening for a summarization of the learnings.

Some of the key take aways:

  • Minnesota has a large opportunity to lead in many industries if it takes the initiative and has clear and inclusive planning.
  • We currently do not have a good vision of our future or leadership in place.
  • Our education systems are failing and not remaining relevant.   Need to look at new models of education and life long learning.
  • Building the right environment of learning, industry, and opportunities is key to retaining and attracting the future generations if we want to continue to grow and not stagnate.
  • We are already facing huge talent shortages.
  • Culture could be our greatest challenge in adapting to the future.

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This was the kick-off event for an ongoing exploration by Global Minnesota.

See images at the event in the gallery

 

2019 ACG Bold Awards

Logo02/26/19 – The Alliance of Corporate Growth (ACG) hosted their annual Bold Awards event held at the MUSE event center in downtown Minneapolis.   This event recognizes companies that are demonstrating strong leadership and corporate growth in Minnesota.  This event celebrates the large volume of investment and deal flow occurring within the region.   Attendees also included venture firms from China looking to help MN based companies in growing internationally.  Congratulations to all nominees and winners of this years event!

2019 Bold Winners

See more images of the event in the gallery

2019 New Year Blog Outlook

Happy New Year 2019 banner

It is 2019 and I’m looking forward to the new year and beginning with a new set of goals around the blog to share with my readers.

The strategic focus for Elements Group in 2019 will be on the development of new platforms in our Corporate, Regional and Foundation innovation practices.   In parallel to the development of these solutions offerings the team is writing a number of new books for leaders and practitioners in each of the practice areas.   Look for the development of these books to fuel new blog threads and articles.   This should be a banner year as we delve deeper into the cutting edge trends and approaches to corporate innovation, regional competitive advantage and foundation impact for the community.

There will also be an effort to create a video channel to feature in-depth interviews with team members and external practitioners.

Wishing everyone a fantastic 2019!

 

Generations Group – Sunrise Social

Sunrise SocialI attended the Sunrise Social networking breakfast hosted by Generations Group at the Minnesota Valley Country Club in Minneapolis Minnesota.  The event featured guest speaker Kari Switala.   She presented on how storytelling is a key component of building meaningful relationships.  Especially in business!   She used storytelling throughout her presentation to engage the audience and build a connection.   It was an effective demonstration of the technique and drove home many points about how to build effective stories that people can relate to and to humanize the conversation to something that can form relationships vs. just deliver a sterile business presentation.

See more images of the event in the gallery

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FBI/NSA InfraGard on Cyber Security

FBI-Seal

Elements Group attends the FBI/NSA Infragard session on cyber security hosted at the Cargill auditorium in Hopkins Minnesota.  Speakers representing the FBI, NSA and local security firms presented on many topics including:
– Artificial Intelligence
– Machine Learning
– Convolutional Neural Networks (CNN)
– Recurrent Neural Networks (RNN)
– Bias and Variance
– Cloud Computing
– 5G
– Cyber Crime

Nation state threats included a briefing on:
– China
– Russia
– Iran
– North Korea

The examples provided on current day threats and impacts directly to Minnesota based companies was very informative.   The sessions also provided an overview of a number of cutting edge technologies and their implications to cyber security.

Learn more about InfraGard

See more pictures of the event in the gallery

 

Greater MSP Annual Meeting

AnnualMeeting2018-2-101Elements Group attended the GMSP annual meeting hosted at Orchestra Hall in downtown Minneapolis.  The event was widely attended and featured several songs by a quartet.   A host of speakers shared updates on their initiatives throughout the evening.  After the presentation, there was food and networking.

The announcement of Michael Langley stepping down as the head of the organization is a key turning point for the organization.   They are developing what they are referring to as a 2.0 strategy for the next evolution of their mission.   The search to replace Michael is already underway and is set to conclude in 1st quarter of 2019.

Overall the messaging was a year in review and showcased some tactical metrics of regional status.  Encouraging, was the continued development of data partnerships.  It is unclear the future direction that the 2.0 strategy may take the organization but evolution of regional development firms is normal and required.

I thought the event was well executed and the high attendance speaks to the interest level and desire for engagement by regional stakeholder.

 

See pictures of the event in the photo gallery