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

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Global Water Leaders Summit

screenshot 1Elements Group attended the 2018 Global Water Leaders Summit in Milwaukee Wisconsin.  The two day event brought in representatives from around the world to collaborate and share technology advancements, global initiatives, and to develop partnerships.
Milwaukee, like many cities, has felt the strain of economic pressures on its industries and communities.  It began to explore what it needed to do to reposition itself as a leader in the water industry.   A large section of the downtown area was targeted for revitalization and branding to the water district.   A walking tour of Milwaukee’s Riverwalk System was now a mixture of modernized historic buildings and new construction complete with greenways.  Along the path where public displays of water technology.
The Global Water Center is the headquarters for the initiative and is a 8 story building in the heart of the water district.  A new school of fresh water science is also a new addition.   We toured the water center seeing companies, start-ups, and universities all residing within.   The center is complete with many labs where cutting edge projects are underway, as well as, partnerships and sponsor ships that surround them.
Zurn industries has a new building close to the water center and we toured their customer experience center.  From the roof top of the build we where able to look around in all directions to see the breadth of the revitalization project.
The summit itself was hosted at the near by Harley Davidson event center.  Noted speakers and topics included:
  1. Chairman & CEO of Badger Meter Rich Meeusen
  2. Guest of Honor WI Lieutenant Governor – Rebecca Kleefisch
  3. Video   Senator Ron Johnson
  4. Video Senator Tammy Baldwin
  5. Mayor Tom Barrett
  6. Student Awards
  7. Water Environment Federation
  8. Big Oil & Water
  9. Adoption of the Alliance for Water Stewardship Standards
At the event center was a large array of technology companies and start-ups showcase their wares and connecting with representatives globally.
We also got to tour the Harley Davidson Museum in the off hours of the conference.
While most North American cluster development initiatives trail far behind other global examples.  This summit shown light on a positive begin to such ambitions and can be studied as a template for how other cities could begin such a journey.
See more images from the event in the gallery.

CornerHouse: Supporting Children and Families in Crisis

Screen Shot 2018-04-14 at 6.35.22 PMCornerHouse hosted its annual fundraiser at the Golden Valley Country Club this week.  It is hard to describe the emotional impact of attending this event and listening to parents and children tell their stories of abuse and struggles of lifelong healing on the other side of tragedy.   The stories also bring forward key points that abuse is happening in almost every neighborhood and community and many times it is people very close to the children and not strangers.  We must all be aware of this and watch for the signs.   The courage of these individuals to get up and share their experience is amazing.  The need to drive awareness to these issues is paramount as is the work that CornerHouse does everyday.

The event grew quite a bit in size from last years topping around 400 people in attendance and more who likely donated but couldn’t make the event.   Several families and police force units announced contributions of over $5000 dollars to the cause.  The event opened with an overview of the crisis that included over 20,000 incidents of child abuse reported in Minnesota last year.  This not only impacts the children but the entire family.   CornerHouse has expanded into family services over the years to meet the needs of the family in concrete with the core mission of supporting the children.   The also provide critical interviewing services with the children to support the police in the prosecution of the predators involved in the crimes.   CornerHouse is also known worldwide for having some of the best approaches and processes to this space.  They have trained centers like themselves in every county in Minnesota,  every state in the US, and in many countries around the world.

Being deeply embedded in the community is critical in the operations of these type of support centers.  CornerHouse recently announced its expansion from Hennepin into the Rodgers area.   Expanding their reach is fantastic but will bring new challenges in terms of scale, bandwidth, and overall risk of sustainability.   This is where they need the support of funding from all of us. They are also looking for a new Executive Director to lead in the development of the next chapter of the organization.   This person needs to be both visionary and with a strong business background as CornerHouse has tremendous opportunities to grow from a small local service provider into a national and global leader on many business fronts.   If you know of qualified business people that would be interested in this new role,  please connect them with the organization and their talent search firm of CohenTaylor.

Learn more about CornerHouse

See more images of the event and speakers in the Gallery

 

2018 Globalization Trends

240_F_6103632_ib328fMRJVHjrJSvj2VORJI21LaeKU1sIn this blog we will take a look at some top trends in globalization that are facing national and corporate strategies.  Globalization had massive momentum before the 2008 economic recession.  While many economies have recovered and are growing there are new forces today that are creating challenges to continued global integration.

Strategic Considerations:

  • The rise of nationalistic goals and causes has created more international tension and is slowing collaboration for united efforts towards shared opportunities and global challenges.
  • Many existing agreements like UK Union (Brexit), Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), and North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFDA) are falling apart without a new solution to advance the relationships.
  • Companies are increasing learning of the difficulties to understand localization of new markets, partnerships and navigating foreign policies.  Size alone may not be enough to successful globalize vs. regional relationship and relevance.
  • Population growth in BRIC to ICASA is creating new billion+ people markets and equal number of ecological challenges.  These areas of opportunity will be disrupted by their own sustainability crisis.  Compounding this trends is that the shift to urbanization is no where near complete in these countries and yet their cities and infrastructures are already beyond capacity.
  • Development of the middle class is a global concern for both developed and developing nations.  Economic growth without opportunity for an aspiring middle class has proven to be unsustainable long term.
  • Growing populations have a near term crisis of improving education to make the emerging workforce relevant, as well as, the need to develop new services for their aging populations.
  • Corporate involvement in Social causes and infrastructure will increase in terms of time, investment and focus in all regions.  Stability, prosperity and livability are key to corporate survivability.
  • The competition for natural resources will become ever more at the forefront of all strategies.  Both in securing and security the resources a nation has, but to also secure the relationships and collaborations needed to exchange resources with others.  This also drive innovation in shifting to new forms of sustainability to reduce critical dependencies on current resources.  This will continue to create new opportunities or disruptions for companies that either can or cannot respond to the demand.
  • Last century was dominated by the growth of global vertical players.   Today the rise of horizontal players and integrators will generate new forms of partnerships and disruptions for the classic business models that will reform business ecosystems.
  • The disruptive power of new digital currencies could unseat may traditional financial business models.   It does offer potentially a long term promise of a more integrated and audible world of finance, there is still the shorter term maturation and security issues that economies will have endure if they begin down that path.
  • While trade and migration are under strain,  the rise of data exchange continues to expand exponentially.   This is creating new opportunities to understand the worlds big data insights to make better decisions and investments.
  • The dark side or dark web continues to rise along with the growth of data exchange.  Global investment in securing digital transactions and traceability will be required to maintain stability of markets and economies.

Sources:  Harvard, McKinsey, Inc

 

 

Canada Announces Five Superclusters

waving canada flag
Canada commits to its vision to develop five new superclusters:
  • Ocean Supercluster (based in Atlantic Canada)
  • SCALE.AI Supercluster (based in Quebec)
  • Advanced Manufacturing Supercluster (based in Ontario)
  • Protein Industries Supercluster (based in the Prairies)
  • Digital Technology Supercluster (based in British Columbia)

Together the superclusters represent more than 450 businesses, 60 post-secondary institutions and 180 other participants in sectors covering 78 percent of Canada’s economy.

“The Innovation Superclusters Initiative created an important dialogue between industries, companies, and communities focused on building the next generation of manufacturing firms in Canada,” said Jayson Myers, CEO, Next Generation Manufacturing Canada. “These vital conversations have set the stage for new partnerships, customer relationships, and investment opportunities that will shape the future of advanced manufacturing in Canada.”
Source: SSTi

Greater MSP / Talent Crunch

Screen Shot 2018-03-20 at 7.38.09 PMGSMP hosts a morning event at the Hilton Minneapolis focused on “Managing Through the Talent Crunch”  They covered how the partnership is evolving to meet new challenges in economic development, and shared an overview of the new 2018 Talent Report. A moderated panel of senior talent leaders and industry experts provided their thoughts and insights.

Speakers include:

  • Richard Davis, Executive Chairman of U.S. Bancorp and GREATER MSP Board Chair
  • Michael Langley, GREATER MSP CEO
Panelists include:
  • Shawntera Hardy, Commissioner, Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (Moderator)
  • Ken Charles, Senior Vice President, Global Talent, U.S Bank
  • Amy Langer, Co-founder, Salo
  • Carol Surface, Chief Human Resources Officer, Medtronic
7:30 a.m. – Registration opens
7:30 a.m. – 8:00 a.m. – Networking and breakfast served
8:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. – Program begins

9:30 a.m. – Adjournment

Great Lakes Water Controversy

United-States-Map-2Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker  is proposing that the City of Racine be allowed to divert 7 million gallons of Lake Michigan water everyday as part of the Foxconn deal in southeast Wisconsin. However, conservation groups oppose the plan, and argue that it not only undercuts the Great Lakes Compact of 2008, but also such a diversion for private industry use is unprecedented.  Source: SSTi

This is another example of the growing struggle to jointly manage shared natural resources.   Many cities, both in the USA and Canada rest on the shores of the Great Lakes.  Who dictates that cities uses of their shoreline and access to the water.   In the past law suits have come around pollution claims of an up stream user contaminating the water for those down stream and many of those suits have held up in court with large reparations to the offending party.   While most cities try to regulate water usage for the greater good it becomes more concerning when private industry wants large scale access to those shared resources for their personal profit.   Complicating the matter even more is that multiple nations share natural resources like access to fresh water sources and the seas.

This rising crisis of global sustainability is bringing many of the Grand Challenges to the forefront of national agendas.   The world will need to create a new dialogue and ability to regulate and manage a court of appeals on a global level.   Ownership of shared natural resources will also be contested, as will, the issues of unsymmetrical distribution of many resources.   Today we have some internal bodies like the United Nations,   ICJ/HAG, and  G20 to name a few.   These can serve as models to learn from while exploring a more globally inclusive model to represent all nations.

I encourage everyone to follow and share stories about Natural Resource controversies,  appeals, and deals that will begin to set the precedents for the decades to come.   We all need to be alert to the lobbying forces of private interest over the greater good.