Minneapolis Architecture Community Collaboration Conference

macclogonewest Elements Group presented at the MACC conference hosted at the Doubletree Hotel in Minneapolis Minnesota.  Our topic focused on the development of new types of business intelligence covering areas of ecosystem development & market trends, strategic performance, strategic investment and organizational impact.   Each base of data and analytics acclimating in dashboards to help at the board, c-suite, and governance layers of a competitive organization.

The annual event grows larger each year feature several keynotes and multiple breakout tracks.  The multi-day event features a full peer to peer workshopping day.

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CommunityGiving Conference

Screen Shot 2018-12-01 at 11.18.34 AMElements group attended the CommunityGiving conference hosted at the river’s edge convention center in St. Cloud Minnesota.  The event was a gathering of non-profit organizations all around the region to discuss collaboration and shared services in meeting their mutual causes.  CommunityGiving is an organization that is developing the regional non-profit ecosystem by providing shared services and funding to create a larger impact and efficiencies for the non-profits in its network.    The event was well attended and features many notable speakers talking about overall trends in the non-profit community and in organizational issues inherent in non-profits and how they must evolve.  The day featured both keynotes and break out tracks on more specific topics of funding, engaging donors, and operations.

As Elements Group has been working in the areas of regional development.   It is important for us to call out that a critical component of progressive regions is the development of these collaborative / co-opition based models.   The alignment and combining of assets and capabilities to create a larger impact and more opportunity for a region is critical to developing true regional advantage.   While we see the largest impact being when industries combine to form more powerful regional consortiums to create large opportunities and address large regional challenges,  there is a growing trend in the non-profit space.   This is usually lead by foundations uniting around some of the grand challenges of our time, but it is equally effective for localized and community based issues as demonstrated by the work that CommunityGiving is piloting.  Their model is worth study for your own local goals and ecosystem development.

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American Family Innovation Center

american-family-insuranceElements Group visited Madison Wisconsin to see the construction of American Families new corporate innovation center.  Several years ago the American Family Ventures team was formed with a mantra of “Innovate or Die.”    This team was assembled to be a prototyping show testing out new business ventures, technologies and partnerships.   With the goal of big initiatives that could grow the business or be spun off into new companies.  The team is over 15 members and comprised of a cross section of technologies, engineers, and business representatives, they can explore new frontiers to discover opportunities and define new markets.  This group also screen over 2,000 start-ups a year looking for innovative opportunities and partnerships.

This new building called “Sparks” will facilitate both the corporate innovation team as well as serve as a “Social Impact Hub” for the American Family Insurance Institute for Corporate and Social Impact.  This group will be taking on social and community challenges to creating a thriving community.

The building plans to open in late summer/fall of 2018 and creates a new form of regional asset for the community.

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