Greater MSP theme is expansive, inclusive and intelligent

Greater MSP is a relatively new and ambitious effort to attract and retain economic development in the Twin Cities region, and the group’s evolving theme has to be one of the most intelligent and expansive in the nation. This week’s annual meeting featured speakers and a new mission statement that emphasized cultural connectedness and social collaboration in a way I’ve never quite seen before from a business group. Here’s the new and improved theme, handed out on glossy cards to the hundreds of partners and supporters who attended the up-tempo event at the Guthrie Theater. It’s a speech that might be coming soon to an elevator near you. I added the underlining. Continue Reading

Strive Together: Lessons from Dallas

In our last post, we described a national Strive Together movement that is gathering momentum from our largest cities to our smallest towns. Strive networks organize a total community effort around closing educational opportunity gaps and improving performance from cradle-to-career, increasing post-secondary attainment and workforce readiness. This strategy is big-hearted but also hard-headed; it relies heavily on data and evidence-tested intervention, “everybody-in’’ partnerships between public, private and non-profit organizations, and pushing for results and measurable outcomes. Continue Reading

Run this up the flagpole: “MetroSota: Simply The Coolest”

Steve Berg’s excellent op-ed that rethinks our Twin Cities brand and a similar essay published last week by Jay Walljasper and sponsored by the McKnight Foundation should inspire plenty of creative feedback from us Twin Cities and Minnesota enthusiasts. Both articles feed on the outstanding work done so far by Greater MSP, a new organization focused on more effective marketing of the Twin Cities metropolitan area as a great place to live and to do business. Continue Reading

A different tone in this year’s tax committee hearings, and a clear consensus for more and fairer revenue

I’ve heard infinite versions of “don’t tax me” or “taxing me or my customers more will destroy my business AND the economy” in my decades under the dome. And last week’s opposition at a House hearing to ending sales tax exemptions on business services was typical in many respects. Just because these fears often turn out unfounded _ our economy was performing better, in the 1990s, when taxes were higher _ doesn’t mean these specific concerns shouldn’t be heeded. Continue Reading