Minnesota Council on Foundations is pleased to present convening attendees with four first-class, thought-provoking and inspiring plenary sessions.

CEO/Trustee Pre-Convening Session: Minnesota’s Economic Future, What is Philanthropy’s Role?

Thursday, October 28, 2010
8:00 – 11:30 am

Just a few days after the MCF 2010 Annual Convening, Minnesotans will elect a new governor. Our state’s next chief executive will face one of the largest budget shortfalls in Minnesota history. The debate will be heated: What combination of budget cuts and revenue increases will solve the current crisis and position us well for the future? Even if a slow recovery continues, what dramatic actions will be needed to adapt to “the new normal?”

Jay Kiedrowski will paint a vivid picture of the challenges and opportunities that await us during the next biennium. Acknowledging the reality of inevitable cuts in state and federal funding, he will challenge us to consider emerging ideas about public re-design, new models of collaboration and more effective coordination of services so that government and philanthropy can work in tandem to achieve our state’s priorities.

Following Kiedrowski’s presentation, we will jointly examine ideas, issues and challenges using the World Café model of peer conversation. We’ll go in-depth on questions about how government and philanthropy can work together to build a strong and vibrant Minnesota, and we’ll debate the role of philanthropy in identifying and implementing solutions.  While your participation in this discussion may spur more questions, you’re guaranteed to walk away with concrete ideas that will shape how you lead your organization and strive to fulfill you mission in the coming decade.

Speaker: Jay Kiedrowski, Senior Fellow and Co-Director for the Public and Nonprofit Leadership Center at the Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs

Discussion Moderator: Jan K. Malcolm, Chair of the Board of the Bush Foundation, President and CEO of Courage Center

*CEO/Trustee Plenary Open only to top executive of foundation/giving program and trustees

Welcome Luncheon and Opening Plenary: What’s Next for Philanthropy? Designing “Next” Practices for a New Decade

Thursday, October 28, 2010
11:30 am – 1:30 pm

The landscape for philanthropy and nonprofits has undergone a transformation that requires fundamental re-thinking of relationships, structures and resources.  The pace and extent of the impact has generated unprecedented social experimentation. At the same time, foundations’ investments in increasing their ability to create positive social change have also led to significant change.

Yet, despite increased focus on effectiveness and scaling what works, long-term, seemingly intractable issues – such as employment, health care, education and housing, among others – continue to plague efforts to create strong communities and a good quality of life for all.

We are at the brink of combining lessons learned about philanthropic effectiveness and impact with new tools and strategies in order to create exciting opportunities for real impact in this quickly changing world.

Gabriel Kasper, a consultant with the Monitor Institute and co-author of the reports “What’s Next for Philanthropy – Acting Bigger and Adapting Better in a Networked World” and “Intentional Innovation: How Getting More Systematic about Innovation Could Improve Philanthropy and Increase Social Impact”, will share deep insights from Monitor’s work with funders nationwide and reveal important lessons that are shaping the work of leading philanthropic practitioners and thinkers.

During the plenary, attendees will engage in table discussions on key questions related to philanthropy’s ability to act, adapt and innovate in this new ecology. Bring your team staff and trustees to join in this exciting and motivational presentation and dialogue!

Speaker: Gabriel Kasper, Consultant, Monitor Institute

Morning Plenary: Leveraging Diversity and Inclusion As Assets for Innovation

Friday, October 29, 2010
8:00 – 9:15 am

Contrary to the clichés, a belief in inclusion will not create diversity. And diversity alone will not create innovation. Without a conscious decision to leverage diversity and inclusion as assets, organizations are left with lofty goals, well-intended investments, and empty outcomes.  But when actively leveraged, diversity and inclusion can and will create a more fulfilling and productive culture and lead to innovative solutions that maximize grantmaking outcomes.

Join your peers for an engaging, interactive exploration of the most promising practices for leveraging diversity and inclusion in philanthropy. The conversation will feature local and national practice examples and candid back-and-forth with leaders who have a defined business case for advancing diversity and inclusion within their organizations and are seeing the results. Leave informed, inspired and equipped to leverage diversity and inclusion as organizational assets in your own foundation or corporate giving program.

Speaker: Tawanna A. Black, President Innovations By Design, LLC & Minnesota Council on Foundations Diversity Fellow

Guest Speaker: Vernetta Walker, J.D., Director of Consulting and Senior Governance Consultant, BoardSource

Closing Plenary: Flipping the “Switch” to Create Change

Friday, October 29, 2010
12:45 – 2:15 pm

Oh, what a shifting world of challenge and opportunity! Throughout the convening we will have shared ideas, learned new strategies and gathered rich examples of ways to maximize our resources. But how do we really reach our full potential when positive change is so hard?

As we enter the second decade of the 21st century, people, organizations, communities and the world desperately need to change. And as philanthropists, we need to be at the forefront, to be innovators for the future. So understanding the dynamics of change is critical to our progress and success.

Chip Heath, author of the bestseller Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard (2010) will help us break through the obstacles to positive change by helping us understand our inner conflicts between logic and emotion. He will share research insights that demonstrate that people are ruled by two separate systems – our rational mind and our emotional mind – that are competing for control. When these systems are in conflict, look out! But when they are balanced, change is easier and quicker. Heath will reveal essential strategies to achieve that balance and make change less difficult.

Find out how to create transformative change that matters — in your life and work. Don’t miss this stimulating conclusion to the 2010 MCF Annual Convening!

Speaker: Chip Heath, Co-Author of Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard and Professor of Organizational Behavior in the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University