• Insights & Trends

    This premier seminar series brings the leading voices in public administration to public service professionals for a concentrated half-day seminar to share their expertise on issues of key importance. The timely and relevant topics of the seminar series will address issues impacting our cities and counties.

    Location: All seminars at Hamline University Minneapolis in St. Louis Park
    Time: Thursdays, 9 a.m. - noon, registration and continental breakfast open at 8:30 a.m.
    Cost: $50 per session (departments can register for the series and send a different person to each session)

    2015-16 Topics Coming Soon

    Sign Up 


    Session III: Discovering the Sustainable Systems in your Workplace

    April 16, 2015

    Have you thought about starting a sustainable initiative or ever wonder why sustainable initiatives aren’t working as well as you would like in your workplace? Perhaps it is because you haven’t thought about them as part of the core practices of your organization. In this session, we will be discussing both System Thinking and Design Thinking.  Both of these techniques offer insight into problems and gaps in sustainable initiatives. System Thinking is the technique to discover a variety of impacts and consequences of sustainable actions and their consequential reactions. Mapping the system in a holistic manner will illustrate some unknown impacts of your initiatives, chances for relative success, as well as what the major drivers in the system are. The technique of Design Thinking will allow you to create new and more successful initiatives or modify existing ones that can both influence and leverage solutions that might be more successful. Please bring examples of your new and existing, unsuccessful as well as successful sustainable initiatives to the session so they can be used for learning purposes and demonstration. Articles about System and Design Thinking will be distributed before the session.

    Presenter: Richard Strong, senior research fellow, Center for Sustainable Building Research and Lecturer at the University of Minnesota College of Design


    February 5, 2015

    Minnesota’s story is as long-established and as multifaceted as the communities that have called this place home. The voices and approaches that represent and shape our state will continue to diversify in the coming years as demographics shift and can provide rich assets and insights that inform how we develop and serve vibrant and inclusive communities. This interactive Story Lab aims to emphasize the importance of welcoming a multitude of perspectives and will provide an opportunity for leaders to cultivate a shared sense of identity, commonly-held values and a collective narrative through deep listening and story-telling.

    Presenter: Diane Tran, Minnesota Rising
    Speaker Handout


    October 23, 2014

    How many excellent plans have been made and forgotten because of failure to execute?  This Insights & Trends seminar will focus on the development and use of performance metrics as a method to spotlight and prioritize strategic objectives. This workshop style session will deliver hands-on and real-world examples of leveraging performance metrics to facilitate action. We will help you to learn how to develop performance metrics that will strongly support your strategic plan, and align your organization behind your highest priorities - without overwhelming your team. 

    Presenters: Nathan Burkett, MPA '09, Aitkin County Administrator
    Tim Houle, Crow Wing County Administrator
    Tony Murphy, Rice County Administrator
    Speaker Slides