Minnesota Idea Open - Your thinking, our future.
A Project of Minnesota Community Foundation


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The Network

The Network Supporting the Idea Open

Challenge I Lead Sponsor




Challenge I Sponsors



Idea Open Sponsors



Content Partners



Cabinet Partners





































Additionally, more than 200 organizations around the state are helping to spread the word.


Challenge I Working Team

Nick Banovetz, Padilla Speer Beardsley
Lynn Casey, Padilla Speer Beardsley
Bill Doherty, University of Minnesota
Mandy Ellerton, Grassroots Solutions
Joan Grzywinski, Minnesota Community Foundation Board
Sean Kershaw, Citizens League
Dianne Krizan, Minnesota Public Radio
Jennifer Ford Reedy, Minnesota Community Foundation
Kari Ruth, Minnesota Community Foundation
Polly Talen, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
Janelle Waldock, Prevention Minnesota
Chris Worthington, Minnesota Public Radio

About Our Sponsors & Partners

General Mills. (www.generalmills.com) One of the world's leading food companies, General Mills operates in more than 100 countries and markets more than 100 consumer brands, including Cheerios, Häagen-Dazs, Nature Valley, Betty Crocker, Pillsbury, Green Giant, Old El Paso, Progresso, Cascadian Farm, Muir Glen, and more. Headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, General Mills had fiscal 2009 global net sales of US$15.9 billion, including the company’s $1.2 billion proportionate share of joint venture net sales.

Ashoka's Changemakers. (www.changemakers.com) Changemakers is an initiative of Ashoka, an organization with over three decades of finding, funding, and expanding the work of social entrepreneurs across the globe. It is a global online community of action that connects people to share ideas, inspire and mentor each other, and find and support the best ideas in social innovation. The Changemakers online community builds on this history and expands the Ashoka vision by creating an "Everyone a Changemaker" world through networking, relationship-building, and the sourcing of funding opportunities.

Through its collaborative competitions and open-source process, Changemakers has created one of the world's most robust spaces for launching, refining, and scaling ideas for solving the world's most pressing social problems.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota (www.bluecrossmn.com) was chartered in 1933 as Minnesota's first health plan and continues to carry out its charter mission today: to promote a wider, more economical and timely availability of health services for the people of Minnesota. A nonprofit, taxable organization, Blue Cross is the largest health plan based in Minnesota, covering 2.7 million members in Minnesota and nationally through its health plans or plans administered by its affiliated companies.

Founded in 1952, the independent, non-partisan Citizens League (www.citizensleague.org) is one of the nation's premier citizen-based "good government" organizations. The organization is distinguished by its pioneering process that involves citizens in studying public issues and developing policy solutions. Based in Saint Paul, the Citizens League focuses on public policy issues at the local, metropolitan and state levels.

Grassroots Solutions (www.grassrootssolutions.com) provides consulting services in the areas of organizing, strategy, training, and evaluation. We start with the belief that people matter. In today's networked society, grassroots organizing is central to understanding the way people engage with their world. We focus exclusively on organizing, engaging, and mobilizing people.

HealthEast Care System (www.healtheast.org) is a community-focused, non-profit health care organization that provides innovative technology, compassionate care and a full spectrum of family health services. HealthEast includes Bethesda Hospital, St. John's Hospital, St. Joseph's Hospital, and Woodwinds Health Campus as well as outpatient services, clinics, home care, pharmacies and medical transportation services. Practicing financial responsibility, HealthEast is the largest, locally-owned health care organization in the Twin Cities' East Metro with 7,300 employees, 1,200 volunteers and 1,400 physicians on staff.

Founded in 1957, the HealthPartners (www.healthpartners.com) family of health care companies serves 1.25 million members and provide care to over 500,000 patients in our HealthPartners care delivery system which includes 70 clinics and 3 hospitals. For the fifth year in a row, HealthPartners is rated one of the best commercial health plans in the nation by U.S. News & World Report, NCQA's "America's Best Health Plans 2009."

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation (www.knightfoundation.org) promotes excellence in journalism worldwide and invests in the vitality of the U.S. communities where the Knight brothers owned newspapers. Knight Foundation supports ideas and projects that create transformational change.

Minnesota Compass. (www.mncompass.org) Compass gives everyone in our state – policymakers, business and community leaders, and concerned individuals who live and work here – a common foundation to identify, understand, and act on community issues that affect our communities.

Minnesota Community Foundation (www.mncommunityfoundation.org) is the statewide community foundation helping to create vibrant communities where all people can find hope and opportunity. As a nonprofit organization created by and for local residents, the foundation helps individuals, organizations and communities fulfill their charitable giving goals and create positive change through philanthropy.

Minnesota Public Radio® (www.minnesota.publicradio.org) is one of the nation's premier public radio organizations. With headquarters in the heart of downtown St. Paul, Minnesota Public Radio operates a regional network of 38 stations, covering Minnesota and parts of Wisconsin, the Dakotas, Michigan, Iowa and Idaho. With 900,000 listeners each week, it has the largest audience of any regional public radio network.

Padilla Speer Beardsley (www.psbpr.com) is an employee-owned, multi-specialty communications firm with headquarters in Minneapolis and an office in New York City. It is a founding partner of the Worldcom Public Relations Group, a consortium of 100 independently owned partner offices in 133 cities on six continents. Clients include BASF, Cub Foods, Ernst & Young, General Mills, HB Fuller, Pentair, Rockwell Automation, Transamerica, UnitedHealthcare and Vital Images.

Twin Cities Public Television. (www.tpt.org) Our mission is to "harness the power of television and other media for the public good." We use television to inform, engage, enlighten, and delight our viewers, to the benefit of all.

UCare (www.ucare.org) is an independent, nonprofit health plan serving more 200,000 members. Founded in 1984, UCare serves members on health care programs sponsored by the state of Minnesota and also offers health programs for Medicare beneficiaries in Minnesota and western Wisconsin. UCare is health care that starts with you.


Minnesota Idea Open is a venture of Minnesota Community Foundation with major funding from John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

ASHOKA - changemakersCitizens LeagueJohn S. and James L. Knight FoundationMinnesota Public Radio

For more information, contact us at info@mnideaopen.org