We live in times of rapid, pervasive change – not just in the technology that affects every part of our lives, but in the fabric of our communities, the expectations of public organizations, the impacts of economic shift, and the interaction of diverse communities locally and globally. Minnevate! was a process to explore this space, not a pre-packed product of solutions. The project was designed as a grassroots chance for communities to come together and truly envision a future for our children, supported by our public schools.
Minnesota needs to innovate, and school administrators are under increasing pressure to reinvent education. Our “noble quest” was to facilitate learning opportunities and a dialogue process that yields an action agenda for Minnesota school administrators, legislative leaders, business leaders, and other key members of the communities we serve in an era dominated by accelerating change, globalization, and the emergence of a “knowmadic” society. This project presented an opportunity to bring voice to those who play a key role in developing Minnesota’s education futures.
First and foremost, we sought to break from our past practices and habits. Too often, we create mere surveys of the learning landscape only to end there – as surveys. The Minnevate! project went deeper: It was a co-creative journey that began with a clean slate, and engaged stakeholders in conversations focused on developing positive futures for education in Minnesota. While the Minnesota Association of School Administrators’ members were at the center of the dialogue, key stakeholders from each of MASA’s nine districts were invited to participate in the conversations during 2013 and 2014 – including students.