General registration and delegate applications opened this week for a statewide convening,
Thriving by Design – Rural & Urban Together, in Granite Falls, MN on June 27-29, 2018. The event, cohosted
by Growth & Justice and OneMN.org, will kick off a three-step community engagement process,
leading toward creation of a comprehensive statewide policy agenda — the One Minnesota Equity
Blueprint by year’s end. The ultimate goals of the convening and blueprint are: stimulating more
equitable economic and business growth statewide, protecting and enhancing our environment, and
reducing our damaging disparities across regions, racial groups and economic strata. Space is limited at
the June gathering and prompt registration is encouraged at http://www.growthandjustice.org/thrivingby-design.
“This process will produce a unique rural-urban, statewide socioeconomic contract, fully
integrating equity as the growth model,” said Jane Leonard, President of Growth & Justice. “It honors,
recognizes, and uses the strength of our diversity and our interdependence. It’s all about Minnesota
people, places, and resources working together for the betterment of all.”
The convening and blueprint initiative represents the second phase of the MN Rural Equity
Project, an ambitious effort launched by Growth & Justice in early 2017 to shine a light on persistent
socioeconomic and public investment gaps throughout rural and Greater Minnesota, and to create a
durable, long-term “One Minnesota” policy framework for decision-makers. The blueprint will be
presented to the new Minnesota governor and a new Legislature in January 2019.
Thriving by Design also builds on a years-long effort by OneMN.org to lay the groundwork for a
shared sustainable prosperity for all. “Our goal is to provide public policy recommendations that
support and propel racial, social and economic equity throughout state, county, local
governments, agencies and corporations,” said Brett Buckner, Managing Director of OneMN.org.
Underscoring the often overlooked importance of Greater Minnesota and rural regions in the
statewide struggle for equity, conference organizers chose the historic and scenic Granite Falls area in
western Minnesota for this history-making convening, said Sarah Leistico, Public Policy & Outreach
Manager for Growth & Justice. “We’ll meet along the banks of the Minnesota River, get an in-depth
overview of Minnesota’s current community and economic conditions, and together begin creation of
the One Minnesota Equity Blueprint, toward achieving rural-urban and racial economic equity and
inclusive growth over the course of the next few years.”
At the Granite Falls event, every participant will have the opportunity to first learn about
specific issues as well as overall trends in Minnesota, and how they all interrelate, with implications for
Minnesota’s community and economic vitality. Issue areas and public investment needs include
broadband, child care, clean water, renewable energy, workforce housing, local education partnerships
& career pathways, transit/transportation, and more, framed within the Community Capitals Framework
for comprehensive community & economic development and the Shared Sustainable Prosperity model
for equitable, inclusive economic growth.
Building on existing strategy roadmaps such as DevelopMN, participants will create the outlines
of a unifying One Minnesota Equity Blueprint, featuring public policies and a new socio-economic
contract to heal the harmful divisions at play in Minnesota and across the country: the rural-metro
divide, racial disparities, unfair outcomes for other marginalized groups, and overall economic
Registration, delegate application forms, and more information on the June gathering, speakers,
and the overall Thriving By Design process is available at: http://www.growthandjustice.org/thriving-bydesign.
Full conference registration is $195. One day registration (for June 28) is $100. Hotel rooms are
available at and nearby the convening venue, which is the Prairies Edge Casino Resort, owned and
operated by the Upper Sioux Community. There is also an RV Park on-site.
In addition to seeking general participants for the Granite Falls event, Thriving by Design
organizers are looking for people ages 15 to 80+ years old who are also willing to serve as Equity
Blueprint delegates in Granite Falls and beyond, and who can help represent the more diverse
Minnesota of the future. Following the June event, Equity Blueprint delegates will help the Thriving by
Design team gather further input from their own communities back home between July & December
2018 — to ensure that the draft One Minnesota Equity Blueprint represents Minnesotans’ shared
thinking and actions. A limited number of scholarships are available for delegates to help cover
registration fees and lodging during the Granite Falls event. (However, one need not be a delegate to
attend the Granite Falls gathering. General registration is open to everyone.)
If you would like to add your name and/or your organization’s name to the Thriving by Design –
Rural & Urban Together – One Minnesota Equity Blueprint partner list and/or be a financial sponsor
alongside the Blandin Foundation and Growth & Justice donors, please contact Jane Leonard at
firstname.lastname@example.org. Please click here to access a Save-the-Date Flyer.