The 2015 Minneapolis Idea eXchange kicked off on Monday afternoon in downtown Minneapolis and opened up a forum of though and conversation that will stretch throughout the week.
Monday’s event featured a Pre-Event MiXer on the Piazza on the Mall (12th Street & Nicollet Mall) followed by a keynote address by Pete Docter as part of the Westminster Town Hall Forum. The event began at 5 p.m. and wrapped up with a post-event gathering after 8 p.m.
The MiXer was filled with entertainment and opportunities to network and consider thought-provoking ideas. A cash bar was on site, and Simply Steve’s provided free sample entrees ranging from cheeseburger sliders to pesto pizzas to tacos and more. Brave New Workshop provided an artistic forum of improvisation, Social Jam played music and the Art Institutes International of Minnesota offered a chance to converse about ideas for the future.
Then, at 7 p.m., the group ventured into Westminster Presbyterian Church to hear from Pete Docter, a Bloomington-native who began his animating career in 1990 and was one of the first three people hired by Pixar Animation Studios. He has been a director, animator, screenwriter and voice actor for key Pixar, where he co-authored films like Wall-E, Toy Story and Toy Story 2. He’s also directed Monsters, Inc., Up and the recently released film, Inside Out.
Docter talked about where his passion for animation came from, dating all the way back to being a young child creating flip-book animations at home. He followed that passion into a successful career that has yielded six Academy Award nominations and one Best Animated Feature Film win in 2009 for Up.
Throughout his keynote, Docter talked about “The Power and Process of Animated Films”, and he highlighted the long journey from start to finish—an excursion that often takes five years. But it all starts with an idea, he said, and it’s important for him and his colleagues to always be pushing the boundaries of thought. They build in time for failure, he said, because without failure there will not be an opportunity to grow and develop the concept into something new and exciting.
These were profound words from a man who has truly embodied the nature of MiX, an event that hopes to provide a forum of thought and inspiration for those who attend. The hope is to create a networking opportunity that can eventually help create ideas that advance the Minneapolis Downtown Council’s Intersections: Downtown 2025 Plan mission of creating an extraordinary downtown.
Join MiX for its next two days of networking and keynote addresses coming up this week:
Thursday, October 1: Pre-Event MiXer at Piazza on the Mall (cash bar, GastroTruck Food Truck, entertainment & more) from 5-7 p.m., keynote from PBS’s Tavis Smiley (“No One Left Out: Creating Communities of Justice”) from 7-8 p.m.
Friday, October 2: Pre-Event MiXer at Piazza on the Mall (GastroTruck Food Truck, entertainment & more) from 11 a.m.-12 p.m., keynote from Blue Zone’s Dan Buettner (“A Blue Zones City: Living Like the World’s Healthiest People”) from 12-1 p.m.